MPs meet in Downham Market for talks on Ely rail junction upgrade

A First Capital Connect train passes through the Queen Adelaide level crossing heading to King's Lyn

A First Capital Connect train passes through the Queen Adelaide level crossing heading to King's Lynn along the Fen Line after the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Discussions being held on Friday will focus on the work required to improve road layout, level crossings and track upgrade in the Ely area. The rail junction

Improvements to the junction, which were originally expected to cost £35m, would have allowed half-hourly trains to run between King's Lynn and London.

Work was due to start this year. But a review published in 2015 postponed the upgrade for up to seven years.

This week's summit comes a year after South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss hosted a meeting calling for all organisations to work together to ensure the upgrade of Ely North rail junction takes place as soon as possible .

The councils, LEPs, Network rail, freight and passenger train operators and Department for Transport all agreed to form a task force and work together on the scheme. The task force, led by West Norfolk council chief executive Ray Harding, will present the progress made so far at this week's summit.

Ms Truss said: 'After last year's summit, a task force was formed and I know significant progress has been made in identifying the work required on the rail junction, level crossings and surrounding roads. Finance of the scheme has also been discussed and proposals will be presented to MPs this week.

'This is a key rail intersection in the eastern region, serving many freight and passenger routes, and once it is upgraded will allow for half hourly service on the Fen Line, improved services on the Thetford route, and will enable increased movement of the high value freight trains. This is a key priority for me and my fellow MPs so we are keen to see the upgrade take place as soon as possible.'

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