Image credits: Network Rail

Network Rail is inviting the public to comment on proposals and options for the next part of the wider public consultation to increase rail capacity through Ely.

The aim of the Ely area capacity enhancement (EACE) programme is to allow more trains to run through Ely by improving rail capacity and reliability for passenger services between key destinations.

This consultation is part of a wider programme of engagement with the community which began in late 2020 and will continue into 2022.  For this autumn consultation, proposals and options will be presented during a six-week period which will include:

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

Increasing capacity on the Ely railway is expected to bring benefits to the national, local and regional economies, with better connectivity and reliability for passengers. Additionally, rail freight demand is growing and increasing the capacity of the rail network will help support a shift from road to rail. This is expected to provide a faster, greener, safer and more efficient way of transporting goods across the country and helping to remove lorries from the roads and further reduce pollution and congestion.

How to have your say

There’ll be an opportunity for the public to put their questions to our team via our live webchat facility and we are running a dedicated consultation phone line at the following times between 18 October to 30 October 2021.

The live webchats are available (access via the project webpage) from 18 to 30 October 2021 at the following times:
• Tuesday Thursday and Friday 10:00-16:00
• Wednesday 14:00-20:00

The consultation phone line (0800 160 1780) is available from 18 to 30 October 2021 at the following times:
• Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 14:00-17:00
• Wednesday 17:00-20:00
• Saturday 10:00-13:00

The consultation materials will be digitally available via the Ely project webpage though hardcopies are available upon request. As part of the public consultation,  local events will be held at the Queen Adelaide Village Hall to provide an opportunity for residents to put questions to Network Rail’s Ely project team. How to book an appointment along with the dates and times of the events are available on the Ely project webpage at www.networkrail.co.uk/Ely

Next Steps

The results from this round of consultation, together with the feedback from the earlier Ely South consultation will help to progress designs prior to selecting preferred options in 2022. Subject to further funding, we will present the preferred options as part of a final round of consultation in 2022 prior to submission of a Transport and Works Act Order, expected around winter 2022.

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”