Thursday 18 Jan 2018
Railway bridge upgrades will prevent future delays for Ely to Kings Lynn passengers
A six–span railway bridge between Ely and Littleport will be strengthened in February to enable the smooth running of services and prevent future speed restrictions that will cause delays on the line between Ely and Kings Lynn.
Over a five day period, Network Rail engineers will carry out a £1m package of work to strengthen the bridge by installing 24 steel plates and a thorough coat of pain that will prevent corrosion. The bridge carries up to 76 passenger and freight trains a day at speeds of up to 80mph and should the work not be carried out, trains would have to run at a reduced speed over the bridge which causes delays and cancellations.
The work will take place between 12 – 16 February and during this time there will be no train services between Ely and Kings Lynn. A rail replacement bus service will be in place for five days and passengers are advised to check before they travel.
The improvements have been planned to take place during the half term week when fewer people travel and the five day closure allows the work to be done quickly with less disruption for passengers. If the work is carried out over a series of weekends, it would take over six months to complete.
To make the most of the closure, maintenance work will also take place including works at level crossings and vegetation clearance.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “These improvements are a vital aspect of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway for passengers in the north of the region. I understand the inconvenience of the closure and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this essential work.”
Great Northern passenger services director, Stuart Cheshire, said: “This work by Network Rail is absolutely essential to help modernise the railway for our passengers. We have planned a comprehensive rail replacement bus service but journeys will take longer so we ask passengers to look at the revised timetable online and plan ahead.”
Passengers are advised to check before they travel at greatnorthernrail.com/elyblockade
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.