Network Rail is carrying out major work this Christmas to upgrade the track between St Pancras International and Kentish Town.
Between the early hours of Christmas Day and before the first service on Wednesday 5 January 2022, engineers will work around the clock to remove the last section of slab track on the route, which was installed in 1979.
This type of track has reinforced concrete slab underneath it. Over the festive period, it will be removed and replaced with ballasted track – with stones and sleepers to support it.
Network Rail said the project, which began in 2017, will bring a more modern railway for passengers and boost reliability. Adding that these improvements will also help to reduce the amount of maintenance and future disruption required.
With no timetabled train services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day on this part of the railway, Network Rail is taking the opportunity to make major progress on the project, which has been carefully planned to avoid disruption at busier times.
Work will continue after Christmas and trains will keep passengers moving, but reduced Thameslink and East Midlands Railway services will be in place between Monday 27 December and Tuesday 4 January.
Passengers travelling over Christmas and New Year are advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator 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.”
EMR services will start and terminate at Luton until 1200 on Monday 27 December. Then from 1200 27 December to Monday 4 December they will run three trains per hour (1 each to Corby, Nottingham and Sheffield).
Neil Grabham, customer service director for EMR, said:
“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.”