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Last updated: 16:57
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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.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the East Coast Digital Programme? 
The East Coast Digital Programme will replace and modernise the signalling systems on some of our Great Northern and Thameslink routes. In a nutshell, conventional lineside signals will be removed and replaced by in-cab signalling technology on the Northern City Line, between Finsbury Park and Moorgate, and then on the East Coast Mainline South, between King’s Cross and Peterborough.  
Will there be more engineering works in the future as part of this programme? 

After February 2023, there will be no further significant engineering work impacting passengers in the first half of 2023.  We will share details of engineering works in the second half of 2023 in due course.    

Will the alternative routes allow bikes?

Bikes can be taken on alternative rail routes (subject to normal time restrictions) but only fold-up bikes can be taken on replacement buses. 

If your journey involves using London Underground or TfL Buses, please check TfL before you travel. 

What help will there be for customers with accessibility needs? 

If you need step-free access for your journey, please speak to a member of station staff or contact our Assisted Travel team on 0800 058 2844.   

Find out more on our Assisted Travel page

How can I find out more and keep up to date? 

We’ll regularly update this page with information about engineering works and how they’ll impact our services, as well as more information about the programme, so please check back regularly if you’d like to find out more.

What work is being done on 18th & 19th February? 
A new signalling system is being commissioned in the Wood Green-New Barnet area of North London, preparing the area for digital signalling while reducing faults involved with the current system.  New lineside equipment and technology is also being installed between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin, preparing the way for this section to become the first part of the East Coast Main Line to operate with digital signalling, expected in 2025. 
Will station car parks be affected on 18 and 19 February? 

Car parking at some stations may not be available during engineering works, and in some areas parking may be limited from the day before the engineering works start. We try to keep car parks open but where we are running a rail replacement bus service, we sometimes have to close part or all of the car parks so that there is enough space to operate the buses safely. There may also be occasions where our engineers need space in car parks for access to the tracks or to store equipment.   

On 18 and 19 February, and in some areas, from Friday 17 February, we will need to close part of the car park at the following stations: 

  • Bedford 
  • St Neots 
  • Hitchin 
  • Royston 
  • Baldock 

Please check the signage at your local station to find out whether your car park is affected.

Will there be any free car parking at alternative route stations? 
No. Customers who choose to drive to alternative car parks must pay the appropriate day parking rate for that car park.