Faster trains between Peterborough and London King’s Cross on horizon as track improvement project reaches milestone

Network Rail plans to reinstate the fourth track between Huntingdon and Woodwalton

Network Rail plans to reinstate the fourth track between Huntingdon and Woodwalton

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Network Rail has taken the next step in its plans to reinstate the fourth track between Huntingdon and Woodwalton allowing for faster trains between Peterborough and London King’s Cross.

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, the project would see a critical Cambridgeshire bottleneck between London and the north removed which, when combined with upgrades at Werrington and Doncaster, would ease congestion on the line and allow faster trains to overtake slower ones. Passengers will also benefit from more frequent trains and reduced journey times.

Network Rail has now submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to the Secretary of State for Transport for approval.

The Transport and Works Act Order would authorise the closure of Abbots Ripton bridleway level crossing and a diversionary bridleway route would be put in place, improving safety for those crossing the railway.

After a public consultation in September 2016 and acting on feedback received, Network Rail has proposed a diversion route which would cross agricultural land adjacent to the railway. If approved, the closure of the crossing and the bridleway diversion is expected to be completed in summer 2018.

Aidan Talbott, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail: “We’re investing into the East Coast Main Line as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a more reliable railway and to reduce journey times. The work to install a fourth track is a vital part of this investment and will provide more services for passengers.

“We are committed to reducing risk on the railway and the TWAO, if made, will enable us to close Abbots Ripton bridleway level crossing and create a slightly revised route using a nearby archway under the line, making the railway safer for all those who use it.”

Network Rail will hold further public information events on design and construction plans of the fourth track and will confirm dates later in the year.