Have your say on Ely rail improvements

PUBLISHED: 12:14 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:26 21 September 2020

Network Rail says improvements are needed at Ely North Junction, where lines from five directions converge  Picture: Helen Drake

Network Rail says improvements are needed at Ely North Junction, where lines from five directions converge Picture: Helen Drake


Public consultation is under way into proposals to improve a major bottleneck on the region’s railways.

Lines from north, south, east and west meet at Ely North Junction.

Network Rail says the system is running at full capacity and it wants to upgrade it to allow more trains to run through Ely.

“This section of railway is a key constraint to allowing more trains to operate and it needs to be improved to meet the increasing demands,” it said launching the consultation.

“The aim is to improve connectivity and reliability for passenger services and meet the demand for more rail freight between the Port of Felixstowe, the West Midlands and the north to support sustainable, long-term economic growth.”

From today, people and businesses can find out more about the potential benefits and the challenges which would have to be overcome and also have their say online.

Consultation materials will be available until November 1.

Feedback can be submitted online.

There will also be webchats where members of the public can speak to project staff.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “It is important that we provide opportunities to engage with the communities that could be impacted by our work as it develops.

“It is even more important that we listen to people and gather their views to help inform our development and design process.

“By starting these discussions early, we hope to embark on this journey with the community and progress these proposals together, finding the right solution for the railway and for Ely.”

Track improvements were put on hold in 2016. Network Rail has secured £22m in funding to draw up plans and consult on them.

Proposals include remodelling Ely North Junction and the track layout at Ely station, removing some speed restrictions on bridges and upgrading signals.

Network Rail says they would enable more freight trains to operate, cutting numbers of lorries on our roads.

But MPs have questioned whether the full package of works is needed to improve services.

Consultation papers can be accessed here.

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