The £237 million upgrade of King’s Cross station throat will be delayed by up to a year, RAIL can exclusively reveal.
Network Rail has confirmed that major track remodelling and asset renewals scheduled to take place between December 2019-March 2020 will no longer go ahead as planned, with alternative dates now being considered.
Sources close to the project told RAIL the decision was taken after train operating companies serving the UK’s ninth busiest station failed to agree to the highly disruptive access that is required to complete the works.
Up to 50% of the station, which currently handles some 38 million passengers per year, will need to close for the three-month duration of the project, to enable the renewal of all life-expired track, sub-systems and overhead line equipment for a distance of up to 1.5 miles from the buffer stops.
Signalling control will also be transferred from King’s Cross signal box (which will close) to York Rail Operating Centre, and the station’s four-track approach increased to six lines by reopening the most easterly bore of Gasworks Tunnel (closed in 1973).
It is believed that poor performance this year on other parts of the network was a major factor in the decision to defer the works, as NR and train operators continue to recover from the damage inflicted by the May timetable meltdown on Northern and Thameslink networks.
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