Thursday 12 Mar 2015

Network Rail launches public consultation to increase capacity between Ely and Soham

Region & Route:
South East

Network Rail has launched a consultation to give members of the public the opportunity to comment on plans to construct a second track between Ely and Soham.

This investment is part of a programme of work that will help to move lorries off the roads by providing additional capacity for freight trains on the Felixstowe to Nuneaton route, which goes through Ipswich, Ely and Peterborough. It will also help to increase capacity for future passenger services on this section of line.

The railway between Felixstowe and Nuneaton is a key freight route – and the additional capacity provided by this proposed upgrade would result in up to 114,000 return lorry journeys being removed from the roads every year by 2023. As part of the proposals, a number of level crossings would also be upgraded to improve safety and reliability.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail route managing director, said: “The plans for the railway between Ely and Soham are an important part of our plans to improve the railway in the east of England.This stretch of track is currently a major bottleneck and the proposed second track will enable us to create extra capacity on the line for both freight and passenger services. We look forward to meeting local people to discuss the scheme.”

Although most of the proposed work required to build the new section of railway between Ely and Soham can be carried out within Network Rail’s boundary, the company will need to acquire some additional land next to the rail line on which to construct and operate the new line.

This will require Network Rail to make an application for a Transport and Works Act Order to the Secretary of State for Transport, and this public consultation forms a key part of this application.

It is anticipated that an application will be submitted later this year and subject to consent, work could start in 2017 and be completed in 2019.

Notes to editors

Members of the public are invited to one of our public consultation events. Network Rail’s project team will be on hand to answer any questions:

Stuntney Social Club, Soham Road, Stuntney, Cambs, CB7 5TL:
Tuesday, 17th March – 10:00 to 18:00

Light House Front Hall, 13 Lynn Road, Ely Cambs, CB7 4EG:
Wednesday, 18th March – 15:00 to 21:00

Soham Library, Clay Street, Soham, Cambs, CB7 5HJ:
Thursday, 19th March – 10:00 to 18:00
Friday, 20th March – 10:00 to 18:00
Saturday, 21st March – 10:00 to 13:00

Alternatively, please visit our consultation page here:

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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