UK’s Network Rail has announced details of improvements to the East Coast Main Line in North Yorkshire as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.

The upgrade plan makes up two-thirds of the company’s £40bn spending priorities for the five years leading to 2019.

The £6m upgrade will last 11 weeks and involve renewal of switches and crossings to allow trains to move from one piece of track to another.

Network Rail route managing director Rob McIntosh said: “This investment in the East Coast Main Line at Thirsk is a vital aspect of our Railway Upgrade Plan, to provide a bigger and better railway for the millions of passengers who use this important north-south route.

“We are doing this upgrade work overnight at weekends which is a time when fewer people use the railway, but there is never a good time to disrupt journeys and I apologise for any inconvenience caused during this essential piece of work.”

"This investment in the East Coast Main Line will provide a bigger and better railway for millions of passengers."

The upgrade works will run on consecutive weekends from 26 February until 14 May.

Grand Central managing director Richard McClean said: “We welcome Network Rail’s investment in track improvements which will have long-term benefits.

“However, during the period of the improvements work we do recognise that it may have an impact on some of our customers travelling to and from Thirsk and on customers returning to the north-east on Saturday evenings.”

Virgin Trains spokesperson said that during the upgrade works replacement coach services will be provided between York, Northallerton and Darlington.

Image: The upgrade project will be performed on weekends from 26 February to 14 May. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.