Ely North Junction upgrade proposals

sidmouth

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http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Ely/4m-boost-to-rail-network-thanks-to-EU-10072012.htm

"Almost £4 million of EU funding will be put towards upgrading the Ely North Junction.
The European Parliament agreed to invest £3.8 million in the major scheme today (Tuesday).
It comes just a week after the project, estimated to cost around £10 million, was identified as a priority in a major blueprint to transform the region’s rail network.
The major document, called ‘Once in a Generation - a Rail Prospectus for East Anglia’, has been launched by MPs, business leaders and local authorities in a bid to make major improvements to the region’s rail services - something which campaigners say will create thousands of jobs and unlock billions of pounds of investment
...

...It would also allow trains to run every half hour from Cambridge to King’s Lynn and Norwich, and it would relieve pressure on the region’s congestion-blighted roads by enabling more freight to be taken by rail from Felixstowe to the Midlands."
 
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johnnyp_360

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Interesting Reading. Does anyone know how they are going to improve it? Will there be another low bridge crossing the A142 resulting in a 4 track section? I can't imagine some sort of fly over would be very popular anywhere in the historic city.
 

Tomnick

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I thought the proposal involved just removing the single leads onto the Lynn and Norwich lines at Ely North Junction itself?
 

Tomnick

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A single lead junction is one where trains both to and from the diverging route share a short section of 'common' track through the junction, if you can picture the layout. At Ely North Jn., trains to and from both Lynn and Norwich all share the same short section, along with everything from Peterborough! Discussion elsewhere suggests that this money is actually for some improvements to the layout around Ely station itself though, so the £10m could be incorrect for the Ely North Jn. proposal.
 

David Goddard

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The current layout (attached) stems from a rationalisation twenty years ago, when the formerly fully double junction was reduced to the single lead layout shown. The former twin track West Curve was also singled, and made one way.

Plans will restore much of the previous layout, and also signal the west curve for bi-directional running- signals are already in place for this.
 

a good off

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What David says is correct about the rationalisation 20 years ago. Until April 1992 Ely North Jn had a very flexible layout installed by the LNER in the 1920s to cope with the extra traffic from the expansion of Whitemoor Yard at March.

The other work taking place at Ely is near Ely Dock Jn and involves the reinstatement of the Soham line loop that was (yes you've guessed) lifted during the 1992 resignalling... I was fortunate to know the Ely boxes before and during that time and it was a fascinating place not just signalling wise but also for the wide variety of traffic and types of trains that passed through.
 

w0033944

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Good news this, given that it was one of the major requests from local MPs. As a proud East Anglian, I'm delighted that we're getting some investment.
 

Bald Rick

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To get a half hourly service to Lynn needs a lot more work than simply doubling Ely N Jn. There's a lot of level crossings that will need some sort of upgrading as well; the locals don't seem to understand how to use them as today's sad events demonstrate.

Also the business case for a half hourly service is truly appalling. But then when a treasury minister says it's a good thing, the money appears. There are far, far better things the railway should be spending this cash on.
 

TheBigD

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To get a half hourly service to Lynn needs a lot more work than simply doubling Ely N Jn. There's a lot of level crossings that will need some sort of upgrading as well; the locals don't seem to understand how to use them as today's sad events demonstrate.

Also the business case for a half hourly service is truly appalling. But then when a treasury minister says it's a good thing, the money appears. There are far, far better things the railway should be spending this cash on.
Don't need any more infrastructure for the half hourly Lynn service...

...providing the freight runs at night and nothing runs more than about 5 late.

Personally I just don't see the demand being there for a half hourly service north of Ely all day.
 

David Goddard

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The infrastructure in terms of track layout will support a thirty minute service to King's Lynn with few problems (yes the point about everything running no more than five mins late is valid owing to the position of the single track sections Littleport-Downham Market and Watlington-King's Lynn.

One of the biggest issues, AFAIK, is the ability of the OHLE to support that number of trains in operation at the same time north of Cambridge. From what I had read on a previous thread, only so many units are permitted North of Cambridge because the current is not great enough. Whether this is true or not I can not be sure, just what I have heard.
 

