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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Passengers benefit from a more practical track layout at London King’s Cross – Network Rail reaches final stage of major upgrade

  • Network Rail continues to simplify track layout at London King’s Cross during main stage of £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade
  • No trains to/from London King’s Cross on the afternoon of Friday 4, and all day on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June
  • Full service resumes on Monday 7 June
  • Work will allow more trains to enter and exit the station – reducing congestion and bringing more reliable journeys for passengers
  • People should continue following the latest Government guidance and minimise travel

Work is well underway on the final stage of a major project to transform the track layout at London King’s Cross to make it more practical for trains and bring more reliable journeys for passengers.

Although the Government advice is to minimise travel and avoid making unnecessary trips, those passengers who do need to travel between 4 and 7 June are being advised to plan ahead to avoid significant disruption.

Teams at King’s Cross have already lifted the complex track, which was laid over 40 years ago. During the past two months, around 2800 metres of track, which makes up the new, redesigned layout, have been installed.

A major milestone was reached last month, when platforms 0-6 reopened and work began on platforms 7-11. As well as improvements to the track, a tunnel just outside King’s Cross, which had been closed for 44 years, reopened – providing two additional tracks to allow more trains to run in and out of the station and reduce congestion.

While the second half of the station has its transformation, the slightly reduced service which has been in place since the beginning of March will continue until early June, including over the late May Bank Holiday. People should continue following the latest Government guidance and minimise travel where possible.

No trains will run to or from London King’s Cross in the afternoon on Friday 4 June, and all day on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, to allow further improvements to be made to the signalling in and around King’s Cross.

During this time, vital work will also be carried out on a project to build a dive-under at Werrington, North of Peterborough, which will allow slower moving freight trains to run underneath the East Coast Main Line.

Following the ‘big push’ back in January, when the 11,000-tonne railway tunnel was pushed into place, teams will be moving the tracks into their final position inside it. Once complete, this will bring faster, more reliable passenger services on the famous route.

For all of this work to take place safely, the following changes to services will be in place:

Friday 4 June

  • On Friday 4 June – LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots after 13:50. Rail replacement coach services will operate between St Neots and Bedford, then connect to Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • Hull Trains will run a reduced service to/from King’s Cross before 12:00. No trains will run in the afternoon.
  • Grand Central train services will run to/from Finsbury Park instead of King’s Cross, where passengers can connect to London Underground services.

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June

  • LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at Grantham, where passengers can connect to replacement coach services to/from Corby, then connect to East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras International.
  • Hull Trains will run services to/from London St Pancras International instead of King’s Cross. Trains will not call at Doncaster, Retford, Grantham or Stevenage.
  • Buses will replace Cross Country services between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough.
  • No Grand Central services will run over the weekend.

Passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. They should also allow extra time as journeys will take longer than usual. All passengers travelling on LNER services will need to book a seat reservation.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said: “Major progress is being made every day at King’s Cross as we complete work across the second half of the station and fast approach 7 June.

“Upgrading the track layout, as well as reopening Gasworks Tunnel, will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, reduce congestion and bring more reliable journeys. With just one three-day closure to go, we want to thank passengers for their continued patience throughout the project.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It’s fantastic to be reaching the end of the works for the King’s Cross Remodelling project, and I want to thank passengers who have been so patient during this period of disruption.

“Completing these major works brings us one step closer to finishing our vital East Coast upgrade, which will deliver improved connectivity for long distance passengers and more reliable journeys in the future.”

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route, said: “We’re urging passengers who have to travel on the East Coast Main Line on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June to plan ahead and allow plenty of time for their journey.

“This work Network Rail is carrying out as part of the East Coast Upgrade will make it easier for trains to enter and exit the station and allow more reliable services to run for passengers.”

Photo credit: Network Rail

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