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Passengers urged not to travel from Newcastle to London as major East Coast works take place

Train passengers making plans for the bank holiday weekend next month have been warned of significant disruption on a major route.

A section of the East Coast Mainline will be closed on August 24 ad August 25 for works as part of a £1.2bn upgrade.

Network Rail has said this closure will cause significant disruption over the weekend as many make plans to visit friends and family.

Passengers travelling to and from London during the August bank holiday weekend have been urged not to travel or to try to change their plans to Friday or Tuesday.

There will be a heavily reduced service on bank holiday (August 26) as work at Newark continues, with trains expected to be extremely busy.

During the weekend, work will take place along the southern end of the route, including in Newark, Stevenage and around London King’s Cross station. This work will close the lines from Peterborough into London King’s Cross meaning no trains will run on this portion of the line.

Passengers who are unable to change their journey are being urged to plan ahead and allow additional time to travel as there will be no direct services to or from London.

Instead, they will need to use bus replacement services and/or change trains. Bus replacement services and trains on other routes to/from London are expected to be incredibly busy.

Upgrade work taking place behind the scenes at King’s Cross (Image: Network Rail)

The closure is the first on the East Coast Mainline for 20 years with Network Rail claiming the works will bring significant benefits for all users of the route, including quicker, more reliable journeys and up to an extra 10,000 seats per day.

It will also mean more services are able to run, increasing choice for passengers.


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Over the August bank holiday, a huge amount of work will take place, including transferring signalling equipment control from King’s Cross signal box to a state-of-the-art facility in York and work on the overhead line equipment outside of the station to support improvements to the power supply, track layout and signals.

 

The work over the bank holiday has been planned to limit disruption to passengers, including doing as much work as possible over the bank holiday to minimise any future closures.

Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Major work to upgrade the East Coast Mainline will mean significant changes to services this August bank holiday weekend.

“We are urging passengers not to travel on 24/25 August as there will be significant disruption, however if they absolutely must travel we would urge them to plan ahead as services will be extremely busy, you will need to change trains or use a bus replacement service and your journey will take longer.

“We appreciate that this will impact on people, however this work is absolutely to vital to make sure we continue to provide a railway which is fit for purpose and this upgrade will bring significant benefits to passengers once completed.”

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A spokesperson on behalf of train operators along the route said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind passengers of significant disruption to rail journeys over the upcoming bank holiday weekend as Network Rail continues work on a £1.2billion investment into the line.

“The work means no train services are able to run between Peterborough and London King’s Cross, Cambridge and London St Pancras International and between Stevenage and Moorgate via Hertford North, so passengers are urged not to travel if possible.

“Other routes into London will operate but will be extremely busy. Once completed, the project will enable quicker and more reliable journeys, more frequent services and additional seats.”