Bald Rick

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The infrastructure in terms of track layout will support a thirty minute service to King's Lynn with few problems (yes the point about everything running no more than five mins late is valid owing to the position of the single track sections Littleport-Downham Market and Watlington-King's Lynn.

One of the biggest issues, AFAIK, is the ability of the OHLE to support that number of trains in operation at the same time north of Cambridge. From what I had read on a previous thread, only so many units are permitted North of Cambridge because the current is not great enough. Whether this is true or not I can not be sure, just what I have heard.
Maximum 5 x 4 car EMUs allowed north of Milton Feeder Station (north Cambridge) at any one time. It's because if either Milton FS or Kings Lynn FS go off line, which they do regularly, the other one has to feed the whole line from Cambridge to Lynn. The voltage drops off considerably.

However Milton FS is being upgraded in the next year or so to help ease this restriction.

It is quite correct to say the track and signalling north of Ely N Jn will support a half hourly service throughout the day. But this assumes the freight trains to Middleton Towers don't run (they do!) and that Ely N Jn itself has capacity - which it doesn't because of all the freight going cross country. The big issue though is the level crossings. Double the train paths = broadly double the LX risk and this must be mitigated.
 

eastdyke

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Pleased to see this in the CP5 plan.

Having removed this 'bottleneck' then Ely station will become more critical.

The dwell time for the EM Norwich - Liverpool reversals could be removed by omitting the Ely stop but adding March (straight through between March - Thetford via bi-directionally signalled west curve).

This would free up platform space for the GA Norwich - Cambridge increase to 2tph and for when the West Anglia K Lynn services are improved.

'Inconvenience' for Norwich-Stansted passengers could be mitigated by running 1tph of the Norwich-Cambridge service through to Stansted (not sure of any capacity constraint at Stansted).

Journey time for the EM trains would be improved by around 15-20 minutes and March gets a better service. Losers would be passengers from Ely for connections to ECML.

Thoughts?

PS Some of those EMU's displaced by electrification may come in handy for Birmingham-Stansted and Liverpool-Norwich, especially Liverpool-Nottingham.
 

WestCountry

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That would almost certainly be a bad idea.
The EMT service makes up 2/5 of the Ely-Peterborough service and is used by many passengers from Cambridge and King's Lynn, removing this transfer would cause even more crowding on the XC than there is at the moment :( .

Similarly, it forms an additional option for Cambridge-Norwich (change at Ely), and you'd need to run another service or lengthen the current Cambridge services.
Even the extension to Stansted as you suggest would need another 170, which GA really can't spare (they're already hiring a 150 from ATW, IIRC)

The time savings would be nice, but would break all the other flows that service forms part of. Probably not worth it.
 

cle

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I think the Norwich - Cambridge running to Stansted seems a no-brainer.

In terms of the XC services - perhaps there is room for two services, something fast like:
Norwich (Thetford maybe) fast to Peterborough - onwards
and then
Norwich - various - Ely - various - Peterborough.

so it's not acting as the local and the cross country service.
 

TheBigD

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...The dwell time for the EM Norwich - Liverpool reversals could be removed by omitting the Ely stop but adding March (straight through between March - Thetford via bi-directionally signalled west curve).

This would free up platform space for the GA Norwich - Cambridge increase to 2tph and for when the West Anglia K Lynn services are improved.

'Inconvenience' for Norwich-Stansted passengers could be mitigated by running 1tph of the Norwich-Cambridge service through to Stansted (not sure of any capacity constraint at Stansted).

Journey time for the EM trains would be improved by around 15-20 minutes and March gets a better service. Losers would be passengers from Ely for connections to ECML...
Going around the curve instead of calling at Ely saves around 7 minutes, depending on the dwell time at Ely. And that's assume you can path it across the junction. It's not enough to save EMT a unit and crew and would just mean extra time sat at Norwich, along with reducing connectivity at Ely and reducing the Ely-Peterborough service.
 

dk1

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I was under the impression that some Norwich-Liverpool services will operate via the west curve but not until XC extend the Leicester terminators through to Cambridge.

