East Coast Main Line. Photo: Network Rail

New freight section to dive under UK’s East Coast Main Line

East Coast Main Line. Photo: Network Rail

A Network Rail proposal to construct a new section of railway underneath the East Coast Main Line has been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport in the UK. The new line will link the Stamford lines and the Great Northern Great Eastern lines at Werrington Junction near Peterborough. In this way, freight trains no longer need to cross over the East Coast Main Line.

Currently, slow moving freight trains need to cross over three lines of the East Coast Main Line. These intersections require high speed passenger trains to slow down on the approach to Werrington Junction. The multimillion pound investment will change this situation, as freight trains will be able to dive under the East Coast Main Line.

Preferred option

Network Rail submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) in 2016 to begin work on the project. The national railway company worked closely with members of the public and key stakeholders on the project, and the dive under was selected as the preferred option for the scheme based on their feedback.

“This investment, combined with the introduction of new trains, other schemes on the route and revised timetables will not only create space for additional train services between London and the North, but will also help ease congestion and reduce journey times”, Network Rail wrote.

Increased capacity of 33%

Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “We are delighted that these plans to improve capacity on the East Coast Main Line have been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport. This is a significant investment into the railway in this area which, when coupled with other upgrades on this route, will have widespread benefits for those travelling between London and the North through an increased capacity of 33 per cent.

Work on the project will begin later this summer and the dive under is expected to be completed by early 2021. Network Rail holds regular community information events for residents and businesses to find out more about the scheme. The next drop-in session takes place on Friday, 17 August at The Loxley Community Centre, Davids Lane, Werrington, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE4 5BW between 2-6 pm.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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