Transport secretary Chris Grayling has granted permission to build a “crucial” new dive under at Werrington Junction on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).
The new 3km long, underground, two-track railway line near Peterborough will link the Great Northern Great Eastern (GNGE) rail line to the Stamford line.
Network Rail said the upgrade works were needed to increase capacity and relieve constraints on the existing timetable.
Under the new arrangement, high speed trains on the ECML will no longer need to slow to allow freight trains to cross over it from the GNGE to the Stamford line.
To build the dive under, the southern exit will be created just North of the Cock Lane footbridge where the Stamford Lines will be widened to the west to create four tracks.
The central pair of tracks will then dive into a new underpass, below the ECML, and rise to meet the GNGE line at the north end of the bypass approximately 600m after Lincoln Road.
Network Rail ECML dive under at Werrington Junction
The scheme involves rebuilding Cock Lane footbridge with ramps to maintain access over the railway. A large drain will be diverted as will local utilities on the western side of the railway. There will also be work on the Marholm Brook to enable construction of the new track.
The Transport & Works Order, submitted in 2016 described the works as “crucial” to improving travel on the line.
Network Rail route managing director Rob McIntosh 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 other 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 project will begin later this summer and the dive under is expected to be completed by early 2021.
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