Pivotal moment for East Coast projects

Work on major schemes at Werrington and King’s Cross is nearing completion, reports PHILIP SHERRATT

The biggest investment in the route in a generation is how Network Rail describes the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade. The infrastructure improvements it is delivering will unlock the potential for an enhanced East Coast timetable in May 2022, increasing the number of long-distance services which can operate out of King’s Cross each hour from six to eight, and between York and Newcastle from five to six.

Four projects have formed the central focus of the upgrade. The new fifth platform and turnback at Stevenage for Govia Thameslink Railway’s Hertford loop services was completed and brought into use in August 2020. A Power Supply Upgrade is being delivered in two phases – Wood Green to Doncaster has been completed, with Doncaster to Edinburgh now underway.

But the two most significant and visible infrastructure projects on the East Coast have both reached pivotal moments. For the grade separation at Werrington, north of Peterborough, the concrete box for the dive under was driven into place in January, marking a key accomplishment for this scheme. Meanwhile, attention is now turning to the most crucial phase of the King’s Cross track improvement, which is seeing the station throat remodelled and the third bore of Gasworks Tunnel brought back into use.

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