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Advanced warning of local rail disruption

Dates for the East Coast upgrade and its impact


Brookmans Park station - image by North Mymms News via Creative Commons
Brookmans Park station - image by North Mymms News via Creative Commons

Network Rail has started a £1.2bn programme to upgrade the East Coast Main Line (ECML), with the first phase of work planned for late December and through January. The project is due to be completed in 2021.

The upgrade will cause some changes to scheduled services. Rail travellers are being warned to plan ahead and to not travel on certain days.

Welham Green station - image by North Mymms News via Creative Commons
Welham Green station - image by North Mymms News via Creative Commons

The planned engineering works


According to Network Rail the programme includes:
  • Renewing track, signalling and overhead wire equipment on the approach to London King’s Cross station. The track is being re-laid, with a disused tunnel being reopened, allowing for six tracks into the station instead of the current four.
  • The building of a new platform at Stevenage for the Hertford North-Stevenage trains (buses are replacing trains between Watton-at-Stone and Stevenage while construction takes place).
  • Relocating the control of signalling to Network Rail’s operating centre in York.
  • Further improvement works are taking place north of Peterborough.

Engineering work summary


  • 27 December 2019 - Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross until 13:00
  • 4-5 January 2020 - Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Peterborough and Hitchin, a replacement bus service will be in operation. No trains between Finsbury Park and Moorgate, tickets will be accepted on Northern and Victoria lines and TFL buses between the stations. 
  • 11-12 January 2020 - Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Peterborough and Hitchin, a replacement bus service will be in operation. 
  • 18-19 January 2020 - Reduced service to and from London King’s Cross. No trains between Peterborough and Hitchin, a replacement bus service will be in operation. 
  • 25-26 January 2020 - No service between London King’s Cross and Peterborough. No service between Moorgate and Stevenage via Hertford North and Welwyn Garden City. We recommend not to travel on these routes. A train service will run between Hitchin and King’s Lynn.

Further works are planned but dates have yet to be announced.

More trains and increased capacity promised


Network Rail says the work will be completed by 2021 and will “deliver extra capacity for an additional two long-distance services an hour in and out of London. That’s an extra 10,000 seats per day”.

The ECML carries more than 20 million passengers a year, connecting London with East and West Yorkshire, the North East of England and Scotland.






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