Christmas travel nightmare: No trains from York into London for six days over the festive season

27 Oct 2020 @ 7.51 am
| News

Network Rail has issued details of more work to upgrade the East Coast Main Line and it includes a SIX day period over Christmas where trains will not be able to access London King’s Cross.

They have issued a “don’t travel” warning.

No services will be running to or from King’s Cross from Friday 25 December until Wednesday 30 December.

There will also be a reduced service on Thursday 24 December, and between Thursday 31 January and Sunday 3 January 2021.

It’s all part of a project to reopen a disused railway tunnel which will allow more trains to enter and exit the station. The work affects travel from York, Thirsk, Selby and Northallerton too.

Weekend restrictions

No trains in or out of Kings Cross

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, Network Rail engineers will install overhead line equipment and make further improvements to the signalling system. This work can only be done safely when there are no trains in the area.

The following changes to services will be in place over the weekend:

  • LNER services to/from the north will start/end at Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between Peterborough and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink or East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras.
  • No Grand Central services will run between Bradford/York and London King’s Cross on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November. 
  • Hull Trains from Selby is operating an amended service to/from London St Pancras on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November.

In addition, there will also be a reduced service running on the East Coast Main Line over this weekend, and two additional weekends in November, as work takes place to improve and replace sections of track.

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November, as well as on Saturday 14, Sunday 15, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November, trains between Doncaster and Peterborough will be diverted via Lincoln, which will extend journey times.

Passengers who still need to travel to London over these periods are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.

Network Rail Video shows the area around Kings Cross being worked on

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Work on the overhead line equipment and improvements to the signalling system can only be carried out safely when there are no trains in the area.

“We thank passengers for their continued patience and strongly advise those who need to travel to or from London to check their journey and allow plenty of time.”

Full summary of work

2020

  • Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November – Reduced service and extended journey times to and from King’s Cross Station to continue work on overhead lines and on signals
  • Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November – King’s Cross Station closed for overhead line works. No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park
  • Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November – Reduced service and extended journey times to and from King’s Cross Station for work on track and overhead lines
  • Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve) – An amended timetable will be in place
  • Friday 25 and Saturday 26 December (Christmas Day and Boxing Day) – No services along the entire route
  • Sunday 27 through to Wednesday 30 December – No services to or from King’s Cross Station
  • Thursday 31 December through to Sunday 3 January – An amended timetable will operate

2021

  • Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January – Reduced service and extended journey times to and from London King’s Cross
  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January – Reduced service and extended journey times to and from London King’s Cross
  • Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January – Reduced service and extended journey times to and from London King’s Cross
  • Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January – No services to or from King’s Cross Station, or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park
  • Sundays 7, 14 and 21 February – Reduced service and extended journey times to and from London King’s Cross
  • Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park
  • Monday 1 March through to Friday 4 June – A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the relaying of the redesigned track layout with reduced services operating. At peak times such as between 8-9AM on weekdays, ten trains per hour will arrive at King’s Cross, two fewer than operate today, with a reduced impact at less busy times when fewer trains usually operate
  • Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 April – No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday
  • Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June – No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Engineering work between Grantham, Peterborough and Stamford Stations for work at Werrington:

  • Nine-day closure period from Saturday 16 January to Sunday 24 January 2021 – Limited services between Grantham and Peterborough, with many passengers needing to transfer to rail replacement services while work continues on a new section of railway at Werrington which will free up space for extra passenger services
  • Friday 4 June to Sunday 6 June 2021 – No services between Stamford and Peterborough, no services between Grantham and Peterborough on the second two days, with many passengers needing to transfer to rail replacement services to complete the new infrastructure at Werrington