Network Rail invites the public to comment on capacity upgrade proposals through Ely

Monday the 18th of October will provide an opportunity for the public to get involved with the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement (EACE) programme which aims to get more trains running through Ely by adding to their rail capacity and bringing more reliability for passenger services running to key locations. The project will also work to meet the demand for increased rail freight between the Port of Felixstowe, the West Midlands and the north in a bid to create more sustainable, long-term economic growth.

Ely Rail Corridor
Credit: Network Rail

The consultation is just part of a broader programme aimed to engage the community and first began in late 2020 and will run until 2022. The first Round 2 consultation took place during May 2021, looking for feedback on proposals for the Ely South area.

This upcoming consultation will run for 6 weeks from the 18th of October to the 28th of November and will see both proposals and options presented, including:

  • Proposals for remodelling the track layout at Ely North junction
  • Proposals and road options for level crossings at Queen Adelaide
  • Proposals and options for level crossings at Stonea, Burgess Drove (Waterbeach) and Well Engine foot crossing.
  • Proposals to upgrade 15 level crossings across the wider area

Increasing capacity for Ely railway will bring benefits for the national, local and regional economies, providing improved connectivity and reliability for passengers. As rail freight demand is growing an increased capacity on the rail network will help support a change from road to rail which will provide a faster, greener, safer and more efficient way of transporting goods throughout the country and helping to take lorries off of the roads which will reduce pollution and congestion further.

Network Rail invites the public to comment on capacity upgrade proposals through Ely Queen Adelaide Level crossings
Credit: Network Rail

Once the results from this round of consultation are collected along with feedback from the earlier Ely South consultation from May 2021, will allow progress on designs before selecting the preferred options during 2022. The project will be subject to the funding available and the preferred options will be presented in a final round of consultation during the summer of 2022 and will be prior to submission of a Transport and Works Act Order, expected around winter 2022/23.

Network Rail invites the public to comment on capacity upgrade proposals through Ely Ely Drone image (south view)
Credit: Network Rail

Members of the public can submit feedback on the proposals and options from Monday the 18th of October 2021 by completing an online survey at: www.networkrail.co.uk/Ely 

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “This consultation is a perfect way for passengers to help create a network that works for them. “We remain committed to improving rail capacity through Ely and urge passengers to use this opportunity to comment on the future of your railway. Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: “This could be the most important stage of consultation yet as we present options that will be essential to releasing the capacity through the Ely North junction bottleneck and seeking to resolve challenges at key level crossings.

We are continuing to engage with the wider Ely community on this important infrastructure project for the Anglia rail network to seek feedback from local residents, businesses and stakeholders. Their feedback will continue to inform our designs as we progress with this important project to find the right solutions for the railway and for Ely” Where Next?

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