- Passengers advised not to travel as significant disruption to journeys to/from London on the East Coast Main Line this weekend
- On Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 January, lines between Peterborough and King’s Cross and Hitchin and London St Pancras closed
- Next set of provisional service disruptions announced for 2020/2021
- £1.2billion investment will provide faster journeys, more services, thousands more seats and improved reliability for passengers
Network Rail is reminding passengers that there will be no trains in or out of London King’s Cross this weekend as work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.
Over the weekend, vital upgrades to the signalling system will take place in the latest stage of the £1.2billion investment into the route. The work will see Network Rail engineers move control of a section of the signalling system to a specialist centre in York, which will help to create a more resilient railway. To allow this work to take place safely, no trains will be able to run on the southern portion of the route.
Passengers are urged not to travel to or from London on the East Coast Main Line. The lines between Peterborough and King’s Cross and Hitchin and London St Pancras International will be closed for just the second time in two decades. This includes the Moorgate line via Hertford North. Trains will still be running between King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Hitchin.
Passengers are advised to travel on either Friday, 24 or Monday, 27 January instead, although these services will be very busy and passengers should book in advance and reserve a seat where possible.
If passengers absolutely must travel, they should allow significantly more time for their journeys as travel times will be extended and they will need to change trains or use bus replacement services, both of which will be incredibly busy. Passengers who must travel should plan ahead via National Rail Enquiries or via eastcoastupgrade.co.uk. On Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 01 March, there will also be no services in or out of London King’s Cross, with the same impact on services as this weekend.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “This weekend, we are continuing with vital work on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade, which is the biggest investment into the line in a generation.
“We are urging passengers to heed the advice issued which is not to travel to/from London on the East Coast Main Line this weekend. We know that this is disruptive and we do apologise for this. Unfortunately, it is necessary to enable us to progress on this work, which will create more services, faster services and thousands more seats for passengers.”
There are various changes to services throughout January and February and today, Tuesday, 21 January, Network Rail has announced that there will be further changes to come later in 2020 and into 2021.
Whilst still in the planning stages, the rail industry has released the next set of provisional dates which will impact on passenger services. These are:
- No services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 June.
- A reduced long-distance service planned between Saturday, 5 September and Sunday, 13 September.
- No services to or from London King’s Cross on Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 September.
Whilst these dates are provisional and subject to change, Network Rail and train operators have announced them now to give passengers as much advance notice as possible. There will also be a period of prolonged disruption from Saturday, 19 December 2020 through to late March 2021 affecting weekdays and weekends, with a mixture of reduced services and no services at King’s Cross. Further information will be announced as soon as the details are available.
Ed added: “We have also announced further dates later in 2020 and early into 2021 when services are likely to be affected. We want passengers to have as much notice as possible, which is why we have released these dates now. Further and more detailed information will be available in the coming months.”
A spokesperson for train operators along the route said: “This weekend, significant work by Network Rail will mean widespread changes to services on the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross, as well as between Hitchin and St Pancras, including the Moorgate Line via Hertford North.
“This is a necessary part of the £1.2billion investment into the line and we strongly urge passengers not to travel and to seek alternate travel arrangements. We hope passengers can understand that we are doing all we can to minimise the impact on them which is why we have announced the next set of provisional dates when services will be disrupted. As an industry we are all committed to providing the best possible information to passengers while we work to significantly improve the service we can offer in future.”