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Customers planning to travel between London and the East Midlands this Christmas are being advised to check before they travel as essential improvement work is carried out between Kentish town and London St Pancras.
Upgrades to the concrete slab which supports the track through Kentish Town are needed to keep the large volume of passenger trains which pass through the area running safely and reliably for years to come.
Whilst the work takes place between 23 December and 1 January, direct East Midlands Trains services will continue to run to London from Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester and other major stations on the network. However, there will be changes to departure times and some journey time changes, so customers are advised to plan ahead by checking timetable information at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. Thameslink trains will continue to serve Kentish Town, however there will be no service south of St Pancras International.
The work has been deliberately planned to take place around the Christmas period, a time of year when fewer passengers travel.
Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s London North Eastern and East Midlands route, said: “The track through Kentish Town sees thousands of trains and millions of passengers travel over it every year which places incredible strain on the infrastructure that supports it, particularly the concrete slab on which the rails sit. The slab was laid in the late 1970s and while our routine maintenance programme has preserved it until now, major work is needed to allow it to continue to meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.
“We’ve worked closely with our train operators to keep disruption to a minimum and our advice is to plan ahead this Christmas.”
Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, added: “We’ve worked closely with Network Rail to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum for our customers whilst this important work takes place.
“We’ll continue to offer direct train services to London for customers who may still need to work or for anybody who wants to visit family or friends or even enjoy a Christmas day out in London.
“There will be some changes to our regular timetable though and we’d therefore urge people to check before travel at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.”
For more information about Thameslink services, visit www.thameslinkrailway.com/christmas.