Ely North Junction upgrade proposals

Midnight Sun

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Is the West curve essential?
i was thinking of closing it, with the Peterborough line going through its road bridge (or replacement in same place) cutting the corner off, with a junction for King’s Lynn north of the road.
This would leave only one level crossing, and need no high level construction.
Still used by stone trains to and from Middleton Towers via Kings Lynn, Routing the Peterborough line through that bridge would require a sharp S bend or a bridge over Roswell pit.
 
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dk1

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Not right through the middle, and I would swap it for land the curve is currently on.
What on earth would make you want to do that?

Still used by stone trains to and from Middleton Towers via Kings Lynn, Routing the Peterborough line through that bridge would require a sharp S bend or a bridge over Roswell pit.
And sometimes 3 daily stone trains each way on the Norwich route.
 

Meerkat

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The curve is used for freight to and from Kings Lynn and Norwich...without it trains would have to run round at Ely eating up capacity.
Would it really eat capacity, especially if they move off peak?

Still used by stone trains to and from Middleton Towers via Kings Lynn, Routing the Peterborough line through that bridge would require a sharp S bend or a bridge over Roswell pit.
Is Roswell pit deep? I was thinking turning left, just cutting the corner of the pit, then going straight through where the bridge is and cutting the corner off to the Peterborough line before the first level crossing.
 

GB

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Would it really eat capacity, especially if they move off peak?
would have to filter through intermodal and other freight traffic, uses up regulation points and the loco will have to filter through other traffic. retiming them just pushes problems else where.
 

Meerkat

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would have to filter through intermodal and other freight traffic, uses up regulation points and the loco will have to filter through other traffic. retiming them just pushes problems else where.
If it was an issue there is room for a new loop on the East side of Ely isn’t there?
 

30907

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It would probably also mean the road or the other two diverging railways couldn't be elevated unless something was elevated twice as far, therefore preventing elimination of two of the three level crossings.
The crossing on the Norwich line looks replaceable with a diversion down a side road and an overbridge, leaving only the Lynn line (you could route all Peterborough traffic over the flyover) which is probably tolerable in terms of risk and delay to road traffic.

...the Peterborough line going through its road bridge (or replacement in same place) cutting the corner off, with a junction for King’s Lynn north of the road.
That has set me thinking - rather than put "my" flyover close to the existing Peterborough route, a new alignment immediately West of the housing at Queen Adelaide would be less disruptive to the community there.
You could even do the whole thing on the level, with a road deviation and a flat crossing with the West curve, though that would be much less satisfactory as it removes no conflicting movements.
 

Maltazer

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The cheapest option by far would probably be to buy all the houses in Queen Adelaide and close the road. Not very popular though I'd imagine.
 

DynamicSpirit

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The cheapest option by far would probably be to buy all the houses in Queen Adelaide and close the road. Not very popular though I'd imagine.
How would that increase capacity through Ely? And if you did that, what would happen to through road traffic that happens to pass through the main road through Queen Adelaide? Of do you mean it would be cheaper to buy the houses, close the road AND build a replacement road AND rebuild the railway to sort out the capacity issues? (Seems less likely to me).
 

bspahh

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How would that increase capacity through Ely? And if you did that, what would happen to through road traffic that happens to pass through the main road through Queen Adelaide? Of do you mean it would be cheaper to buy the houses, close the road AND build a replacement road AND rebuild the railway to sort out the capacity issues? (Seems less likely to me).
There would still need to be work to increase the rail capacity through the Ely North area.

However, if there is an increase in rail traffic, it will be a problem for residents of Queen Adelaide to get through the level crossings.

In the Queen Adelaide (road) Traffic Study on page 14 it shows the busiest route through Queen Adelaide is runs North-South and doesn't go across any of the level crossings. Only ~550 cars go over all 3 crossings between 7am and 7pm.
 

