“Don’t travel” is the message for many UK rail passengers this weekend due to extensive engineering work.
London’s terminus for the UK’s main railway line is closed this weekend as part of a long-term project to unlock extra capacity.
King’s Cross station, the hub for the East Coast main line, will be completely closed on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January as part of a £ 1.2 billion project to install two new tracks by restoring a disused tunnel and renovating a mile. and a half of those existing tracks.
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LNER, which operates trains from King’s Cross to Leeds, Newcastle and Scotland, is urging passengers: “Do not travel to or from London”.
There will be some services to and from Peterborough in Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. LNER warns that these trains will be very busy.
Heading south, there will be a bus connection from Peterborough, which takes about an hour to Bedford. Here, passengers can board the Thameslink trains to London St Pancras.
While there are alternative routes on the East Midlands Railway connecting St Pancras with Sheffield via Leicester and Derby, and on the Avanti West Coast from Euston to Manchester and Glasgow, north-south services are likely to be heavily booked.
For travelers in the north east of Scotland, Sunday’s outlook is even worse. Long-term engineering works mean that the line from Dundee to Aberdeen is closed every Sunday of this year until February 9th inclusive.
Another closure is scheduled for King’s Cross on the weekend of February 29 and March 1. Before that, the weekends of February 8 and 9 and February 15 and 16 will see far fewer trains. “Make sure you’ve reserved a seat with your ticket,” says LNER.
On the Greater Anglia network from London Liverpool Street, travelers will experience another weekend in which the renovations of the tracks and airlines mean that there are no direct trains to North Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January, passengers from Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester must take a train to Ingatestone and a bus from there to Newbury Park on the Central Line of the London Underground.
Across the capital, passengers at the busiest UK station, Waterloo, will also experience outages on the weekend.
The main southwest railway line between Clapham Junction and Surbiton will be closed all weekend, with buses replacing trains for Epsom, Kingston and Chessington South.
Long distance services will be affected. The connection from London to Portsmouth will be from Victoria, adding almost an hour to travel times.
Trains to Southampton are hijacked around engineering work, with extended journeys of at least 20 minutes.