Over 300 Network Rail staff will be giving up their Christmases to work on a project to remodel one and a half miles of track outside of London King’s Cross station, which is a vital part of the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade.
Over the festive period, teams will be carrying out essential parts of the King’s Cross remodelling project including replacing tracks near platforms 5 and 6 and carrying out vital signal testing which can only be done when trains aren’t running.
As there are no timetabled services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day on this part of the railway, Network Rail uses this opportunity to carry out major work and avoid disruption for passengers at busier times. Passengers are advised to check before travelling as there are no timetabled services or bus replacement services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and there will be a reduced service to and from London King's Cross until 13:00 on Friday, 27 December.
Fjolle Bunjaku, Project Manager for Network Rail, who joined the company as a project management graduate four and a half years ago, will be working over the Christmas period to make sure that the project is delivered to schedule.
She said: “I grew up locally in Camden and I’ve seen this area undergo a massive regeneration, so I’m happy to be part of a project that sees the railway move with the times. With more people using the railway, it’s essential that the East Coast Main Line is upgraded to meet the growing demand.
“I worked over Christmas last year too, and there was a really nice atmosphere and sense of togetherness. Our teams have been planning this project for months, and the work is vital to keep this huge upgrade on track.”
The East Coast Upgrade is a £1.2billion project to regenerate the infrastructure along the East Coast Main Line (ECML), bringing significant benefits to passengers including 10,000 extra seats per day, more frequent and faster services and a more reliable railway. Projects involved in this upgrade include the replacing of a junction at Newark, constructing a new platform and track at Stevenage, building a whole new section of railway that will pass under the ECML near Peterborough and an upgrade to the power supply across the whole route.
The current infrastructure is over 40 years old and this essential work to replace signalling and overhead line equipment, and to redesign the track layout will make sure the ECML can efficiently serve the 20 million passengers using it every year.