Changes to train times

 

Major improvement works taking place in 2019

Over the coming months, there will be a number of major improvement works taking place across the rail network, including in and around London.

Please find below our detailed overview on the following key railway improvement projects:

 

 Elizabeth Line

The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London, boosting the economy by billions of pounds and supporting thousands of new jobs and homes. The line, currently being constructed by Crossrail, will be named after the UK's longest serving monarch when it becomes operational. Work on the line is expected to continue throughout 2019.

Stretching over 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow Airport to the west of London across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, the Elizabeth line will stop at 41 accessible stations and serve approximately 200 million people each year.

A fleet of 66 new 200 metre long trains built in the United Kingdom will run on the Elizabeth line, featuring nine walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV, Wi-Fi, 4G connection and live travel information. Each train will be able to carry up to 1,500 people.

The opening of the central section of the Elizabeth line, between London Paddington and Abbey Wood, is currently under review. Crossrail Ltd announced in August 2018 that it expected the Elizabeth line to open through central London in autumn 2019, rather than December 2018. It has now become clear that more work is required than had been envisaged to complete the infrastructure and then commence the extensive testing necessary to ensure the railway opens safely and reliably. Once a robust and deliverable schedule has been established, we will publish the details here.

When the central section of the Elizabeth line opens, the railway will then initially operate as three separate services:

  • London Paddington (Elizabeth line station) to Abbey Wood via central London
  • London Paddington (mainline station) to Heathrow Airport (Terminals 2, 3 and 4)
  • London Liverpool Street (mainline station) to Shenfield

 

High Speed Two (HS2)

High Speed Two, mostly referred to as simply HS2, is the £56 billion rail network between London, the West Midlands and the North

The first phase (construction from now to 2026) will link London Euston and Birmingham, while the Y-shaped second phase (2026 to 2033) will link Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds. By the time both phases are finished in 2033 there will be 350 miles of new track.

Trains will run on the new lines at speeds of up to 250 mph. Each train will be 400 metres long and will carry up to 1,100 customers. There will be up to 14 trains per hour in each direction.

The first HS2 phase includes a revamp and expansion of London Euston station, there will be a new Old Oak Common station in west London, and two new Birmingham stations at Curzon and Interchange.

At London Euston, HS2 will deliver 11 new platforms in two phases. This will more than double capacity at the station, as well as providing a new concourse and expanded Underground station, linked for the first time to the nearby Euston Square tube station.

Twin 13 mile (21 kilometre) long tunnels, the biggest tunnelling project since Crossrail, will take trains out of London via a new station at Old Oak Common linked to Crossrail.

February 2019 update: HS2 have published images of what we can expect when the new Old Oak Common station opens in London in 2026. Old Oak Common is a new super-hub set to be the best connected rail station in the UK with HS2 services to the midlands, and access to central London and Heathrow. The new station will help kick-start the UK’s largest regeneration project, which aims to transform the former railway and industrial area (near Willesden Junction) into a new neighbourhood supporting up to 65,000 jobs and 25,500 new homes.

More details on this work are available here.

London Euston - line closure throughout the Easter and May Day Bank Holiday weekends

Due to extensive engineering works on the West Coast Main Line route, London Euston will be closed with no services to or from the station between 19 and 22 April (Easter weekend), and between 4 and 6 May 2019 (May Day Bank Holiday weekend).

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you need to travel between London and the Midlands, North West of England or Scotland on these dates, please plan your journey carefully and give yourself more time to get where you need to be.

More details on the impact to your journey if you were planning to travel to or from London Euston over the Easter weekend can be found here, and over the Early May Bank Holiday using this link.

 

Felixstowe branch line improvements

A £60.4m programme of works is underway to transform the single track branch line to the Port of Felixstowe. This will allow more freight to be transported by rail to and from the port.  A 1.4km track loop will be installed near Trimley station, giving the flexibility needed to run more freight trains as well as improve the reliability of existing passenger services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work will support up to 10 additional trains in each direction to move goods to and from the Port of Felixstowe. With each additional freight train taking the equivalent of up to 76 lorries off the roads, the upgrade works will help to reduce congestion and pollution for the local community and the wider region.

In addition to the track re-doubling, a new bridleway bridge is to be built on the site of the existing Gun Lane level crossing. This will provide an alternative safe route across the railway for walkers, horse riders and cyclists to access the countryside.

To allow this work to take place, during most weekends from 18:50 on Saturday and all day on Sunday, trains will be cancelled. A replacement bus service will operate between Ipswich and Felixstowe, calling at all stations.

London Kings Cross Remodelling Program

As part of an essential East Coast Mainline upgrade, Network Rail are transforming the railway approach to London Kings Cross - which will help deliver more trains to and from the station every day.

The station was modernised in 2012, however, the existing track and signalling layout have not been improved since it's installation 40 years ago.

 

Due to be completed in 2021; the track, overhead wires and signalling on the approach to London Kings Cross station will be renewed.

In addition, the track is being re-laid in a new layout – improving journeys in and out of Kings Cross, and a disused tunnel is being reopened allowing for six tracks into the station instead of the current four.

To allow this work to take place, a reduced service will operate to and from Kings Cross on 13 and 14 July, with further works being carried out over the 24-26 August Bank Holiday Weekend, resulting in no trains being able to run south of Peterborough on both the Saturday and Sunday.

Going into 2020, there will be numerous weekends of renewal works taking place; as well as two-week spells where two platforms will be unavailable at a time for track renewals. This leads up to a full 50% platform capacity reduction from Christmas 2020 until March 2021.

Details of planned engineering work for approximately the next 12 weeks is available on our Future Engineering Work page.

The Network Rail website is the source of a lot of the above, and it contains some really interesting information on railway improvement works.

 

Last updated:   20 March 2019