One of the worst bottlenecks on the East Coast main line is the junction at Werrington, near Peterborough.
Currently, slow moving freight trains using the Stamford lines and the Great Northern Great Eastern lines need to cross over three lines of the East Coast main line, causing high speed passenger trains to have to slow down. This multimillion pound investment will mean freight trains no longer need to do this but will instead dive under the East Coast main line.
Network Rail submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) in 2016 to begin work on the project, which is one of the crucial pieces of work to improve travel on the line. Network Rail has 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’s delivery partners are Morgan Sindall, Mott MacDonald, and Siemens (signalling), with Arup having conducted some of the environmental and consents work. Construction will begin later this summer and the dive-under is expected to be completed by early 2021.
Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “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.”