Identifying costs of Ely North Junction upgrade ‘vital,’ says Elizabeth Truss ahead of meeting with Network Rail

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:17 24 February 2016

Ely North Railway Junction.

Ely North Railway Junction.

Archant

Network Rail is set to be quizzed by members of Parliament, councils and business leaders over the delayed upgrade of the Ely North junction.

The meeting, organised by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, comes after months of lobbying by MPs to upgrade Ely North as soon as possible, and to ensure that the half-hourly services on the King’s Lynn line to London are on schedule for 2017/18.

Network Rail will respond to questions at a meeting at Downham Market Town Hall on Friday (February 26), after the service said that the upgrade could be delayed by up to seven years.

At a meeting held in December 2015 at Ely station, Mrs Truss urged Network Rail to investigate what further work could be done to progress the scheme.

She said: “MPs, councils and business leaders are all fully committed to securing the upgrade of Ely North as soon as possible. However, the full cost and scale of the project is still not known.

“When I met Network Rail in December 2015 they agreed to explore the options for a feasibility study, time frames, implementation of half hourly services on the Fenline and what can be done to progress the scheme sooner rather than later.

“I have met the Transport Secretary and Rail minister to reiterate the fact that this is a critical rail junction in the eastern region serving a number of freight and passenger trains so it is vital the costs of the upgrade are identified and this is what I will be pressing Network Rail on.”

George Freeman MP added: “The Ely Junction is now the critical bottleneck holding back the vital Norwich to Cambridge to Stansted ‘Innovation Line’ which could create thousands of jobs in rural Norfolk.”

3 comments

  • £30 million just to add about 200 metres of track at Ely North Junction really IS a waste of money. A half hourly train service has little effect on this junction. What is really needed is to put the double track back between Littleport and Downham Market, and this is the only thing that will produce a reliable service. Unfortunately everything like this is too complicated for Network Rail - hopefully after the Shaw Review Network Rail will be broken up and we can get someone more efficient to carry out this sort of work

    Report this comment

    Rotciv

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

  • Unfortunately the comment from "Citizen of EUSSR" has some weaknesses. Currently 8 coach trains can only be run when there is no other electric traction in the section. Which is why, the trains are sent in two halves in the morning and reassembled at Cambridge. So, separate from the junction improvements, Network Rail are looking at improving the supply to allow 8 coach trains and they are looking at doing that this year or early next. The junction upgrade is being held up because of the poor quality of car driving in the area. Even with the cameras on the crossings people are still being stupid so increasing the frequency of trains through Queen Adelaide can't happen without changes to the crossings.

    Report this comment

    Rupert Moss-Eccardt

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

  • TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY - just run 8 coach trains every hour to King's Lynn instead of the current 4. Far cheaper than running 4 coach trains every half hour and saves about £30 million at Ely North Junction

    Report this comment

    Citizen of EUSSR

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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