RAIL passengers are being warned of significant disruption from this weekend as major work starts to upgrade the line.

Network Rail is to begin an £8.6million upgrade of the line around Newcastle station on Saturday at the start of nine days of engineering work.

Almost 2,000 passenger trains and 260 freight trains which normally use the station will be unable to run and four of the station’s platforms will be closed for the duration of work.

A revised timetable will be in operation, with some services starting or terminating at York, Durham and the Metro Centre.

Buses will also be used to help move passengers between some stations, but trains to and from Newcastle will be extremely busy.

On the weekend of January 13 and 14, Virgin Trains will run an hourly service between London King’s Cross and Newcastle and Scotland, with diversions between York and Newcastle.

The majority of TransPennine Express services to Liverpool and Manchester Airport will not run between York and Newcastle.