Longer trains between King's Lynn and Cambridge
- Credit: Peter Alvey
Longer trains will mean thousands of extra seats to ease congestion between King's Lynn and Cambridge.
Four coach services to and from Lynn will be replaced from Sunday by eight-coach trains.
Platforms have been extended and new sidings built to accommodate them, as part of a £29m upgrade of the Fen Line by Network Rail.
Train operator Great Northern says the introduction of eight coaches will create an extra 2,000 seats for commuters at busy times.
It will also make it easier for passengers to socially distance during the coronavirus pandemic.
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John Grant, chairman of the Fen Line Users Association (FLUA), said: “We welcome this major boost to Great Northern services for Fen Line passengers, which will help with social distancing now and relieve overcrowding when ridership gets back to normal.
"We are pleased that Waterbeach now has a half-hourly service and would like to congratulate Network Rail for completing the work on schedule despite the pandemic.”
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James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, said: “It is great news that this important upgrade has been completed and the introduction of longer trains on this key route will boost capacity and make for a better experience for passengers.
“This multimillion-pound investment is part of the government’s plans to help boost economic growth in North West Norfolk and more widely.
"I congratulate Network Rail, Great Northern, and everyone involved in delivering this infrastructure project in challenging circumstances that will benefit so many people in King’s Lynn and along the Fen Line."
Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said: “It is great news that the eight car trains will come into service this month.
" I know the improvements will be welcomed by all travellers on the Kings Lynn to London route and with future ambitions for increased economic growth and housing in West Norfolk. The additional carriages will significantly ease the over-crowding on what is an extremely popular rail route.”
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Longer trains will give passengers a better service, improving the network in a key part of the country as we continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”