Extending Norwich GA services through to Stansted was provisionally planned for December 2012 but has now been put off until after the franchise renewal. Route learning for drivers was ready to start. It wasnt known whether conductors would have been trained or whether they would have run DOO from Ely or Cambridge.
 

Bald Rick

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It is quite possible that the 'price' of achieving a remodelled Ely N Jn with decent linespeeds on all routes is that the West curve has to go.
 

Bald Rick

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Yep the sand train uses it in one direction. Infrastructure trains also, although you get a spotter's badge for seeing one.
 

eastdyke

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Cheers all!.

I was not expecting Norwich - Liverpool EM service to avoid Ely via the west curve any time soon. More like within the 5 - 10 year horizon. At the end of this time Birmingham -Stansted should be 2tph, probably 4 car. Norwich - Cambridge (? Stansted) GA should also be 2tph. It is/was also a TOC aspiration for Ipswich - Pbo GA to be 1 tph (ie double current frequency).

I realise that the routing would require 2 tph (ie 1 in each direction) to secure a path across the other running lines but was propositioning that this may be easier to achieve than platform space for the Ely reversals.

ie. Ely station becomes the bottleneck after the North Junction improvement.

I also forgot to mention the 'high'/HGV vehicle level crossing north of the station - surly this will need to be replaced with a fixed facility at some future point. It will otherwise be pretty much closed to road traffic!

It is quite possible that the 'price' of achieving a remodelled Ely N Jn with decent linespeeds on all routes is that the West curve has to go.
I think probably not, the curve has either has recently been signalled for bi directional running or is planned for completion soon. Prior to this trains can/could only run towards Pbo.

Source:

http://goo.gl/syuyn
 

Bald Rick

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Cheers all!.

I think probably not, the curve has either has recently been signalled for bi directional running or is planned for completion soon. Prior to this trains can/could only run towards Pbo.

Source:

http://goo.gl/syuyn
It was signalled for bi-di in 1992, it's just never beeen commissioned. It may well be reinstated.

But trust me - I'm not sure that it will survive the remodelling

Source: the bloke who designed the current layout.
 

eastdyke

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It was signalled for bi-di in 1992, it's just never beeen commissioned. It may well be reinstated.

But trust me - I'm not sure that it will survive the remodelling

Source: the bloke who designed the current layout.
Thanks BR, I bow to your industry knowledge.

No doubt the outcome will be determined by cost and cost benefit. It could depend upon how future freight reversals at Ely are accomodated and costed?
 

dk1

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It was signalled for bi-di in 1992, it's just never beeen commissioned. It may well be reinstated.

But trust me - I'm not sure that it will survive the remodelling

Source: the bloke who designed the current layout.
It was already to be used bi-di when the accident occured at Belgrove, Scotland. There was then a huge purge on single lead junctions & unfortunatley Ely was that bit too late. We have still suffer double-blocking for no reason at all, as all trains must now have working TPWS which mitigates such incidents.

I have been told that a signal & set of points will need re-positioning on the Peterborough end to comply with current signalling regulations.
 

scott118

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http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/upda...with-ely-north-junction-upgrade-by-local-mps/

MPs and business leaders are calling on the Government to press ahead with a £35 million upgrade to the Ely North Junction.

It's claimed the improvements to the rail route would attract more firms to the area and would also enable faster rail journeys to London.

The group laid out the plea in an open letter to the Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin.
"This is a vital investment which represents superb value for money, and given that the business case for it has already been fully established, it needs to be given the green light now." – HENRY BELLINGHAM MP​
 
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MarkyT

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Except that, on its own, it doesn't realise a single extra train path...
Perhaps the job needs to be combined with a revised scope including the Ipswich line, adding about a mile of double track from the junction south of Ely over the new river bridge instead of the complete doubling to Soham planned previously and recently shelved. The more limited double track could be combined with one or two additional block signals along the single line, so flights of long intermodal trains could be assembled in the Ely area then dispatched closely following each other over the single line towards Felixstowe.
 

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