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Longer trains and more seats from December on busy line

PUBLISHED: 12:58 01 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 01 September 2020

£29 million rail upgrade between King's Lynn and Cambridge completed. Picture: Ian Burt

£29 million rail upgrade between King's Lynn and Cambridge completed. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Rail passengers have been promised more seats, extra space and longer trains after a £29m upgrade was completed.

New siding outside King's Lynn station. Picture: Network RailNew siding outside King's Lynn station. Picture: Network Rail

Network Rail has completed the final section of infrastructure works - finishing a multi-million pound improvement of the line between King’s Lynn and Cambridge.

The company said from December Fen Line passengers would see longer eight-carriage trains running on the line, adding thousands of extra seats for Great Northern passengers.

Over the last 11 months, works funded by the Department for Transport have delivered a new siding outside King’s Lynn station to allow for longer trains and lengthened platforms at Littleport and Waterbeach.

In the coming months, essential track, safety and train testing will take place, alongside driver training.

Chris Heaton-Harris, rail minister, said: “This is an important investment and one that will deliver on our promise to passengers to modernise, upgrade and uplift services and infrastructure.”

Network Rail said the pandemic created “unavoidable challenges” which included the need to invest an extra £1.7m to complete the project.

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Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Our teams have been working hard to ensure that the new siding at King’s Lynn was completed this August bank holiday.

“With this milestone achieved, we can now focus on ensuring the new infrastructure is ready for Great Northern’s longer trains to begin running in December and delivering on our promise to provide a better journey experience for passengers using the Fen line.”

Keith Jipps, infrastructure director at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Longer trains are desperately needed on the Fen Line and it’s really good news that Network Rail has been able to complete this work.

“This siding will enable us to store an eight-carriage train overnight to start the improved service each day. The finished work now paves the way for us to begin our infrastructure testing and driver-training programme.

“Time is tight, because the coronavirus pandemic has delayed this milestone by several months, but I am confident we will be seeing the longer trains introduced this December which will be great news for our passengers and stakeholders.”


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