Boosting power to run faster, quieter and cleaner trains

We’re upgrading the power supply on the East Coast Main Line to enable faster, quieter and more environmentally friendly electric rains to run. The upgrade paves the way for the introduction of new trains, such as the Azuma.

Passengers will benefit from:

  • More seats and additional services
  • Improved performance and reliability

The upgrade will be completed in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – covering the route between Wood Green, London to Bawtry near Doncaster
  • Phase 2 – covering the route between Doncaster to Edinburgh

Phase 1

Phase 1 of the project began in 2014 and is planned to be completed by early 2020.

The following upgrades have already been completed:

  • installation of 23 substations along the route
  • laying 600km of new cabling
  • construction of foundations and structures to support overhead line equipment
  • new 400kv connection to the main National Grid

Further upgrades are planned to increase resilience and reliability along the route. These upgrades include additional sub-stations, track based cabinets and feeder stations.

Time-lapse footage of the installation of the new substation at Hitchin. Scheduled for commissioning in August 2017, Hitchin is one of the 23 substations making up the East Coast Main Line power supply upgrade project.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the project will involve the installation of feeder and substations along the route, capacity upgrades, new 132kv connection at Hambleton junction and upgrades to existing power supply connections.

The second phase of the project is currently in design stages and dates for carrying out the work are still being finalised.

Phase 2 will be delivering upgraded power to the East Coast Mainline railway between Bawtry and Edinburgh and will include:

  • Installing 27 new traction substations
  • Installing 1000 km new cabling including feeder cables and telecoms cabling
  • Construction of supporting foundations and structures for substations and to support overhead line equipment
  • Introduction of 2 New Static Frequency Converter Compounds at 132kV supply connection points
Click on the map to view the locations of the Power Supply Upgrade routes.

The Rail Electrification Alliance

Both phases of the project are being delivered by the Rail Electrification (REAL) Alliance which compromises of:

  • Network Rail
  • Siemens – traction power design, supply, installation and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition)
  • J Murphy and Sons – civil works and structures, cable and cable routes
  • VolkerRail – overhead line equipment works and signalling works
  • TSP Projects – professional consultancy and design support
  • Jacobs – professional consultancy and design support

For further information about the East Coast Mainline power supply upgrade project, please contact Network Rail's National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.