Disused tunnels to be reopened at King’s Cross

Aerial view of King's Cross (lower, with St Pancras above it). The four lines that emerge from the tunnels can be clearly seen. The additional two will be below those, running through the currently disused tunnel.

A major, multimillion-pound investment into the infrastructure at King’s Cross railway station is underway as part of a £1.2 billion upgrade to the East Coast main line.

The track layout has reached the end of its design life and is becoming harder to maintain. While the station itself was modernised in 2012, with the opening of the new Eastern Concourse and the clearing of the public area in front of the station building, the existing track and signalling was installed over 40 years ago and is nearing the end of its operational life.

The current project will see a mile-and-a-half of track, signalling and overhead line equipment re-thought, re-planned and re-laid to reduce the long-term cost of operating and maintaining the railway into the station.

King’s Cross – the disused tunnel is to the right.

At the same time, Network Rail will be opening two new lines by re-opening a disused tunnel on the approach to King’s Cross. Signalling equipment needs to be removed from the tunnel so that new track can be laid, increasing the number of tracks into King’s Cross station from four to six, so helping to increase capacity.

Work that is taking place in 2019 means that some weekend services will be affected, particularly over the weekends of 13/14 July and 24/25 August. Further, longer packages of work are being planned, but these dates and the impact upon services are still being finalised. Inevitably, passengers will be inconvenienced.

The complicated approach to King’s Cross.

Network Rail’s managing director for the Eastern region, Rob McIntosh, said: “This is the biggest upgrade to the line in a generation and projects on this scale inevitably bring some disruption. We don’t want anyone to be disappointed, so we would urge passengers to plan ahead.

“This work is vital and will bring long term benefits for all users of the route, including more seats and faster and more reliable journeys. These improvements will enable us to continue to provide a service which meets the needs of the passengers, communities and economies we serve.”

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