Could railway revolution see new station built at Ely North?

PUBLISHED: 09:27 02 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:27 02 January 2015

Archant

A study into improving Anglia's rail network has proposed building a new railway station to the north of Ely.

The study, put together by Network Rail, says that connection times are too long at the city’s existing station and could be eased with a new North Ely station.

The report points out that at Ely “good connections are the exception rather than the norm”.

For example, a passenger travelling from King’s Lynn to Ipswich will have a good connection on their outward journey but on their return leg they will be faced with a 53-minute wait.

Instead of developing the existing capacity-constrained Ely station, the study proposes a new interchange hub station in the vicinity of Ely North junction and an upgrade of the Ely to Norwich line.

Waiting times at the proposed four-platform Ely North station would mean passengers would not have to wait more than eight minutes.

The 55-page report also suggests the introduction of a Norwich to King’s Cross via Cambridge service, as well as improvements to services across Norfolk and Suffolk.

While the plan would improve many journeys across the region, the trade-off would be a slowing down of trains on the main line between London and East Anglia.

The document, called ‘Improving Connectivity’, suggests that trains between Ipswich and Norwich should be slowed down by nine minutes to improve links at other stations and that trains on the main line should stop at more stations.

The proposals are endorsed by Peter Wilkinson, managing director of passenger services at the Department for Transport Rail Executive.

He writes in the introduction: “I welcome this work and we at the DfT are first looking to bring this to life as part of our forthcoming East Anglia franchise.”

So far the cost of the required infrastructure has been estimated at around £1bn.

A consultation is taking place before Network Rail undertakes detailed development work, so it can gather feedback on this approach to planning the rail network and train service.

To see the full document, log on to www.networkrail.co.uk/publications/long-term-planning-process/improving-connectivity/

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