'Don't travel to London King's Cross this weekend,' Doncaster rail passengers warned

Doncaster rail passengers are being told not to travel to London King’s Cross this weekend as vital work continues on a £1.2 billion East Coast Main Line upgrade.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 6:48 pm

Network Rail and train operators are reminding passengers not to travel to or from London King’s Cross, or on Thameslink services via Finsbury Park this weekend as essential work continues to bring more reliable journeys.

The £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade will transform journeys on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more services and a more reliable railway for passengers. It will improve connectivity between London, the North and Scotland.

On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, Network Rail engineers will carry out vital work on the latest stage of the project, which includes replacing the overhead wires in and around King’s Cross and testing the new signalling system. This work can only be carried out safely when there are no trains in the area.

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Upgrade work is continuing at London King's Cross.

Passengers are strongly advised not to travel to or from London over the weekend. Those who do need to should check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator. People should also allow plenty of time as they will need to change trains or use replacement buses, which are expected to be in high demand.

The following changes to services will be in place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October:

LNER services to/from the north will start/end at St Neots, south of Peterborough. Rail replacement coaches will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can use Thameslink or East Midlands Railway services to/from London St Pancras. Passengers travelling with LNER must have a seat reservation.

Grand Central will have no services operating throughout the weekend. The 17:30 Sunderland to King’s Cross service on Friday 16 October and the 08:27 King’s Cross to Sunderland service on Monday 19 October will also not run.

Hull Trains will operate a limited service between Hull and St Pancras International. There will be two northbound and two southbound services on both Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October.

No Great Northern or Thameslink services will run into King’s Cross, Moorgate or St Pancras International via Finsbury Park. Limited replacement bus services will run between Potters Bar and St Albans, where passengers can connect with Thameslink services to/from London St Pancras; and between Potters Bar and Oakwood to connect with London Underground services to/from central London. Potters Bar Station and these alternative arrangements offer step-free access.

On the Hertford North line, all stations between Gordon Hill and Alexandra Palace will be served by a bus replacement service to/from Turnpike Lane to connect with London Underground services to/from central London. Gordon Hill and Turnpike Lane do not offer step-free access.

Passengers are reminded that they must wear a face covering on public transport, unless they are exempt, or they could be fined up to £6,400.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We’re carrying out essential work over the weekend to test the new signalling system and replace the power lines in and around King’s Cross. We can only do this safely by stopping trains coming in and out of the station.

“Passengers are advised not to travel to London over the weekend, but those who do need to should check their journeys via National Rail Enquiries, at EastCoastUpgrade.co.uk or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.

“We’re making good progress on the East Coast Upgrade, which will bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers, and we would like to thank people for their continued patience.”

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route, said: “We’re asking people not to travel to or from London on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October whilst this essential work is carried out at King’s Cross.

“Replacement bus services will be running for those who must travel, but these are expected to be busy and journeys will take significantly longer. We would like to thank our passengers for their patience whilst progress is made on the East Coast Upgrade.”

Further work is planned over the coming months, including a weekend closure at London King’s Cross on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November and an extended closure between Christmas and the New Year. Additional dates where there will be full and partial closures have been announced up to June 2021. Passengers can find out more so they can plan their journeys in advance at: eastcoastupgrade.co.uk/the-programme/