Canal Tunnels

The two rail tunnels run between the East Coast main line near Kings Cross station and the Thameslink route at St Pancras. They now enable passengers to travel from Peterborough and Cambridge directly to Blackfriars and beyond.

Key facts

  • First passenger train ran through the tunnels in February 2018
  • Connecting the tunnels has been a vital part of delivering capacity improvements in and around London
Canal Tunnels between the East Coast main line and the Thameslink route at St Pancras

Canal Tunnels will link the East Coast main line and the Thameslink route at St Pancras

The Thameslink Programme has created a brand new rail link enabling passengers to travel from Peterborough and Cambridge directly to Blackfriars and beyond for the first time. The two Canal Tunnels link the low-level platforms at St Pancras International on the Thameslink core section with Belle Isle Junction near Finsbury Park station on the East Coast Main Line.

Built at the same time as the redevelopment of St Pancras station between 2004 and 2006, the intention was that the tunnels would be used to provide this essential new link to the Thameslink route. Since then the Thameslink Programme has installed track, power, signalling and safety systems to run services through the tunnels.

Improving connections

The first trains ran through the Canal Tunnels in February 2018. Connecting these services is a vital part of delivering capacity improvements in and around London.

Trains travelling through Canal Tunnels will provide up to eight of the possible 24 services an hour which will travel through central London when the Thameslink Programme is completed.

Canal Tunnels between the East Coast main line and the Thameslink route at St Pancras

The new tunnels will allow passengers from Peterborough and Cambridge to travel directly to Blackfriars and beyond