Ely is a vitally important part of the rail network in Anglia, supporting many rail services for passengers and freight to key destinations

Railway line through Ely (looking south)

Services that pass through Ely include Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Cross Country and East Midlands Trains, serving key destinations including Cambridge, Stanstead airport, Ipswich, Norwich, King’s Lynn, Peterborough and beyond.

It is also an important route on the strategic freight network, connecting the Port of Felixstowe (the UK’s busiest container port) to the West Midlands, allowing goods to transported by rail, taking lorries off roads reducing congestion and pollution.  

The railway around Ely has been identified as a key constraint to allowing more trains to operate on these routes and it needs to be improved to meet the increasing demands for passenger and rail freight. Network Rail is investigating the feasibility of providing additional rail capacity through Ely to support the need for better connectivity to these key destinations.

Ely North Junction Scheme (postponed in 2016)

The Ely North junction programme was a proposal to improve the main rail junction to the north of Ely station, however, this work was put on hold following the Hendy review in 2016. This has given us the opportunity to review the wider capacity constraints around Ely which also need to be considered in order to meet the demands for more rail services.

View (looking north east) of Ely North Junction from the aggregate yard, with the lines heading to Peterborough (left), King’s Lynn (centre), and Norwich (right)
View (looking north east) of Ely North Junction from the aggregate yard, with the lines heading to Peterborough (left), King's Lynn (centre), and Norwich (right)

A new approach

By taking a wider view of the area, the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement Programme provides the opportunity to deliver more capacity benefits than the original Ely north junction programme on its own.

Network Rail secured £9.3m funding from the Combined Authority of Peterborough and Cambridge, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Strategic Freight Network to understand the scale of the challenge to increase capacity through Ely. Since then, we have been working to identify the key constraints and how we can remove them to allow more trains to run through the area.

This work will culminate in the submission of a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) to the Department for Transport (DfT) later in 2020 which will include potential options/design concepts’ that could be taken forward for further development subject to additional funding being secured.

Given the strategic importance of the development of this work in and around the community of Ely, Network Rail is planning a series of public information and consultation events in collaboration with the local authorities to keep residents and business informed of the plans as these evolve.

Further details of these events and the programme will be available from this webpage in the coming months.

Contact us

For more information or to get in touch with us, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.