Transforming travel to and from King’s Cross
A major part of the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade is our work to transform travel to and from London on the East Coast Main Line through a multi-million pound investment in renewing track, signalling and overhead line equipment at King’s Cross.
The Upgrade is providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve this vital part of the rail network, which carries long-distance trains bound for the North of England and Scotland as well as many commuter services across north London and Cambridgeshire, and prepare the infrastructure for the future.
While the station itself was modernised in 2012, much of the track and signalling equipment that serve it is over 40 years old. It is nearing the end of its operational life and is becoming harder to maintain.
What the work involves
The work will simplify the layout of tracks leading to this iconic station, improving reliability by making it easier for trains to arrive and leave. It will see our teams replace the track, signalling and overhead line equipment across the one-and-a-half miles on the approach to the station.
We are also re-opening the third Gasworks Tunnel, which was closed in the 1970s, so that we can add two extra tracks on the approach to the station. This means more capacity and greater flexibility for services coming in and out of King’s Cross.
The signalling system between King’s Cross and Peterborough is being transferred from the local King’s Cross signal box to the state-of-the-art Railway Operations Centre in York. While modern signalling will help us to recover services more quickly if disrupted, this change will also allow the signal box at King’s Cross to be demolished, creating additional space for the new tracks into the third tunnel.
Over Christmas 2020 we completed our work to redesign and rebuild the Camden Sewer, which runs directly beneath the tracks outside the station. Trains had to run at a reduced speed over the fragile Victorian sewer and rebuilding it enables trains starting on their journeys to accelerate earlier and more quickly.
Benefits to passengers
Once completed, our work at King’s Cross will deliver quicker, more reliable journeys.
This, combined with other East Coast Upgrade projects and the introduction of new trains on the route will not only create space for additional train services between London and the North, but will also help ease congestion and reduce journey times.
Work will continue during 2021, which means there are times when train services will be affected.