East Coast Upgrade: NR Prepares to Connect 11,000t Tunnel to Existing Track

This month Network Rail will connect a new tunnel north of Peterborough to the existing railway as part of the East Coast Upgrade project.

This will allow slower moving freight trains to dive underneath the East Coast Main Line.

Network Rail to connect ground-breaking 11,000-tonne tunnel near Peterborough to existing track this month
Network Rail to connect ground-breaking 11,000-tonne tunnel near Peterborough to existing track this month

Back in January engineers pushed an 11,000t curved concrete box – the world’s longest single underground jacked structure – into place at Werrington. Since then, work has taken place to install signalling equipment and roughly 4km of track inside the new tunnel, all without disrupting train services.

On 17–18 July engineers will connect this new track to the existing Stamford lines.

Services will continue running for passengers on the East Coast Main Line, however a section between Peterborough and Stamford will be closed to allow teams to connect the tracks safely.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said:

“We used challenging industry leading techniques to push the tunnel into place and our teams have continued to work around the clock to install the new track without impacting on services.

“This work to connect the tunnel to the existing lines is only possible when there are no trains running on this section of the route. We’ve carefully planned the work and have bus replacements in place to keep passengers moving. We want to thank people for their patience whilst this vital stage of the project is carried out.”

Work on the dive-under is expected to be completed over the summer, ready for use later this year.

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