The latest closures on the East Coast Main Line affecting passengers between Peterborough and London King’s Cross have been announced.
A £1.2 billion improvement scheme will mean no trains are able to call at King’s Cross on Saturday, January 25, Sunday, January 26, Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1 next year.
During this time Network Rail will continue to construct an additional platform and install a new track at Stevenage station.
Work will also take place to upgrade the power supply and overhead line equipment in and around King’s Cross station while engineers will continue to relocate the signalling system to a state-of-the-art centre in York.
This work can only be carried out safely when no trains are running on this section of the railway.
There will also be five weekends of a reduced service on the East Coast Main Line with passengers along the route urged to check before travelling and to allow additional time for their journey.
These dates are the weekends of:
. January 4 and 5
. January 11 and 12
. January 18 and 19
. February 8 and 9
. February 15 and 16
Services which do run on the above dates are likely to be very busy and passengers are advised to reserve a ticket for their journey where possible.
These weekends of work are important to allow work to progress on upgrading the key rail route, which carries more than 20 million passengers every year and links London to Edinburgh via Peterborough, York and Newcastle.
The upgrade is the biggest improvement into the line in a generation and will bring widespread and long-lasting benefits for passengers, it is claimed, including more frequent services and an extra 10,000 seats a day for travellers.
It is also expected to deliver faster journey times and improve the reliability of services when complete.
The route was also closed for works for the first time in 20 years over the August Bank Holiday this year.
Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Firstly, we would like to thank passengers for their patience so far and ask them to bear with us while the next stages of work take place.
“We’re really sorry for the disruption this work will cause, but the East Coast Main Line is long overdue an upgrade. We’re working to provide more seats and more frequent, reliable and faster journeys for the millions of people who use the line every year – and we can’t do that without causing some disruption.
“We’re doing our very best to keep passengers moving while the work is underway, but anyone using the line at weekends over the next couple of months should check before travelling.”
A spokesperson on behalf of train operators along the route said: “To allow the East Coast Upgrade to progress, there will be changes to services throughout 2020. Details of the dates from March onwards will be available at a later date.
“Passengers are strongly advised to plan their journeys in advance and check before travelling via eastcoastupgrade.co.uk. Passengers should avoid travelling to or from London on the East Coast Main Line over the two weekends of significant disruption as there will be no train services in or out of London King’s Cross.
“We would like to thank passengers for their patience as we work with Network Rail to bring improved services with faster journey times and more seats.”