Passengers face five days of cancelled trains between King’s Lynn and Ely
PUBLISHED: 15:57 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:51 18 December 2017
Rail travellers face five days of train cancellations in West Norfolk and the Fens.
No trains will run between King’s Lynn and Ely while bridges over two waterways are replaced.
Passengers will instead be offered a replacement bus service for the 30-mile, 30 minute journey, which will call at Watlington, Downham Market and Littleport stations en route.
A spokesman for train operator Great Northern said: “I confirm that there will be no train services between Ely and King’s Lynn from Monday, February 12 to Friday, February 16 inclusive while Network Rail replace two railway bridges over waterways.
“A replacement bus service will operate. There will be stopping services calling at every intermediate station, and fast non-stopping services between King’s Lynn and Ely.
“They will be half-hourly in peak periods and hourly in off-peak, timed to connect with train services at Ely. Passengers using the bus service will require a train ticket for the journey so the cost will be the same.”
News of the cancellations comes days after it emerged passengers face longer journey times from next summer, when a new timetable comes into force.
West Norfolk council, the Fen Line Users Association and King’s Lynn Business Improvement District claim passengers will receive a worse service, as longer stops in stations add 12 to 14 minutes to the journey between King’s Lynn and London King’s Cross.
They say the single line bottleneck along parts of the route imposes “severe limits on the scheduling of trains”, leading to the longer overall journey times now being proposed.
They want the single track line to be re-dualled between King’s Lynn and Littleport, to allow for more train services and faster journeys.
There are hopes that work on another bottleneck, at Ely North junction, could begin in two years’ time.
A £8m feasibility study is under way into how the busy junction - where the region’s main west-east and north-south routes meet could be improved.
Officials are also trying to work out how timetables could be modified to minimise disruption once work gets under way both to rail passengers and villagers living in Queen Adelaide, on the outskirts of Ely, where the lines meet.