Step towards digitalisation this Christmas – passengers reminded of changes on London’s Northern City Line

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Network Rail is continuing with major work to upgrade the track and signalling system over Christmas to boost reliability and reduce delays on the Northern City Line.

From after the last train on Christmas Eve until before the first service on Wednesday 29 December, engineers will install new signalling equipment, which will eventually allow signallers to communicate with the latest in-cab technology on trains.

Along with work to upgrade the track on the route, the festive improvements will be a major step towards more reliable journeys into the City of London by summer 2022. As part of the East Coast Digital Programme, the Northern City Line is expected to be fully digitally signalled by 2023.

This latest stage of work will take place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when there are no timetabled services on this part of the railway, to prevent disruption at busier times. The complexity of the project means there are some changes for passengers on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December:

  • Trains from Finsbury Park to Moorgate will divert into London King’s Cross
  • Passengers will also be able to use their ticket on London Bus route 271 and on London Underground between London Kings Cross/London St Pancras International and Moorgate

Passengers are advised to allow plenty of time for their journey and check with Great Northern or via National Rail Enquiries before travelling. People are also reminded to continue following the latest Government guidance and wear a face covering on public transport, unless they are exempt.

Going digital – major improvements this month and over Christmas on London’s Northern City Line

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail’s Director, Industry Partnership Digital, said: “We’re taking the opportunity to make major progress on work to upgrade the track and signalling when no timetabled services are running on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. These improvements are a vital step towards more reliable journeys for passengers on the Northern City Line.

“Trains are being diverted on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December to keep passengers moving. We advise passengers to check their journey and would like to thank people for their continued patience.”

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We’re delighted with this investment to replace the ageing signalling system on our popular route into the City of London with the latest in cutting-edge digital technology.

“Closing the line for vital work such as this is never an easy decision but with trains diverted into King’s Cross, passengers will still be able to reach Moorgate, using their tickets on the Tube or 271 bus.”  

Photo credit: Network Rail

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