UK: Delays & disruptions

Engineering works are taking place at places across Britain, affecting various services. You can find details of major works below, but it's also possible to check the status of a train using the National Rail Enquiries departure board.


Current disruption

1. London Kings Cross station and East Coast Main Line closed on certain dates

From 1 October 2020 until early summer 2021

A £1.2bn upgrade will modernise key parts of the East Coast Main Line and improve journeys for passengers between London, the North and Scotland. Once completed, it will deliver quicker, more reliable journeys across the route and create capacity for thousands of extra seats per day on some of the busiest long-distance services in the country. The project runs over winter 2020/21 and on into early summer 2021.

This affects many daytime train services from London Kings Cross to Peterborough, Lincoln, Doncaster, Leeds, Hull, York, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness. Overnight trains are not affected. The disruptions to services are mainly concentrated on weekends and public holidays, but there is an extended period - from 1 March to 4 June 2021 - when a special timetable will operate with a small number of trains cancelled. 

There are some weekends in the period up to June 2021 when London Kings Cross station will be completely closed. This complete closure also applies to the period from 25 to 30 December 2020 inclusive. There are many additional weekends when the number of trains serving Kings Cross will be much reduced. You can check the affected dates on the East Coast Upgrade website

Our journey planner on the Rail Europe website is updated to reflect the amended timetables - so it shows the trains which should actually run on any given date, once they are released for sale. If you are trying to book a journey out of London Kings Cross on a date when the station is closed, you may find that our booking system returns no results. If this happens try redoing the search using the starting station 'London (Any Station)' rather than 'London Kings Cross'. In some cases using 'London St Pancras' as your start station may yield results. 

Four rail companies' operations are affected by this major upgrade programme on the East Coast Main Line. They are LNER, Grand Central, Hull Trains and Great Northern & Thameslink. 

2. Temporary Closure of the Heart of Wales Railway (Mid-Wales and South Wales)

14 August 2020 until at least mid December 2020

The Heart of Wales Line is currently closed between Llanelli and Shrewsbury. This is due to a derailed freight train near Llangennech and damage as a result of extreme weather between Llandrindod Wells and Craven Arms.Trains are unable to run between Llanelli and Shrewsbury. There is currently no estimate available as to when the line will reopen.

Buses and minibuses will replace trains along the whole of the Heart of Wales Line route between Swansea and Shrewsbury. For those stations with minibus-only access, customers may be required to change between larger buses and minibuses. The duration of road journeys can be considerably longer than the trains they replace. The duration of a typical bus journey along the whole route from Shrewsbury to Llanelli is between 6 and 7 hours.

For passengers travelling from the Swansea / Llanelli area to Craven Arms and Shrewsbury, an alternative rail route is available via Cardiff and Hereford. Direct trains from Llanelli and Swansea to Craven Arms, Shrewsbury and beyond are available via this alternative route which is a faster and more convenient option that replying upon the rail-replacement buses along the Heart of Wales line.

3. No trains to St Ives (Cornwall)

4 January to 7 February 2021

Engineering work is taking place between St Erth and St Ives, closing the railway from Monday 4 January to Sunday 7 February. Buses will replace trains between St Erth and St Ives. This does not affects trains on the main line from London to Penzance through St Ives. 

4. Disruptions to train services in Scotland

12 August until 3 November 2020 NB: This disruption is now lifted. Normal services were restored on the morning of 3 November 2020.

Trains services between Dundee and Aberdeen are affected by the aftermath of a landslide and rail accident near Stonehaven. Bus services are replacing trains between Dundee and Aberdeen. LNER and CrossCountry trains from England to Dundee and Aberdeen will not run beyond Edinburgh. Tickets may be used without endorsement on Scotrail trains from Edinburgh to Dundee, where passengers continuing to Aberdeen will need to change onto the rail-replacement bus services. The Caledonian Sleeper overnight train from London to Dundee and Aberdeen is suspended. 

Regular daytime train services between Dundee and Aberdeen should be restored when the railway reopens on Tuesday 3 November 2020. The overnight train from London to Aberdeen should be reinstated a day or two thereafter, 

5. Disruption to train services on the Conwy Valley Railway in North Wales

9 February 2020 until late September 2020: NB. This disruption is now lifted. The Conwy Valley line reopened on Monday 28 September.

Storm Ciara, which bought 90mph winds, extreme rainfall and flooding across Wales on Sunday 9 February, caused extensive damage on the Conwy Valley Line, north of Llanrwst. A reduced rail replacement bus service will operate between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog until further notice


What to do if you experience a delay

Please speak to staff on the train or at the station if you are delayed. They will have the most up to date information and can tell you what to do. Also ask the staff to stamp your ticket with proof of delay. This will make it easier for you to travel on later trains.

Keep all of your tickets until you return home. They can be used to submit a claim to the rail operator if you incur any unavoidable additional costs (new tickets, taxis).

For more information, please see our Help article: What happens if I miss my connection. If you need to submit a claim, see: Submitting a claim for a UK train.

If you have tickets for onward travel on trains which are scheduled to run as normal, refunds and exchanges are only permitted as per fare conditions.

Please note that this information is provided by the rail operator and cannot be guaranteed by Rail Europe UK.