The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, has approved the construction of a new section of railway underneath the East Coast Main Line.
Proposed by Network Rail, the improvements are part of the Railway Upgrade Plan that will result in a new line underneath the East Coast Main Line that links the Stamford lines and the Great Northern Great Eastern lines.
By linking these lines at the Werrington Junction near Peterborough, it will give freight trains an alternative route, freeing up the line.
As things stand, these freight trains have to cross over three lines of the East Coast Main Line.
This causes the high speed passenger trains to slow down, causing delays on the approach to Werrington Junction.
By constructing the extra line underneath the East Coast Main Line, freight trains will be able to use an alternative line to the high speed passenger trains.
It will help businesses and the economy; by freeing up the line, business users of the line will be subject to much better journeys; the freight trains meanwhile will mean movement of goods and services won’t be delayed by other passenger trains.
Additional passenger services will also be able to run, as a result of extra space on the line.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said the plans will help to boost capacity on the line by a third.
He said: “We’re delighted that these plans to improve capacity on the East Coast Main Line have been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.
“This is a significant investment into the railway in this area which, when coupled with our upgrades on this route, will have widespread benefits for those travelling between London and the North through an increased capacity of 33%.
“This vital upgrade will ensure we can provide an improved service for passengers and will create a more modern, reliable and resilient railway suitable to meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.”
Work on the dive under should start later this year, with targeted completion of 2021.