Maltazer

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How would that increase capacity through Ely? And if you did that, what would happen to through road traffic that happens to pass through the main road through Queen Adelaide? Of do you mean it would be cheaper to buy the houses, close the road AND build a replacement road AND rebuild the railway to sort out the capacity issues? (Seems less likely to me).
Well I don't think it likely to become the solution, but it's worth remembering the cost of that when compared to solutions such as a northern bypass road which was priced at around £100m.

Increasing capacity through Ely isn't the major problem - sort out the single leads, get rid of the double blocking and maybe fix the bridges to get rid of some speed restrictions and you have enough capacity for all the proposed extra services and freight.

The problem is the level crossing risks - if it wasn't for those, Ely north junction would have been sorted out already.
 

ashkeba

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Well I don't think it likely to become the solution, but it's worth remembering the cost of that when compared to solutions such as a northern bypass road which was priced at around £100m.
Priced at £100m perhaps but remember that the recent southern bypass (allowing closure of Ely station level crossing) went 36% over budget. This is not easy ground to build on!
 

Maltazer

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Priced at £100m perhaps but remember that the recent southern bypass (allowing closure of Ely station level crossing) went 36% over budget. This is not easy ground to build on!
Indeed. And it would no doubt have to be built to trunk road standards, despite the standard of the roads it's connecting, because we don't seem to build 'b' roads any more.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Increasing capacity through Ely isn't the major problem - sort out the single leads, get rid of the double blocking and maybe fix the bridges to get rid of some speed restrictions and you have enough capacity for all the proposed extra services and freight.
Would that be enough? From what I gather, it seems not unreasonable to expect there could be something like 8tph each way through Ely in about 5-10 years' time. There are 5 points where you have flat diverging/conflicting routes North of Ely and another junction South of the station. (Albeit 2 of the junctions are with the freight only line so only see conflicting moves a few times a day). I'm no expert, but that to me feels busy enough and with enough conflicting moves that I'd expect at least one of the junctions would need to be grade separated to allow a solid, reliable, timetable.

I agree with you that the level crossings are the big headache that needs to be solved before (or along with) increasing capacity though.
 

30907

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In the Queen Adelaide (road) Traffic Study on page 14 it shows the busiest route through Queen Adelaide is runs North-South and doesn't go across any of the level crossings. Only ~550 cars go over all 3 crossings between 7am and 7pm.
But the combined figure for the Lynn and Peterborough crossings is more like 1200, and is almost high as the N-S flow (I assume Queen Adelaide Way, which this flow uses, is a new-ish road?)
 

TheDavibob

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Today is supposedly the day consultation is opening, though no link has appeared yet. I'll update this if I catch more details before anyone else does.
 

jopsuk

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But the combined figure for the Lynn and Peterborough crossings is more like 1200, and is almost high as the N-S flow (I assume Queen Adelaide Way, which this flow uses, is a new-ish road?)
Queen Adelaide Way isn't a new route by any means, it's the road along the river. It has a low bridge on it
 

Verulamius

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Consultation hub now on line at https://elyareacapacity.com/

No details around proposals, early stage consultation.

What do we need to do to improve capacity?

In order to increase capacity of the railway we need to address the following challenges:


• removing existing speed restrictions across key bridges to allow trains to run more efficiently


• remodelling the track layout at Ely station to accommodate more train services


• modifying Ely station platforms to accommodate more train services


• remodelling the track layout at Ely North Junction to allow more trains per hour to pass through safely and efficiently


• upgrading the signalling system in line with any changes to the track layout


• upgrading or closing existing level crossings while maintaining connectivity of the road network.


On the last point running more trains would increase barrier down times at level crossings and this may require additional measures to maintain safety for all level crossing users.


As we develop the rail options to improve capacity, we also need to understand the impact on road users and what we can do to maintain important road connections into Ely from surrounding communities.


All of these potential interventions will need to be assessed as part of the continuing development work for the EACE programme.
 

Maltazer

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Not sure what the point of this first round is other than delay the real consultation for another 6 months. Surely you don't need to consult on whether to do anything at all?
 

