Signalling the future – Passengers urged to plan ahead as East Coast Digital Programme ramps up

Network Rail, Great Northern and Thameslink are advising passengers travelling on the Northern City and East Coast Main Line to plan ahead as work on the East Coast Digital Programme ramps up.

The next stage of the innovative programme will see further signalling equipment installed on the Northern City Line, which runs between Finsbury Park and Moorgate, as well as testing of the new equipment before it is commissioned.

The newly installed equipment will eventually allow signallers to communicate with the latest in-cab technology on trains. Being able to respond in real time will boost reliability and reduce delays, creating a more modern and reliable railway for passengers. The project will also improve safety for workers, meaning they spend less time on track repairing equipment or maintaining the railway.

Teams will also be working to upgrade the tracks and install new signalling equipment on the route between Hatfield and Knebworth on the East Coast Main Line.

For these vital improvements to take place safely, there will be changes to weekend services for Great Northern and Thameslink passengers throughout February and March.

Northern City Line

  • On 12/13 February and 12/13/20 March, no trains will run between Finsbury Park and Moorgate.
  • Trains to and from Moorgate will be diverted into London King’s Cross.

East Coast Main Line

  • On 20/27 February and 6/13/20/27 March, trains between London and Cambridge/King’s Lynn/Peterborough will run to a revised timetable
  • These services will be diverted via Hertford North – although not all will stop there
  • Buses will replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Stevenage via Welwyn Garden City
  • Buses will also replace trains between Hertford North and Stevenage

Passengers are advised to allow plenty of time for their journey and check before travelling via National Rail Enquires’ online planner.

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s Director, Industry Partnership Digital, said: “The work we’re carrying out over the next few months is crucial to enable us to introduce digital signalling, helping to improve journeys for passengers.

“The nature of the work means there will be service changes and we are sorry for any impact which this has. We’d encourage all those travelling on these routes through February and March to check their journey ahead of 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 passengers and, on the East Coast Mainline, the potential for more frequent services in the future.

“Please check how your service may be affected by visiting National Rail Enquiries’ online journey planner. We’re really grateful for your patience.”

Photo credit: Network Rail

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