Network Rail’s East Coast Main Line improvement plan has been approved by the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling.

A part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, the improvement works involves the construction of a new railway section beneath the East Coast Main Line to connect the Stamford lines and the Great Northern Great Eastern lines at Werrington Junction near Peterborough.

The new line will eliminate the need of the freight trains to run through three lines of the East Coast Main Line, which subsequently delays high-speed passenger train operations approaching the Werrington Junction.

“This vital upgrade will ensure we can provide an improved service for passengers.”

Coupled with other upgrades on the route, the project is also expected to increase the frequency of passenger rail services on the line.

Network Rail submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) for the project in 2016 and after working with the public and other important stakeholders the current underneath rail line was selected as the preferred option for the scheme.

Network Rail route managing director Rob McIntosh said: “This is a significant investment into the railway in this area which, when coupled with other upgrades on this route, will have widespread benefits for those travelling between London and the North through an increased capacity of 33%.

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“This vital upgrade will ensure we can provide an improved service for passengers and will create a more modern, reliable and resilient railway suitable to meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.”

Construction works are expected to begin later this year and scheduled to be completed by early 2021.