£27m upgrade for stations at Littleport and Waterbeach will mean longer trains and more seats on Cambridge to King's Lynn route
PUBLISHED: 14:56 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:57 29 July 2019
VolkerFitzpatrick, the civil engineering firm that built the £49m Ely bypass, has been awarded a £27m contract by Network Rail that will include platform extensions at Littleport and Waterbeach.
Two platforms will be extended at Waterbeach and one at Littleport by 167 metres to cope with longer trains during peak times.
Preparation work is expected to start later this summer with main works starting around October 2019.
It will mean that from October, some weekend services will be suspended to allow engineers to get onto the track and start to build the platform extensions.
Passengers planning to travel at weekends between King's Lynn and Cambridge during autumn and winter are advised to check with their train operator or nationalrail.co.uk before travelling.
VolkerFitzpatick and Network Rail are running a number of drop-in sessions to provide an opportunity for residents and businesses to speak to members of the project team. The three planned public sessions are:
Tuesday 13 August 2019 from 16:00 to 20:00 at the Waterbeach Baptist Church Hall, Chapel Street Waterbeach
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Wednesday 14 August 2019 from 15:00 to 21:00 at Littleport Village Hall Day Centre, Victoria Street, Littleport.
Wednesday 21 August 2019, from 17:00 to 20:30 at The Board Room, King's Lynn Football Club, The Walks Stadium, Tennyson Road, King's Lynn.
The work is expected to be complete in the summer of 2020 with Great Northern promising to introduce longer eight car services at the first available opportunity, with the new timetable of December 2020.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail's route managing director for Anglia, said that once the work is complete in 2020, eight-car services can be introduced during peak times. Network Rail says it will provide more seats "and a better experience for passengers.
"The work will also improve connectivity for intermediate stations and support local development and regeneration plans along the Cambridge rail corridor."
"This important project will enable longer trains to run between Cambridge and King's Lynn during peak times, providing a better service for passengers with more seats, reducing overcrowding."
He added: "We have worked hard to get the project to this stage and I'm excited to see works begin, which once completed will deliver significant benefits for passengers."
GTR infrastructure director Keith Jipps said: "I am pleased for our passengers that we are getting closer to providing longer trains on the King's Lynn line. This has come as a result of many parties working together and the great support of our councillors, MPs and the Fen Line Users Association."