The UK’s Network Rail has announced that it will commence the upgrade work, worth £1.2bn, on the East Coast Main Line next week.
The track layout outside of London King’s Cross station will be streamlined by several Network Rail workers, between 1 March and early June.
Initially laid 40 years ago, the existing layout will be lifted, replaced and realigned to improve commuter services.
A tunnel on the way to the station, which was shut in 1970, will also be renovated. This will provide two additional tracks, reduce congestion and create additional train capacity.
The work will take place at King’s Cross over the following three months and is the main stage of the East Coast Upgrade.
The upgrade work will see the installation of more than 6km of new track and 15km of overhead wires to power trains.
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The trains will still be able to operate to and from King’s Cross during the upgrade work.
Network Rail East Coast Upgrade principal programme sponsor Ed Akers said: “The work we are doing over the next three months is a crucial piece of the puzzle on the East Coast Upgrade. Untangling the complex track layout just outside of King’s Cross and reopening a railway tunnel, which has been closed for over 40 years, will make it easier for trains to enter and exit the station; improving journeys for all those travelling to and from the station.
“This, when coupled with upgrades elsewhere along the route, such as improving the power supply and the construction of a new dive under tunnel near Peterborough, will mean faster and more frequent services, better connecting towns and cities across the country and offering more choice for passengers. We continue to work closely with train operators on this industry-leading project to make sure that the impact on those who need to make essential journeys is as little as possible.”
UK Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “The impressive work to not only replace and realign track, but to also reopen a tunnel closed 40 years ago, underlines our determination to deliver major upgrades for passengers. As passengers return to our railway, these upgrades will make journeys in and out of one of Britain’s most historic stations more punctual and reliable, and I want to thank all those keeping services running as the work is carried out.”
Meanwhile, Grand Central and Hull Trains have put their services on hold after the prohibition of non-essential travel.
They will resume services after the government restrictions are relaxed.