Rail upgrade work moves up to Grantham line as East Coast Digital Programme progresses

Work is progressing well on the billion-pound East Coast Digital Programme with work focus now shifting north to the line between Peterborough and Grantham.
Engineers work between Welwyn and Hitchin on the East Coast Main Line digital upgrade. Photo: Network RailEngineers work between Welwyn and Hitchin on the East Coast Main Line digital upgrade. Photo: Network Rail
Engineers work between Welwyn and Hitchin on the East Coast Main Line digital upgrade. Photo: Network Rail

Network Rail engineers will be working on the East Coast Main Line over the weekends of January 6-7 and January 13-14, resulting in some changes to train services for passengers travelling to and from London.

During the work, teams will be carrying out further improvements to the tracks in the area, adjusting overhead line equipment, and testing newly installed cabling and equipment that will make the new system function.

The project will see traditional, lineside signals removed and replaced with signalling displayed inside drivers’ cabs. Network Rail officials say the change will lead to more reliable journeys for passengers and “a greener railway”.

At the same time, a separate project will be focusing on improving mobile phone signals inside the tunnels at the mouth of King’s Cross station. The Network Rail and LNER project will deliver better mobile phone connectivity for passengers as they travel in and out of King’s Cross by train.

As a result of the upgrade work, there will be changes to rail services with no long distance services into or out of London King’s Cross over the two weekends.

LNER will be operating a reduced service starting and terminating at Grantham. Rail replacement coaches will run between Grantham and Peterborough to Corby / Kettering, where customers can join EMR services to London St Pancras.

Hull Trains will be running a reduced train service of two trains in each direction which will divert and terminate in London St Pancras. Lumo services will only operate between Edinburgh and Newcastle, with Grand Central operating no service on the affected days.

Passengers are encouraged to check their journey before travelling through National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.

Ricky Barsby, Head of Access and Integration for East Coast Digital Programme, said: “Work is progressing well on this pioneering project and we continue to prepare the way for changing the way train services operate on the East Coast Main Line.

“This work has been scheduled years in advance and while we never want to disrupt passengers’ journeys, these upgrades are vital to delivering a more resilient, more reliable and greener railway for the future.

“We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding and encourage them to check their journey before travelling.”

A spokesperson on behalf of LNER, Hull Trains, Lumo, and Grand Central said: “While there will be changes to services on these weekends, our teams will be working really hard to keep passengers moving and to get them to their destination as quickly as possible.

“The latest information can be found on our websites and through our social media channels and we encourage passengers to plan ahead before travelling.”

There will be further East Coast Digital Programme work taking place in February between Saturday January 17 and Tuesday January 20, with buses replacing trains. Further information can be found via National Rail Enquiries online.