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Home Network Rail Northern City Line to close for further testing of digital signalling

Northern City Line to close for further testing of digital signalling

Passengers intending to use the Northern City line between Finsbury Park and Moorgate on Sunday 9 October are being asked to plan ahead and check before they travel as work is taking place to further test digital signalling on the route.

There will be no services between Finsbury Park and Moorgate and intermediate stations will be closed. Trains to and from Moorgate will be diverted into London King’s Cross.

Passengers are advised to allow plenty of time for their journey and check before travelling via National Rail Enquires or


The Government funded East Coast Digital Programme involves replacing traditional signals and replacing them with state-of-the-art digital signalling technology. Network Rail says this will reduce delays and enable a more reliable service for passengers.

It will involve a new operating system, linked to a computer screen in the driver’s cab, that continuously communicates with each train, rather than relying on fixed lineside signals.  Testing is ongoing throughout this year to ensure that Great Northern’s train fleet, already fitted with the technology, works with the necessary digital infrastructure. It is expected that in early 2023 driver training will begin and the first passenger services on the Northern City Line will be digitally signalled.

Toufic Machnouk, Network Rail director, industry partnership for Digital Railway, said: “This work marks another vital step in the move to digital signalling, with the testing now involving multiple trains at once. We’re making exciting progress towards enabling more reliable journeys through technology.

“I’m sorry for any impact on passengers’ journeys and would ask everybody to check before you travel.  Most of our testing is done outside of normal hours but occasionally we need a more extended period to ensure our process is thorough.”

Great Northern and Thameslink customer services director Jenny Saunders said: “I’d like to thank people for their patience and understanding. This vital work will modernise our railway means train travel and make it more reliable.

“We’re doing our best to keep disruption to a minimum but if you’re travelling to our stations between Finsbury Park and Moorgate on Sunday, then please plan ahead using National Rail Enquiries’ online journey planner.”

When trains are diverted to London King’s Cross, passengers will be able to use their ticket on London Bus route 271 and on London Underground between London Kings Cross/ London St Pancras International and Moorgate.

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