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 would otherwise 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 60mph 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.”
Notes to editors
Buses will replace trains for five days between Ely and King’s Lynn from Monday 12 to Friday 16 February 2018. There will be no trains all day at the following stations:
- King’s Lynn
- Downham Market
Buses will serve these stations, but journey times will be up to 90 minutes longer.
Direct services between Ely, Cambridge North and London King’s Cross will be reduced to one per hour. There will be no direct service between Waterbeach and London King’s Cross - a change of trains at Cambridge will be required.
Services between Cambridge and London King’s Cross will operate normally.
Passengers are advised to check before they travel at greatnorthernrail.com/elyblockade