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.

Phase One (construction from now to 2026) will link London Euston and the West Midlands.

Phase 2a will begin in 2027, carrying passengers from London to Crewe on the high speed line, and beyond.

Phase 2b will begin in 2033 extending the high speed network to Manchester and Leeds, and beyond.

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 project 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 - Kings Uncrossed - 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:

  • 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.
  • Mid-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.

Gatwick Airport station improvements

Network Rail is delivering a vital £150m upgrade to Gatwick Airport station to relieve crowding, improve accessibility and reduce delays for commuters and leisure travellers. With the number of customers visiting the station set to grow, this important investment will upgrade the railway station and help the airport to play an even bigger role in the local economy’s growth as a hub for international visitors.

The work will be done between May 2020 and 2023, with two years of intensive platform works between May 2020 and May 2022. While these platform works are underway, an amended timetable will be introduced by the train operating companies that serve the station.

The station upgrade will:

  • Double the size of the station concourse through the construction of a new concourse above platforms 5, 6 and 7, the refit of the existing station concourse and the construction of a new separate staff building to create more space for customers
  • Improve customer access, especially for wheelchair users and those with luggage by building five new lifts, eight new escalators, new staircases and improved wayfinding throughout the station buildings
  • Reduce platform overcrowding and reduce train delays across the network by widening platforms 5 and 6, through adding a new lift and set of stairs on platforms 3 and 4 and new lifts, escalators and stairs on platforms 5, 6 and 7. This will make it much faster for passengers to get on and off trains.

    

West Coast main line Spring improvement work

This spring, Network Rail will be carrying out essential upgrades to the West Coast main line between London Euston, the North West and Scotland to improve reliability for future train services and to help prepare the way for HS2. Work will also take place on the Chiltern line.

A large programme of work is planned to be delivered over the following weekends during Spring 2020:

  • 10 – 13 April (Easter weekend)
  • 2 - 3 May (First weekend in May)
  • 9 – 10 May (after VE Day bank holiday Friday)
  • 23 – 25 May (Late May bank holiday weekend)
  • 10 weekends of work between Carstairs and the border in Scotland, 4 April – 7 June

The essential work includes:

  • A major track overhaul on Euxton Junction, located on the West Coast main line near Chorley
  • Signalling improvements in Ditton, Liverpool City Region
  • The removal of a railway bridge near Stockport station
  • Bridge work in Aylesbury Vale area, alignment of railway sidings in West Ruislip areas and improvement work on platforms 12 - 16 at London Euston station to help prepare the way for HS2
  • Renewal of over 17km of track at over 20 locations between Carstairs and the Scottish border.
  • A bridge renewal, embankment strengthening and drainage work near Beattock, Scotland.
  • Track improvements between Coseley and Wolverhampton and between Currock and Carlisle

Trains running to and from London Euston and along the West Coast main line and the Chiltern line over these dates in spring will change and some will not be running. Please check before you travel.

 

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

Last updated:   07 March 2020