Darlington engineering works will upgrade journeys on ECML

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In February, Network Rail engineers will be working to upgrade part of the East Coast Main Line through Darlington to deliver smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers.

On Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 February, teams will be working to renew and replace switches & crossings, the specialist equipment used by trains to change tracks from one to another, as well as installing over a mile of new rails.

These upgrades will mean that passengers can expect smoother and more reliable journeys as they travel on the East Coast Main Line.

While these vital improvements are carried out, there will be some changes to train services in the area.

LNER will operate a reduced service of one train per hour in each direction between London King’s Cross and Scotland, with trains diverting around the work. As a result of the diversion, journey times may be extended by up to an hour. Additional services from the north and the south will terminate at Newcastle and York respectively, with a rail replacement service operating between Newcastle and York.

For passengers travelling with CrossCountry and TransPennine Express, a replacement coach service will operate throughout the weekend between York and Newcastle. On Sunday only, rail replacement services will additionally connect CrossCountry passengers to and from Leeds, with TransPennine Services diverting around engineering work between Leeds and York.

There will also be changes to Northern services with trains between Saltburn & Middlesbrough and Darlington & Bishop Auckland starting and terminating at Eaglescliffe.

Rail replacement buses will run between Eaglescliffe and Darlington / Bishop Auckland.

Lumo will operate a shuttle train service between Newcastle and Edinburgh, with a rail replacement coach service running between Newcastle and Northallerton to connect into a Lumo train to/from London on a daily return journey.

Jason Hamilton, route programme director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “The work being carried out in the Darlington area over this weekend is vital in improving passengers’ journeys as they travel along the East Coast Main Line.

“These upgrades will result in smoother and more reliable journeys for our passengers as we replace switches that have been in place for many years with brand new equipment.

“We are sorry for the disruption this may cause to passengers’ journeys and encourage them to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.”

A spokesperson on behalf of LNER, CrossCountry, Lumo, Northern, and TransPennine Express, added: “Our teams will be working hard to keep passengers on the move and get them to their destination as quickly and as efficiently as they can during this work.

“All the latest travel information, including how passengers’ journeys may be affected, can be found on our websites, social media channels, or at our stations.”

Image credit: Network Rail

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