Network Rail secures approval for East Coast Main Line upgrade


August 15, 2018 – Network Rail has secured approval from the Secretary of State for Transport for a proposal to construct a new section of railway underneath the East Coast Main Line as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.

Under the upgrade, a new rail line will be constructed underneath the East Coast Main Line, which will link the Stamford lines and the Great Northern Great Eastern lines at Werrington Junction near Peterborough.

Currently, slow-moving freight trains are required to cross over three lines of the East Coast Main Line, causing high-speed passenger trains to slow down on the approach to Werrington Junction. As a result of the multimillion-pound investment, freight trains will be able to pass under the East Coast Main Line.

Combined with upgrades elsewhere along the route, the project will enable greater capacity for passenger services on the line, as the trains will no longer need to slow down on the approach to Werrington Junction, making it possible to run additional passenger services.

In 2016, Network Rail submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to begin work on the project. Network Rail worked with members of the public and key stakeholders on the project and the dive under was selected as the preferred option for the scheme.

This investment, along with the introduction of new trains, other schemes on the route and revised timetables, will create space for additional train services between London and the North and also help ease congestion and reduce journey times.

Work on the project will begin later in 2018 and is expected to be completed by early 2021.


Network Rail route managing director Rob McIntosh said: “We’re delighted that these plans to improve capacity on the East Coast Main Line have been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.

“This is a significant investment into the railway in this area which, when coupled with other upgrades on this route, will have widespread benefits for those travelling between London and the North through an increased capacity of 33 per cent.

“This vital upgrade will ensure we can provide an improved service for passengers and will create a more modern, reliable and resilient railway suitable to meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.”



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