Planned engineering works by Network Rail will see an "extremely limited" train and replacement bus service in parts of Hertfordshire.

The work is being carried out, affecting Great Northern and Thameslink services, on Sunday, December 3. 

Buses will run to key stations only, and many stations will not be served for the whole day

Passengers are being urged to consider travelling the day before to avoid disruption to services caused by "essential" improvement work.

Network Rail predict that train and bus services will be extremely busy, so queuing systems will be in place and passengers may not be able to board their chosen service.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Engineers working between Welwyn and Hitchin

The work is part of the billion-pound East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP).

Jenny Saunders, customer services director for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “We have taken the tough decision to close several of our stations between Potters Bar, St Neots and Cambridge so we can concentrate available buses on delivering a reliable service. This will give our customers more confidence when planning their journeys in advance.

“Unfortunately, some journeys will be difficult on this date, which is why we’re encouraging customers to travel on Saturday, December 2, if possible.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience while this vital work takes place to improve journeys between London, Peterborough, and Cambridge in the future.”

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Engineers working between Welwyn and Hitchin

Great Northern will operate a reduced train service between King’s Cross and Potters Bar, Moorgate and Potters Bar, Moorgate and Hertford North, St Neots and Peterborough, and Cambridge and King’s Lynn.

There will be no Great Northern or Thameslink trains between the following stations, and no replacement bus service for many of the intermediate stations all day:

  • Potters Bar and St Neots­
  • Potters Bar and Cambridge
  • Hertford North and Stevenage

A limited bus service will be in operation between key locations on the route and stations with train connections to/from London.

Buses will run between:

  • Cambridge North and Audley End for train connections to and from London Liverpool Street. Passengers will be able to travel between Cambridge and Cambridge North by train.
  • Luton Airport Parkway and Stevenage via Hitchin
  • St Neots and Bedford
  • St Albans and Welwyn Garden City

The ECDP will see the introduction of in-cab, digital signalling for trains running up and down the East Coast Main Line from King’s Cross, resulting in a more reliable railway for passengers, and lower carbon emissions, according to Network Rail. 

The work, which is being carried out between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin will see new equipment and technology installed in preparation for trains to operate using digital signalling in this area from 2025.

At the same time, work is also being carried out to continue the new Cambridge South station and the Cambridge re-signalling project.

Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Digital Programme, said: “This work is vital for the introduction of digital, in-cab signalling on the East Coast Main Line which will provide a better service for passengers and reduce carbon emissions.

“Wherever possible, we seek to avoid engineering works on nearby routes happening at the same time but on this occasion this has not been possible. We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding ahead of this work and understand that journeys will take longer than they normally would.

“We’re encouraging all passengers to check their journey before they travel, via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.”

Train times for Sunday, December 3 are available in online journey planners, such as National Rail Enquiries, and passengers are urged to check their journey before travelling.

Further information is also available on the Great Northern website or via their train operator.

Full list of disruptions

The following stations will have no service for the whole day, on Sunday, December 3:

  • Arlesey
  • Ashwell and Morden
  • Baldock
  • Biggleswade
  • Foxton
  • Huntingdon
  • Letchworth Garden City
  • Meldreth
  • Royston
  • Sandy
  • Shepreth
  • Brookmans Park
  • Hatfield
  • Knebworth
  • Watton-at-Stone
  • Welham Green
  • Welwyn North

There will be NO alternative travel options from these stations.

No trains will run between:

  • Potters Bar and St Neots­
  • Potters Bar and Cambridge
  • Hertford North and Stevenage


A reduced train service will run between:

  • Kings Cross and Potters Bar (Semi-fast)
  • Moorgate and Potters Bar (All stations)
  • Moorgate and Hertford North (All stations)
  • St Neots and Peterborough
  • Cambridge and King's Lynn


A limited rail replacement bus service will run between:

  • St Neots and Bedford
  • Luton Airport Parkway and Stevenage via Hitchin
  • Cambridge North and Audley End
  • St Albans and Welwyn Garden City

Tickets will also be accepted on Thameslink services between Bedford, Luton Airport Parkway and London St Pancras at no additional cost.