No trains between Ely and Kings Lynn for five days in February due to £1m improvements to six-span bridge

The six-span railway bridge between Ely and Littleport is set to be strengthened, closing services b

The six-span railway bridge between Ely and Littleport is set to be strengthened, closing services between Ely and Kings Lynn for five days in February. - Credit: Archant

Train services between Ely and Kings Lynn will be cancelled for five days next month to allow for a £1 million upgrade to a six-span railway bridge.

The bridge between Littleport and Ely carries up to 76 passenger and freight trains a day at speeds of up to 60mph.

Without improvements Network Rail says it could result in trains having to continually slow down with a knock on effect that would cause delays and cancellations.

Over a five day period- to coincide with half term - Network Rail engineers will strengthen the bridge by installing 24 steel plates and a thorough coat of paint that will prevent corrosion.

The work will take place between February 12-16 and during this time there will be no train services between Ely and Kings Lynn.

A rail replacement bus service will be in place for five days and passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Network Rail says the improvements have been planned to take place during the half term week when fewer people travel and the five day closure allows the work to be done quickly with less disruption for passengers.

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The company says that if the work is carried out over a series of weekends, it would take over six months to complete.

To make the most of the closure, Network Rail plan to carry out routine maintenance work including works at level crossings and vegetation clearance.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “These improvements are a vital aspect of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway for passengers in the north of the region.

“I understand the inconvenience of the closure and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this essential work.”

Great Northern passenger services director, Stuart Cheshire, said: “This work by Network Rail is absolutely essential to help modernise the railway for our passengers. “We have planned a comprehensive rail replacement bus service but journeys will take longer so we ask passengers to look at the revised timetable online and plan ahead.”

•The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail’s investment plan for Britain’s railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail’s £40 billion spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era.

It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain’s railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway.

•Passengers are advised to check if the improvements will affect their travel by visiting: