Passengers warned East Coast upgrade means no trains on key dates

Credit: PA

Network Rail and train operators on the East Coast Main Line are urging passengers not to travel to or from London on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, and for a six-day period over Christmas, as essential work continues on the East Coast Upgrade.

The £1.2billion project will transform journeys between London, the North and Scotland. It will make way for more services on the East Coast Main Line to meet future passenger demand and bring a more modern, reliable railway.

Major progress has been made in and around King’s Cross, including work towards the re-opening of a disused railway tunnel which will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, as well as improvements to the track and signalling.


On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, Network Rail engineers will install overhead line equipment and make further improvements to the signalling system. This work can only be done safely when there are no trains in the area.

The following changes to services will be in place over the weekend:

  • LNER services to/from the north will start/end at Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink or East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras.

  • No Grand Central services will run between Bradford/York and London King’s Cross on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November.

  • Hull Trains is operating an amended service to/from London St Pancras on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November.

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

The project will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers. We are making as much progress as possible without disrupting services, but work on the overhead line equipment and improvements to the signalling system can only be carried out safely when there are no trains in the area.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail

In addition, there will also be a reduced service running on the East Coast Main Line on Saturday and Sunday, and two additional weekends in November, as work takes place to improve and replace sections of track. On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, as well as on Saturday 14, Sunday 15, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November, trains between Doncaster and Peterborough will be diverted via Lincoln, which will extend journey times.

Further work is planned over the coming months and the dates of full and partial closures at King’s Cross have been announced up to June 2021. This includes an extended six-day closure between Christmas and the New Year. No services will be running to or from London King’s Cross from Friday 25 December until Wednesday 30 December. There will also be a reduced service on Thursday 24 December and between Thursday 31 January and Sunday 3 January 2021.

There will also be limited services on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough during a nine-day period in January. Between Saturday 16 and Sunday 24 January, major work is taking place at Werrington, north of Peterborough, on a project to build a dive-under. This new section of railway will mean slower freight services can go underneath the East Coast Main Line, making space for additional passenger services to help meet demand.

There is also a warning that passengers must remember to wear a face-covering on public transport, unless they are exempt, or they could be fined up to £6,400.


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