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The East Coast Upgrade

National COVID restrictions are in place across Britain so please check the government website before you travel.

Network Rail are undertaking a £1.2billion programme to upgrade the East Coast Main Line. For you, this means there will be changes to our trains between London and Cambridge, King’s Lynn, Peterborough and Hertford North. You can find out more about the improvements at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk

Upcoming engineering work summary

To carry out this upgrade work Network Rail will need to close the line.

Current key dates for when this will affect services are as follows (these are subject to change, so please always check close to the time of travel in case of any late notice alterations):

2021

Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January

  • No trains will run between Peterborough and Hitchin, with a replacement bus service in operation. Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for overhead line and signal work

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January

  • No trains will run between Peterborough and Hitchin, with a replacement bus service in operation. Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for overhead line and signal work

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January

  • No trains will run between Peterborough and Hitchin, with a replacement bus service in operation. Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for overhead line and signal work

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January

  • No trains to London King’s Cross, Moorgate or St Pancras via Finsbury Park. Trains will start and terminate at Potters Bar / Gordon Hill

Sunday 7 February

  • No trains will run between Peterborough and Hitchin, with a replacement bus service in operation

Sunday 14 February

  • No trains will run between Peterborough and Hitchin, with a replacement bus service in operation. Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for overhead line and signal work

Sunday 21 February

  • Amended timetable on all routes. Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for overhead line and signal work

Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Monday 1 March through to Friday 4 June

  • A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the main works with reduced services operating

Friday 23 through to Sunday 25 April

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Frequently asked questions

Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade is a £1.2 billion plan that covers a number of different improvements along the the East Coast Main Line, a key rail route carrying over 20 million passengers a year, connecting London King’s Cross and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. For more information about the work being carried out visit eastcoastupgrade.co.uk.
The work includes a major upgrade at King’s Cross station bringing a disused tunnel back into use, upgrading power supplies, construction of almost 2km of new railway line and a new Platform 5 at Stevenage which has been completed (removing conflict between Hertford North line trains and other services) and transfer of the signalling to be controlled from the York Rail Operations Centre instead of King’s Cross signal box.
The station building itself was modernised and revamped in 2012, but the existing track and signalling layout has not been improved since it was installed over 40 years ago and is in need of upgrading to meet future passenger demands. Passenger numbers are expected to increase by 30% by 2023. The East Coast Upgrade involves creating a new, simpler, layout at King’s Cross with additional tracks allowing an increase in capacity.
The Moorgate line signalling is being transferred to York as part of the East Coast upgrade. There is also a separate project to renovate the stations, much of which has already taken place, and to clean the tunnels. This will require line closures which, although not part of the East Coast Upgrade, will affect many of the same passengers during the same time period.
There are currently no trains for most of the day on Mondays to Fridays between Watton-at-Stone and Stevenage. Buses are replacing these services until May 2020. More details are available on our Great Northern information page.

Yes. There is significant further work planned as part of the East Coast Upgrade.

2020 and 2021
Full details for this period are still being finalised but there will be further longer packages of work, including line closures, which will have a big impact on our services.

The rail industry is working together to package the projects to reduce the number of times that passengers are disrupted and allow them to plan their journeys with confidence.

Closures will be advertised well in advance to allow passengers to plan ahead. Keep an eye on eastcoastupgrade.co.uk.

We know that closing the railway to carry out improvement work has a big impact on passengers’ lives, which is why we work hard with Network Rail and other train companies to plan the work in a way that minimises overall disruption as much as possible. We hope that by providing several months’ notice people will be able to make informed choices and be more flexible with their travel plans.

All dates are chosen, as far as possible, to avoid major events.

This work is designed to provide a better, more reliable service for passengers on one of the busiest sections of railway in the country. Delaying the works would mean passengers having to wait longer for reliability improvements and an increased risk of delays and disruption as ageing infrastructure continued to deteriorate.
Keep checking back here for train service information, or visit www.eastcoastupgrade.co.uk for updates on the upgrade works.