Works to allow trains to use Peterborough ‘dive under’ completed

A major engineering project is approaching completion after signalling works at the Werrington ‘Dive Under’ were completed over the weekend.

The project - part of the £1.2 billion East COast Mainline upgrade - will allow freight trains to travel under the East Coast Mainline, cutting congestion on the tracks.

Over the weekend (Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September) engineers commissioned the signalling system, which will allow trains to safely run on the two new tracks, marking a major milestone in the final stage of the project.

Work began onsite at Werrington in Summer 2018 and the ground-breaking 11,000-tonne tunnel -which was built onsite as trains continued running on the East Coast Main Line - was pushed into place using innovative construction techniques in January 2021.

A major part of the scheme was completed at the weekend

Teams then installed around 8km of track in the area which runs through the new tunnel. Over the summer, work has been completed to connect the new track to the existing Stamford lines and put signalling equipment in place.

Vital work to test the new tunnel will take place over the next few weeks and trains are expected to begin using it by the end of this year. Diverting freight trains underneath one of the busiest routes in the country will mean faster, more reliable services for both passengers and freight.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said: “We’ve completed vital signalling work over the weekend which will allow freight trains to begin using the new tunnel and divert underneath the East Coast Main Line, rather than crossing it, from later this year.

“Our teams have completed the vast majority of this project, without impacting on train services. It’ll bring faster, more frequent and more reliable services for passengers travelling between London, Peterborough, the North of England and Scotland.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris, said: “This is another step towards completing the astounding engineering project being undertaken at Werrington.

“This scheme, part of our £1.2bn investment into the East Coast upgrade, will unlock the potential of our railways, freeing up tracks so that passengers and freight can have faster, more reliable journeys.”