Fringe-goers face huge train delays | East Coast line to London closed on the last weekend © Ian Kirk/CC-BY-SA 4.0

Fringe-goers face huge train delays

East Coast line to London closed on the last weekend

Londoners travelling to the Edinburgh Fringe face massive train chaos on the last weekend of the festival.

No trains will be travelling into Kings Cross or St Pancras stations on the August Bank Holiday weekend, with the east coast mainline trains from the Scottish capital terminating at Peterborough.

Network Rail has advised passengers not to travel on Saturday August 24 or Sunday August 25 at all, while a reduced service on Monday August 26 will cause more problems.

The track closure is part of  £1.2billion upgrade plan that aims to add up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services and make journeys faster and more reliable.

But it will mean huge disruption for anyone planning to head to London at the end of the Fringe.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, said: ‘We are delivering the biggest upgrade to the East Coast Main Line in a generation to bring huge benefits for passengers 

‘We know this work will have an impact on people who use the line – we’re doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, but passengers will need to plan ahead and check before they travel.’

In a statement, the train operators along the route, including LNER that serves Edinburgh, said: ‘Customers should avoid travelling to or from London King’s Cross, or between Cambridge and London St Pancras, on the Saturday and Sunday. 

‘Other routes into the capital will remain available, but could be significantly busier than normal.’

An alternative is to use Virgin trains on the West coast via Crewe, adding up to 90 minutes to the usual four-and-a-half hour journey time.

Only standard single fares are currently being sold on that route over the bank holiday weekend - for £146.40 one-way

London Kings Cross station currently carries 33.8 million passengers a year, and the upgrade work plans to simplify the track layout around the station for the first time in 40 years. Two new lines will also be added, increasing the number of services that can run to and from the station.

Published: 10 Jun 2019

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