Easter rail works – spotlight on East Coast Upgrade

King's Cross birds eye view

This Easter bank holiday our team will work hard to make more progress on the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade.

The huge project will give you more trains and quicker journeys along the East Coast Main Line, which runs from London to Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle.

Our Easter works around Britain will take place from Friday 2 to Monday 5 April 2021 and will involve 600 upgrades and routine maintenance projects around Britain.

We’re reminding you to continue to follow Government advice around the use of public transport and minimise travel over the Easter bank holiday. If you do need to travel by rail over this period, please plan ahead and check whether the works will affect your journey.

You can find out how our improvement projects will affect your Easter journeys with your train operator, via National Rail Enquiries or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.

London King’s Cross is home to some of the biggest work needed for the East Coast Upgrade

What’s happening at London King’s Cross this Easter?

Here, we’re maintaining and remodelling the overhead lines, which power electric trains. We’re also making vital improvements to the track layout. This is work forms part of the main stage of the East Coast Upgrade.

Why are we changing the track layout at King’s Cross? We modernised the station itself in 2012 but much of the track and signalling equipment – which tells trains when it’s safe to proceed – that serve the track is more than 40 years old.  It’s nearing the end of its operational life and becoming harder to maintain.

Simplifying the tracks leading to the station will improve reliability of your services by making it easier for trains to arrive and leave. We’re replacing the track, signalling and overhead line equipment across the one-and-a-half mile approach to the station.

Watch this video to see our team laying new track over Christmas:

What else has been happening for the East Coast Upgrade?

Werrington, north of Peterborough

We’re building a new section of railway to dive under the East Coast Main Line at Werrington so trains, particularly slower freight trains, can reach the line to and from Spalding without having to cross the main line. Once finished, it will free up space on the East Coast Main Line for extra passenger services.

Watch this video to see the amazing engineering at Werrington and click here to find out more about it:


A new platform and track at Stevenage railway station opened in August 2020 so trains from the Hertford North line (known as the Hertford Loop) could terminate and go back towards London without using up capacity on the existing tracks. This has enabled more services to run in future while improving resilience and reliability. Find out more information about our work at Stevenage.

Power Supply Upgrade

We’re boosting the power supply along the East Coast Main Line to enable faster, quieter and cleaner trains to run by carrying out work at a total of 46 sites along the whole route. This upgrade has already paved the way for the introduction of new trains, such as the Azuma, and will enable additional electric trains to run in the future. Read more here.

Read more: