Ely will not be left behind amid focus on Norwich to London line, claims Network Rail boss

Ely North Railway Junction.

Ely North Railway Junction. - Credit: Archant

Rail infrastructure around Ely is “flashing at the top” of Network Rail’s list of priorities, a boss of the body responsible for the country’s rail tracks and signals has said.

Richard Schofield insisted they would not ignore the crucial rail link to the west of Norfolk and Suffolk as a result of the ambitious franchise covering the Norwich to London line.

Major improvements at Ely junction were postponed last year after a major review of Network Rail’s programme of improvements.

The upgrade to the Ely junction bottleneck was expected to pave the way for more twice-hourly train services between King’s Lynn and London.

Mr Schofield said: “The Ely area, if we had a list of priorities, it would be flashing at the top because it is integral to freight services from Felixstowe, capacity on West Anglia, King’s Lynn services from King’s Cross.

“Ely becomes one of the key priorities. We are focused, working with the local enterprise partnership, on funding the development so we can keep the momentum going. It is on the list of priorities for CP6 (the works programme between 2019 and 2024).

“This franchise doesn’t in any way suggest that isn’t our priority, if anything it becomes even more important, but we are working with funders to make sure we can keep the momentum going so that we can deliver the upgrades at Ely that we need to and deliver the aspirations that everybody has for cross country services.”