The Christmas period will see a final section of slab track between London St Pancras and Kentish town upgraded in a bid to provide a more reliable railway for passengers.
The work is set to begin during the early hours of Christmas day and will finish ahead of the first service on Wednesday the 5th of January.
The project will see engineers take out the old track which was installed in 1979 and features a reinforced concrete slab beneath it, following this new ballasted track will be put in place.
The project will bring a more modern and reliable railway and will see a cut in the amount of maintenance and disruption needed.
Network Rail has organised for this vital step for the project to be carried out on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to avoid disruption for passengers, as there are no timetabled services in operation on this part of the railway during this time.
The project is complex and will require work to continue after the Christmas period and due to this trains will be in operation but using reduced Thameslink and East Midlands Railway services. These changes to service will be in action between Monday the 27th of December and Tuesday the 4th of January 2022.
The Christmas period will see other railway upgrades carried out across the East Midlands and have been planned to take place during this time so as not to affect passengers. The festive break will see teams install overhead line equipment in order to electrify the Midland Main Line up to Market Harborough.
Work will also be carried out to transform an old power station in order to upgrade the power supply south of Bedford and will allow extra trains to run on the route and also provide faster and more reliable services for customers.
Customers planning to travel during the Christmas and New Year periods are advised to check their journeys ahead using National Rail Enquiries or via their train operator and also to allow plenty of extra time.
People are also reminded of the latest Government guidance to wear a face-covering whilst on public transport, unless exempt.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “We’re taking the opportunity to make progress on the final stages of work to upgrade the track between London and Kentish Town over Christmas. The project will bring smoother, more reliable services and reduce delays – and the majority of it can only be done safely when no trains are running.
“As well as major work at Kentish Town and around Market Harborough which will transform journeys for passengers, our teams are spending Christmas carrying out improvements and maintenance work across the region to make sure services can run safely and reliably for years to come.
“Passengers planning to travel over the festive period are reminded to check their journey, plan ahead and allow plenty of time.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “The Kentish Town project is bringing our passengers a more modern, reliable railway. We’re able to run a reduced service so that people can still travel during the work, and we advise customers to check train times in advance.”
Neil Grabham, Customer Service Director for EMR said: “We know that many of our passengers will be using our train services to travel around and visit family and friends over the Christmas period.
“Any passengers planning on travelling between Monday 27th December and Tuesday 4th January are advised to check our website and plan their journey in advance, as we will be running a reduced EMR Intercity service to and from London St Pancras.
“We would like to thank passengers for their patience whilst these crucial engineering works are taking place.”