Currently operating at full capacity, the railway through Ely is a vital part of the rail network that includes a busy junction where five railway lines converge, providing important routes to key destinations for passenger and freight services.

Railway line through Ely (looking south)

The Ely area capacity enhancement (EACE) programme is a proposal to upgrade the railway to allow more trains to run through Ely.

This section of railway is a key constraint to allowing more trains to operate and it needs to be improved to meet the increasing demands.

The aim is to improve connectivity and reliability for passenger services and meet the demand for more rail freight between the Port of Felixstowe the West Midlands and the north to support sustainable, long-term economic growth. 

First Round of Public Consultation

21 September – 1 November 2020

From 21 September 2020, residents and businesses in and around Ely are being invited learn more about the EACE programme and provide an opportunity for local communities to understand:

  • what the aspirations are to increase capacity
  • the challenges that will have to be addressed to increase capacity
  • how the public will be consulted as options are progressed
  • current funding position

This first phase of public consultation will close on Monday 1 November. Your feedback will be used to help inform our design process so that we can present potential options at future stages of consultation.  

Owing to the current Coronavirus situation and following Government guidance, we are conducting this first phase of public consultation remotely to maintain the safety of the public and our staff.

The consultation will be run through an online web-portal which will be live for six weeks from 21 September (accessible via this webpage).

There will also be opportunities to speak to project representatives via webchats at specific times throughout the consultation period as well as by phone. Details below:

Webchat available from 21 September to 1 October on the following days:

  • Mon, Tues, Thurs 10am – 4pm
  • Weds 2pm – 8pm

Call our dedicated consultation line 0800 160 1780 from 21 September to 3 October on the following days:

  • Mon, Tues, Thurs 2pm – 5pm
  • Wed 5pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 10am – 1pm

Email: ElyAreaCapacityEnhancements@networkrail.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter @networkrailLST using the hashtag #ElyRail

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)

Funding and consent

Network Rail has secured £13.1m funding from the Department for Transport and £9.3m funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Strategic Freight Network to understand the scale of the challenge to increase capacity through Ely and progress early design options for public consultation.

Further design and development of the EACE programme, including future consultation events later in 2021 and 2022, and authorisation will be subject to future funding decisions by the Department for Transport following the Rail Networks Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) process.

What happened to the Ely north junction scheme?

The Ely North junction scheme was a proposal to improve the track layout of 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 aspirations to run more rail services.

By taking a wider view of the area and what needs to be upgraded, the Ely area capacity enhancement programme provides the opportunity to deliver more capacity benefits than the original Ely north junction programme on its own.

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.