More reliable trains have been promised following the completion of engineering works between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin.

The East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP) engineering work was completed between Christmas Eve (December 24) and yesterday morning (Wednesday, December 27), between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin.

The upgrades were part of a billion-pound programme and saw new track installed, upgrades to existing overhead line equipment and newly installed equipment tested.

The Comet: Hitchin railway station.Hitchin railway station. (Image: Archant)

The project will eventually see traditional lineside signals replaced by digital signalling, which is fed to a screen inside a train driver’s cab.

This change will make services "more reliable and resilient" according to Network Rail.

The Comet: Welwyn Garden City train station.Welwyn Garden City train station. (Image: Archant)

Network Rail’s programme manager for East Coast Digital Project, Sarah Hewlett, said: “Our engineers worked incredibly hard over the festive period to deliver these vital upgrades which will change the way that trains will run in the future.

“We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while the work was carried out.”


With no services over Christmas, further upgrade work is set to take place on the weekends of January 6 & 7, and January 13 & 14.

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators added: “Our colleagues worked tirelessly to keep customers on the move on Christmas Eve, ahead of the usual Christmas shut down of services.

The Comet: The work was part of a billion-pound project.The work was part of a billion-pound project. (Image: Network Rail)

“A huge thank you to all our customers for their patience while their journeys looked a little differently.”

The Comet: Teams of engineers worked around the clock to install the upgrades.Teams of engineers worked around the clock to install the upgrades. (Image: Network Rail)