Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Third Kings Cross Tunnel Reopened

A tunnel at King’s Cross station that was closed in the 1970s has been reopened, with the first trains passing through at 5am on 26th April.

The final approach to King’s Cross station was originally through three tunnels, three double-track tunnels were built, but in 1977, the station was redesigned with a new layout between the tunnels and the platforms and the introduction of bi-directional working in the tunnels, so they closed one of the three tunnels as surplus to requirements.

The first two trains arrive through the reopened tunnel on 26th April

However, with passenger numbers rising — in pre-pandemic times — and likely to eventually return to their pre-pandemic numbers, the station needs more capacity. 
Not so much in the station itself, but in the approach tunnels, which are a capacity bottleneck.

A major project to reopen the closed tunnel has been carried out, along with a simplification of the track layout to improve reliability.

That work has been going on now for over a year, with new track layouts, signalling and preparing the tunnel for reopening. At the weekend, the signalling upgrade was completed with the handover from the old signal box to the York-based rail operating centre.

The third tunnel has been out of use for many years but has now been reopened

On 26th April the old tunnel reopened, and trains from LNER and Great Northern made a synchronised arrival at King’s Cross.