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East Coast Digital Programme

East Coast Digital Programme

We're working with colleagues and partners across the rail industry to modernise signalling on some of our Great Northern and Thameslink routes.

This means that traditional lineside signals, many of which were installed in the 1970s, will be replaced by state-of-the-art digital signalling – creating a better performing East Coast Main Line for our customers and everyone else who uses it. 

There will be engineering works to allow this to be carried out. Here, you will find information about how your journey is affected. You can also find out more information about the programme, including answers to your frequently asked questions.

The next phase of the East Coast Digital Programme

More information and details will be added soon. Please check back for updates.

Signalling a new era of train travel

We’re using the latest technology to deliver a next generation railway. Find out more below:

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What benefits will this work bring to customers?

As well as improving reliability, digital signalling reduces carbon emissions and provides a more punctual service for customers and everyone else who depends on it.

Our work on this programme plays a key part in ensuring we are delivering a resilient railway that is more reliable - that is fit for the future.

a hand in front of a screen

What work is being done, and when?

Digital signalling technology will first be introduced on the Northern City Line, between Finsbury Park and Moorgate.

It will then be progressively rolled out on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line, between Peterborough and London Kings Cross.

It is expected that the first trains to operate on the East Coast Main Line using digital signalling technology will run in 2025, with all improvements expected to be completed by the end of the decade.

a man sitting in a train cab

What is digital signalling?

Digital signalling - or European Train Control Signalling (ETCS):

  • Provides continual speed information to the driver
  • Replaces the need for conventional, lineside signals
  • Allows signallers to communicate with trains continuously and respond in real time

Our Thameslink drivers already use digital signalling on our cross-London route between London Bridge and St Pancras/Kentish Town  

Frequently Asked Questions