Changes to train times

 

Major improvement works taking place in 2020

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 completing and testing the line is expected to continue into 2022.

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 is expected to 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.

Crossrail Ltd has issued (January 2020) its latest update on progress to complete the Elizabeth line and confirmed that it plans to open the central section between London Paddington and Abbey Wood in summer 2021.

Following the opening of the central section, full services across the Elizabeth line route from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east will commence by mid-2022. This will connect the eastern and western sections straight through central London.

High Speed Two (HS2)

High Speed Two, mostly referred to as simply HS2, will be the new 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 225 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.

More details on this work are available here.

The East Coast Upgrade

£1.2 billion is being invested to upgrade the East Coast Main Line. This will allow more trains to run and deliver quicker, more reliable journeys across the route between London Kings Cross, the north of England and Scotland.

Once complete in 2021 the upgrade will deliver extra capacity for an additional two long-distance services an hour in and out of London.

 

There are three separate projects as part of this upgrade:

  • London Kings Cross track improvement - A complete renewal of infrastructure and redesigned track layout on the approach to Kings Cross to allow more long distance trains to run to / from London and improve reliability.
  • New platform at Stevenage - A new bay platform and track will link services to Hertford North once again without taking up capacity on the existing tracks on the East Coast Main Line.
  • Werrington Dive Under, north of Peterborough - a new section of railway which will go under the East Coast Main Line so trains can cross the route to Spalding. This will free up space on the East Coast Main Line allowing more trains to run.

You can find out more about The East Coast Upgrade at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk

Upcoming engineering works:

  • 11-12 January - reduced service to / from London Kings Cross
  • 18-19 January - reduced service to / from London Kings Cross
  • 25-26 January - No service between London Kings Cross / London St Pancras International and Peterborough. No service between Moorgate and Stevenage via Hertford North / Welwyn Garden City. We recommend not to travel on these routes.
  • 1-2 February - reduced service to / from London Kings Cross
  • 22-23 February - reduced service to / from London Kings Cross
  • 29 February-1 March - No service to or from London Kings Cross.
  • 20-21 June - No service to or from London Kings Cross.
  • 5-13 September - A reduced long-distance service to enable engineering work between Grantham and Peterborough, including no long-distance services to or from London Kings Cross on the weekend of Saturday 5 September and Sunday 6 September.
  • 19 December 2020 - Late March 2021 - Prolonged disruption affecting weekdays and weekends, with a mix of reduced services and no services at London Kings Cross.

Further dates are to be announced, and details will be published here when available.

Bexleyheath Line Closure

Network Rail will be closing the Bexleyheath line in Kent during February 2020 half term and over several weekends, to carry out major work to prevent landslips. The work follows four landslips in the past ten years – the most recent in February 2019 which closed the line for seven days.

Doing the work over a 9 day line closure, between Saturday 15 February and Sunday 23 February, will:

  • Reduce the risk of landslips on the line
  • Reduce the amount of weekend closures on the railway
  • Bring forward other work to reduce the need for future closures on the line.

The work will impact Southeastern services on the Bexleyheath line. There will be no rail service between Kidbrooke and Barnhurst station only, replacement bus services will run during this time.

The railway will close between Kidbrooke station and Barnehurst station only, where buses will replace trains. The Woolwich and Sidcup lines, and the Charlton to Blackheath link, will remain open. Capacity on these lines will be increased by running additional or longer trains where possible.

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

Last updated:   10 January 2020