Why there were no trains at King’s Cross over Christmas

A huge trench was dug across the tracks leading to London King's Cross so the Camden Sewer could be replaced.

No trains were able to access King’s Cross station over Christmas 2020 for one simple reason – there was no track for them to run on.

The Camden Sewer runs under the tracks in the station throat.  It is old and quite close to the surface, necessitating a speed restriction over the top of it.

The ends of the King’s Cross platforms are at the top of this photo. Hollow blocks to construct the new sewer are on the left.

Christmas 2020 was the time chosen to replace it. So, the railway was closed, the tracks removed, and a massive trench dug to allow for the installation of the new sewer, constructed from precast concrete blocks and set deeper into the ground. The old sewer was removed at the same time.

The first train out of the partially reopened station on 31 December 2020.

The first stage was complete by 31 December, allowing the station to partially reopen, and work continued to finish off the rest by 4 January.

Work to install overhead contact wires in Gasworks tunnel continued.

At the same time, while there were no trains running, work continued to bring the third bore of the Gasworks tunnel, with its freshly laid slab track, back into use to ease congestion on the approach to King’s Cross.

All in all, it was a productive Christmas/New Year break.

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