Rail passengers using one of the 10 busiest stations in Britain face disruption this weekend because of large-scale engineering work.
Seven of the 12 platforms at London King’s Cross will be closed as Network Rail staff remove old signalling equipment from a disused railway tunnel just outside the station.
The work is in preparation for laying new track over the August Bank Holiday – which is traditionally the time for widespread closures and cancellations.
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King’s Cross is the capital’s hub for the East Coast main line, running to Yorkshire, northeast England and Scotland.
It also serves Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Lincoln.
All the train operators using King’s Cross are cutting back their services.
LNER, the main operator, and Hull Trains, are both cancelling early services. The first northbound departures will be at around 9am on Saturday and 10.45am on Sunday.
“Throughout Saturday and Sunday, LNER will operate a maximum of four trains per hour to and from London King’s Cross,” said the train operator.
Of trains that do run, northbound services will depart King’s Cross five minutes earlier than normal and regain their normal timings from Stevenage.
Some LNER trains will start from or terminate at Peterborough.
Grand Central warns: “Trains are expected to be very busy over the weekend and customers are advised not to travel without a seat reservation.
Great Northern trains to Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Peterborough trains will start from, and terminate at, Finsbury Park – the first station north from London Kings Cross, and with a Tube option on the Victoria Line.
On Sunday, some direct trains on Thameslink from Gatwick airport to Cambridge will be cut.
Looking ahead to the August Bank Holiday, passengers are being advised not to travel on the line due to the scale of the work. Major work is taking place between Peterborough and King’s Cross, as well as track renewal in the Newark area.
LNER is urging passengers not to travel to London after Friday afternoon, 23 August, and before Tuesday 27 August.
Even on the West Coast main line, many Advance tickets are unavailable on Virgin Trains over the Bank Holiday because of the expected switch from the East Coast main line.
Network Rail says: “The project is set to provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve this vital part of the rail network, which carries trains bound for as far afield as northern Scotland, as well as many commuter services across the South East, and prepare the infrastructure for the future.”
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