Multi-million-pound package of improvements along East Coast Main Line and Northern City Line

Over the August Bank Holiday, Network Rail delivered a package of improvements worth over £2.8m to bring better, more reliable journeys for passengers between Hitchin and London terminals.  

Progress was made on the East Coast Digital Programme, with 56 new cabinets installed to house the equipment needed to support a digital railway in the future. The once-in-a-generation programme will eventually see traditional signals removed from the side of the track and replaced with innovative digital signalling technology.

Installing this important infrastructure now will set the route up for an advanced new operating system, which will allow for continuous in-cab communication with train drivers by 2025 on the East Coast Main Line.

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s Industry Partnership Director for Digital Railway, said: “Working with our partners to deliver this brilliant progress over the bank holiday takes us closer to running a more resilient, greener, future-proofed railway for passengers.

“The East Coast Digital Programme will transform the way that trains move along the East Coast Main Line using digital trail control technology. We are using industry-wide expertise and innovation to install, test and eventually operate a better railway for people.

“I’d like to thank passengers for their support and patience while we delivered this work.”

The redundant footbridge and ticket office at New Southgate station were also successfully removed over the weekend, completing the transition to a relocated ticket office for Great Northern passengers.

On the Northern City Line near Drayton Park, teams repaired and renewed over 300 metres of overhead line equipment to boost reliability, reduce the need for future maintenance and help more trains to run on time.

Great Northern and Thameslink Customer Services Director, Jenny Saunders said: “The work Network Rail is doing will help create the railway of the future, providing more reliable services for our passengers and, on the East Coast Main Line, the potential for more frequent services in the future.

“More testing will be taking place on the Northern City Line on 4 and 18 September, as well as 9 October so please check how your service may be affected by visiting National Rail Enquiries’ online journey planner. We’re really grateful for your patience.”

Work on the East Coast Digital Programme will continue on Sunday 4 and Sunday 18 September, as well as on Sunday 9 October. This will mean no services will be able to run on the Northern City Line on these dates.

Trains which usually run to and from Moorgate will be diverted into King’s Cross

Passengers who are planning to travel on those dates should plan ahead and check their journey with National Rail Enquiries or their train operator’s website.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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