Intercity rail passengers hoping for the return of some normality after the current round of strikes face yet more problems in mid-February.
At present passenger information indicates there will be simultaneous closure of the UK’s two key rail arteries – the East Coast and West Coast main lines – on 18 and 19 February. These are the routes that connect London with Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively.
But The Independent understands that engineering work that would have closed the East Coast main line hub, London King’s Cross, is being pared back to allow trains to run from the capital to Yorkshire, northeast England and Scotland.
The weekend is likely to be extremely busy, marking the start or end of half-term for many schools.
It seems certain that engineering work will close the West Coast main line on 18-19 February at two locations: north of Wigan North Western and between Preston and Lancaster
Avanti West Coast services from London Euston will terminate at Crewe or Wigan North Western.
Travelling south from Scotland, trains will terminate at Lancaster.
Passengers are warned: “If you are travelling with Avanti West Coast or TransPennine Express, these changes are not currently shown in the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner.
“Please check back nearer to the time of travel.”
On the East Coast main line, the current passenger information states that London King’s Cross station will be closed for the weekend for planned Network Rail engineering work.
The main operator, LNER, is said to be starting and ending its services at St Neots in Cambridgeshire, 52 miles north of the capital.
Buses are scheduled to run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can travel on East Midlands Railway or Thameslink services to and from London St Pancras.
Alternatively, travellers can change at Peterborough for a train to Cambridge and continue to London Liverpool Street.
Journey times are planned to be extended by up to two hours.
Lumo trains from Edinburgh are said to be running to Peterborough, 76 miles north of the capital, with connecting buses.
All Grand Central services from Yorkshire and Teesside are cancelled on both days of the weekend, and the first King’s Cross to Sunderland service on Monday morning is also axed.
Hull Trains will run a circuitous route via Doncaster and Sheffield to London St Pancras, taking 70…
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