Ely North railway junction upgrade could be delayed

Elizabeth Truss MP and George Freeman MP at the Queen Adelaide level crossing close to the Ely North

Elizabeth Truss MP and George Freeman MP at the Queen Adelaide level crossing close to the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Vital investment which would allow more trains to run between Ely and London, and from East Anglia into the Midlands, could be delayed amid a review called by the Department for Transport.

South-West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has raised concerns that work to the Ely North junction may not be finished by 2017, as previously planned, as a result of the study being conducted by government-funded rail infrastructure body Network Rail.

She has written to rail minister Claire Perry to request a meeting to seek assurances that the brakes will not be slammed on the project.

Network Rail has been told to review all of its projects planned between now and 2019 – the timeline known as control period five – by the Department for Transport, raising fears that previously agreed projects could be delayed.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “When we have the results of that review we will be able to provide further information about the Ely North Junction upgrade.”

Ms Truss said: “Upgrading the Ely North junction will allow for half-hourly services on the Downham Market route and increased services on the Thetford line.

“Cross-country and freight services also significantly benefit from this vital upgrade and I am keen to ensure the timetable is kept on track.

Most Read

“I understand that just prior to the election the Department for Transport instigated a review of all works in the CP5 schedule and I want reassurance that this will not create delays on the key rail routes in our region.

“This is an issue I have been campaigning for over the last four years and I have asked for a meeting with the rail minister Claire Perry.

“With rail passenger numbers increasing each year, the economic value of the upgrade to the county as a whole is absolutely clear and this is the message I will continue to make to the Department for Transport.”