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£780m to be invested to upgrade East Coast Mainline

Posted: 23rd July 2018

Prime Minister has announced the level of investment to upgrade the East Coast Main Line in the coming years.

This investment – £750m – will see improvements across the line, but in particular, we expect the upgrades to significantly improve the journey time between London and Edinburgh – by around 15 minutes.

Upgrades will begin in 2019, to be completed in the early 2020s. Improvements include changes to platforms, tracks, signals, junctions across the route, as well as improvements to the power supply.

  • Upgrades to the East Coast Main Line and brand new Intercity Express Trains will enable faster, more frequent journeys with more seats.


  1. The fastest journey between London and Edinburgh will be around 4 hours – around 15 minutes faster than today.
  2. The fastest journey between London and Leeds will be around 2 hours – around 10 minutes faster than today.
  3. Long distance services will see an increase in seats of around 40% per hour into London.
  4. There will be two more long distance services per hour operating between London and Doncaster and one more per hour operating between Doncaster and Newcastle.
  • Network Rail is finalising its designs for these upgrades, including major improvements outside King’s Cross station and at Werrington, near Peterborough, and for the length of the route between Doncaster and Edinburgh.


  • Network Rail will soon enter into major contracts to deliver this. Early works have already started on a number of the upgrades with more significant works planned from this Christmas.


  • This investment is in addition to over £400m invested in upgrading the line since 2014.


  • As a result of investment in better trains and tracks on the Transpennine route and on the East Coast Main Line, the fastest journeys between Manchester and Newcastle are expected to be around 10 minutes quicker.


  • Around £3bn will be invested in upgrading the Transpennine route between 2019 and 2024, with upgrades beginning in Spring 2019.



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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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