DynamicSpirit

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The Consultation timeline tells you when you can expect more specific options:
  • Early 2021 Public consultation on options in the Ely south area (station and further South)
  • Summer/autumn 2021 Public consultation on the options in the rest of the Ely area (presumably, those level crossings and the junctions North of the station)
  • Autumn/winter 2022 Public consultation on preferred options within the EACE programme

Not sure what the point of this first round is other than delay the real consultation for another 6 months. Surely you don't need to consult on whether to do anything at all?
It's a public engagement. Reading through the site and survey, I would think the purpose is probably to get local people on board with the idea that work to increase capacity on the railway is going to happen and why it needs to be done, and get some idea of local sentiment.
 

edwin_m

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From the first page of the questionnaire I think they are mainly fishing for ideas. It's possible a good idea will come up that nobody on the team has thought of, but the main purpose of this is probably to assess public sentiment as suggested, plus to be able to say they have consulted which gives them more grounds to override objections that might come along later.
 

ac6000cw

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So based on the 'timeline' page dates, the earliest date work might actually start is sometime in 2025, so any bets on when the improvement program might be finished?

(There is also an entertaining capacity-reducing error on the right hand side of the map on the 'funding' page :) - it's not the only 'typo' error in the information either - does nobody proof-read this stuff before making it globally public?)
 

DynamicSpirit

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From the first page of the questionnaire I think they are mainly fishing for ideas. It's possible a good idea will come up that nobody on the team has thought of, but the main purpose of this is probably to assess public sentiment as suggested, plus to be able to say they have consulted which gives them more grounds to override objections that might come along later.
Fishing for ideas is actually quite reasonable. If that's partly what they are doing, then maybe someone needs to suggest they dig around Railforums. We all must have pretty much exhausted every plausible (and implausible) idea that they might not have thought of here! ;)
 

Bald Rick

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Fishing for ideas is actually quite reasonable. If that's partly what they are doing, then maybe someone needs to suggest they dig around Railforums. We all must have pretty much exhausted every plausible (and implausible) idea that they might not have thought of here! ;)
Oh they already have ;)
 

arb

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The consultation talks about remodelling the track layout at both Ely North Junction and Ely station, and also modifying the station platforms. This thread has had lots of ideas for Ely North Junction, but hardly any for the station. What might plausibly (or implausibly) happen around the station? A new platform 4 alongside the current goods line? A new bay platform 0 for terminating the King's Cross to Ely services? Longer platforms and a scissors crossover like platforms 1 and 4 at Cambridge? A bay platform for the Norwich to Peterborough trains to reverse without blocking through trains? More platforms, and more tracks between the station and Ely Dock Junction, to keep the Ipswich-bound and Cambridge-bound trains separate? Take over some land from the school playing field to achieve this? Demolish all of the station buildings, rebuild them over the current car park, add the new lines/platforms where the buildings are now, and tell people to use the Tesco car park ;) ?
 

Maltazer

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Modifying the southern junction to give access to platform 3 to / from the Soham line without conflicting with the up main looks fairly easy, but I can't be certain that the goods loop would still be long enough.

Is another platform really necessary? It would help if the Kings Cross terminators weren't sitting in platform 3 for half the day.

I also wonder whether the ambition for an hourly service to Ipswich could be implemented right now, if it started from Ely every other hour (so adding no additional burden to Ely north). But that's probably for another thread.
 

Ianno87

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I also wonder whether the ambition for an hourly service to Ipswich could be implemented right now, if it started from Ely every other hour (so adding no additional burden to Ely north). But that's probably for another thread.
It would end up sitting in Ely for 40-50 minutes every hour, which ain't great.
 

Meerkat

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Instead of struggling trying to double an existing dodgy track bed build a new double track line from Soham that meets the main line far enough south of the Ely bypass for a flyover then quadruple all the way to Ely North, moving the island platform east so that you have E-W - Peterborough down platform, goods down, goods up, island platform (bidi both sides for Peterborough up and Kings Lynn/Norwich trains, maybe a bay for reversing Peterborough-Norwich trains). Easy :lol:
Budget? Oh..... (though seriously big money upgrades of Felixstowe routes should be a national priority)
 

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