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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Keeping the East Coast Digital Programme on track – Further weekend closures on Northern City Line confirmed

Network Rail and Great Northern have confirmed that there will be additional weekend closures of the Northern City Line between Finsbury Park and Moorgate to enable work on the East Coast Digital Programme to remain on track.

Three weekends of additional closures will take place this year. The closures are necessary to allow work to create the UK’s first intercity digital railway in the UK.

Reliability benefits will be felt on the line as early as next summer as work to upgrade track and signalling on the route takes place. The Northern City line will be fully digitally signalled in 2023 and will see trains fitted with the latest in-cab signalling technology and old, lineside signals removed.

This will mean that signallers will be able to communicate with trains continuously rather than only at fixed signal points, responding in real time, which will benefit passengers by reducing delays and significantly improving performance. 

The full list of closures in 2021 can be found below:

  • Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 July 
  • Saturday, 7 and Sunday, 8 August 
  • Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 August
  • Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 August
  • Saturday, 28, Sunday, 29 and Monday, 30 August 
  • Saturday, 4 September and Sunday, 5 September 
  • Saturday, 2 and Sunday, 3 October

During these closures, trains will be diverted into King’s Cross station. Passengers who need to travel during this time are advised to plan ahead via National Rail Enquiries or via greatnorthernrail.com.

Passengers are also reminded that they should continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport. 

Toufic Machnouk, director, Industry Partnership Digital for Network Rail, said: “We’re sorry to any customers who will be affected by the additional weekend closures which we have announced today and I’d encourage passengers planning on using the Northern City Line to check before travelling.

“The East Coast Digital Programme will transform this stretch of railway and provide significant improvements to reliability from next summer. We’d like to thank all those impacted for their patience during this time and we look forward to them reaping the benefits of this work.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said: “Working with Network Rail, we have been able to confirm additional dates in August and October when the route between Finsbury Park and Moorgate will have to close at the weekend, and we’re keen to share this information with passengers as soon as possible. There may be more alterations later in the year and we promise to keep everyone updated.

“By summer 2022, even before the digital system is commissioned, the outdated signalling will have been replaced which should give our passengers much more reliable journeys.”

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