Vital rail upgrades to rail lines between Ely to Ipswich and Norwich

Vital track and signalling upgrades are planned at weekends throughout August and September to improve reliability and drive down delays.

The work will start on the line between Ipswich and Ely on Sunday 7 August and will take place every weekend until Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September.

During this time, plain line track work will take place at Elmswell level crossing. Track renewal is important to prevent issues that cause speed restrictions and delays. Replacing worn track will keep services running safely and reliably.

Work will also be carried out as part of the Cambridge resignalling programme. Signalling systems are essential to the safe and efficient operation of the railway. The Cambridge re-signalling, re-lock and re-control project (C3R) aims to deliver state-of-the-art signalling technology for the railway which means better reliability and reduced maintenance, while providing a platform ready for digital technologies such as the European Train Control System (ETCS).

Work will then take place on the line between Norwich and Peterborough to carry out level crossing upgrade works on three weekends from Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 to Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September. The upgrade will improve safety, reliability for years to come.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel. A rail replacement bus service will be in operation except on Saturday 13 August.

Due to an ASLEF train drivers’ strike on Saturday 13 August, there will be no Greater Anglia service to Newmarket either by bus or train as we are unable to run our regional services on strike days. This will affect people travelling to Newmarket Races on Saturday 13 August.

People travelling to Newmarket Races on Saturday 27 August from Ipswich and other stations on the Ipswich-Cambridge line, will need to catch a bus to Cambridge and then catch a shuttle train between Cambridge and Newmarket. Buses will not call at Newmarket.

Race goers are advised that the bus and shuttle train service will only operate between 07.55 and 22.20 on Saturday 27 August and is likely to be very busy. It is not possible to run a full replacement bus service for the Newmarket races due to a shortage of buses and other operational reasons on Saturday 27 August.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “These works are important to keep services running safely and reliably on these lines. We will also carry out work as part of the Cambridge resignalling project, which is crucial to provide a signalling system fit for a modern railway in the Cambridge area and to improve the reliability and performance of the railway for future passengers in the decades to come.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We’re very sorry for the inconvenience these works cause our customers, but we will make sure you can complete your journeys, even if part of it is by bus. These works will improve reliability on this line, and in combination with our new trains is transforming the railway in our region.”

Passengers are advised to check how their journey will be affected at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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