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Work to start on £27 million upgrade of West Norfolk rail line




Building work to enable longer trains to run on the railway line between Lynn and Cambridge is set to begin next weekend.

And passengers have been warned that journeys on weekends and bank holidays are likely to be disrupted over a period of several months while the scheme is completed.

Around £27 million is being spent on upgrades to the Fen Line which are intended to enable eight-coach trains to run from December 2020, instead of the current four-coach units.

Services will be disrupted when work to enable longer trains to run between Lynn and Cambridge starts next weekend.
Services will be disrupted when work to enable longer trains to run between Lynn and Cambridge starts next weekend.

Industry officials this week announced that the work is due to begin next Saturday, October 5, and continue over 10 weekends from then until April, plus Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Regular timetables for services run by both Great Northern, the main operator of trains to and from West Norfolk, and Greater Anglia, as well as services on other routes through Ely, are likely to be disrupted.

Keith Jipps, infrastructure director for Great Northern’s parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Longer trains will make a huge difference for our passengers between King’s Lynn and Cambridge so I’m very pleased this work is about to start.

Launch of new trains at King's Lynn Railway Station and opening of new Cambridge North Station. (17534479)
Launch of new trains at King's Lynn Railway Station and opening of new Cambridge North Station. (17534479)

“However, I do urge people to check online at www.nationalrail.co.uk for the temporary changes we’ll need to introduce during each weekend of engineering work.”

Mark Budden, route network director for Network Rail Anglia, added: “We are forging ahead with delivering these important improvements for passengers travelling on the Fen line.

“I am sorry for the weekend disruption to services.

“When complete, it will bring much needed relief on overcrowded peak services between King’s Lynn and Cambridge, improving the journey experience for passengers.”

Residents say land, shown left, next to the level crossing on Tennyson Road is a more suitable site for new train sidings (17532985)
Residents say land, shown left, next to the level crossing on Tennyson Road is a more suitable site for new train sidings (17532985)

The project will see new sidings built at Lynn to store the longer units, as well as platform extensions at both Littleport and Waterbeach.

However, residents living in streets close to the planned site of the new sidings, including Extons Road and Kings Avenue, have raised concerns about their positioning.

During a public consultation event last month, Network Rail officials said they would look at a potential alternative site near the level crossing on Tennyson Road, which objectors claim would be more suitable.


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