Published on : Friday, December 20, 2013
Rail passengers are being reminded that road transport will replace trains through Peterborough on Friday 27 December. This will allow work to remove a bottle neck on the East Coast Main Line. Network Rail, East Coast and First Capital Connect are working together to provide additional passenger support at Huntingdon, Peterborough and Grantham stations. Passengers are advised to travel on another date if possible and to check with their operator or National Rail Enquiries before they set off.
Network Rail will complete the final major milestone of the £43m improvement scheme at Peterborough over the three days 25, 26 and 27 December. This involves testing and bringing in to use a new signalling system to control train movements. There will also be new, longer platforms and lifts on the pedestrian bridge to improve access around the station. Traditionally, no services run on 25 and 26 December and the timing of the work has been chosen to limit passenger disruption to a single day, Friday 27 December.
Phil Verster, route managing director, Network Rail, said: “This Christmas marks an important change for all passengers who use the East Coast Main Line. We are installing a new signalling system at Peterborough which will help to make services more reliable. At the same time we will open new platforms and extend old ones. This will separate trains on the east/west routes from those travelling between the north and south and allow longer trains to stop at the station in the future. We will also improve access for passengers by completing the bridge and new lifts.
“There is never a good time to carry out work which disrupts passengers and we thank everyone for their patience on 27 December. Our engineers will work into January to complete the finishing touches to the new waiting rooms on platform 3. This work will be completed as quickly as possible.”
Around 840 shifts will be worked on site over Christmas. Work will start as soon as the last train has passed through on Christmas Eve and take around 80 hours to complete. This is the only time the main line has been closed without any diversion available for more than five years.
On Friday 27 December, a rail replacement coach service will operate between Grantham, Peterborough and Huntingdon stations. East Coast is arranging additional facilities and staff at Grantham, Peterborough and Huntingdon stations to assist those who need to travel on this day.
East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell said: “We are advising passengers to plan ahead and defer travel to an alternative day if possible. Additional East Coast services will operate on Saturday 28 December to help cater for additional demand and provide extra travel opportunities.
“We advise customers to make reservations for travel on services during this peak holiday period, to ensure a comfortable journey.”
On 28 December the 4million passengers who use Peterborough station each year will use the new, renumbered platforms for the first time and also be able to use the new lifts.
It is essential the work starts on time on 24 December in order to complete in time for services to re-start on Saturday 28 December. Wherever possible, First Capital Connect (FCC) is asking passengers for Peterborough to avoid the last train from King’s Cross (the 22.23 service) on Christmas Eve. If this service is running late for any reason it will terminate at Huntingdon so that the engineering site is not affected. Under those circumstances, FCC would still get passengers to Peterborough by coach which would take longer.
FCC customer service director Keith Jipps added: “On 27 December, we would ask you to bear with us and allow longer for your journey if you are travelling to or from Peterborough. Buses will replace our trains all day between Peterborough and Huntingdon and our services are expected to be much busier than normal with passengers displaced from East Coast services.”
All passengers are advised to check with train operating companies or National Rail Enquiries before they travel on 27 December. On that date the following arrangements will operate:
King’s Cross to Huntington, 2x FCC and 2x East Coast trains per hour
Road replacement transport will run between Huntingdon, Peterborough and Grantham
East Midlands trains will run extended services from St Pancras International to Grantham
Grantham to the north of England 3x East Coast trains per hour
East Midlands Trains services between Norwich and Liverpool will run as normal between Nottingham and Liverpool. A revised train service will operate between Grantham and Nottingham, and replacement buses will operate between Grantham and Ely calling at Peterborough
CrossCountry will run 1 train per hour between Birmingham and Stamford
East Midlands Trains and Cross Country will run between Ely and Norwich and Ely and Stansted Airport respectively
First Hull Trains will run two return services between Hull and King’s Cross St Pancras, calling at Brough, Howden, Selby and Doncaster
Grand Central will not operate any services
Source:- Network Rail
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