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Ely North Junction upgrade proposals

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LAX54

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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.

There is no point doubling Soham to take more freight unless they do work on the Felixstowe line first, and as that is unlikely in the forseeable future, there seems little point, as extra freight cant be handled, there is too much now for what is there !
 

MarkyT

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There is no point doubling Soham to take more freight unless they do work on the Felixstowe line first, and as that is unlikely in the forseeable future, there seems little point, as extra freight cant be handled, there is too much now for what is there !

Well you have to do something first! I thought part of the argument for improving the Ely route was to divert more of the existing trains away from London, where there's also a capacity crisis due to far more passenger traffic on the NLL etc.

Note my argument was for a more limited Soham scheme (i.e only a short double section at the Ely end, so the remainder of the single line could be used more flexibly and effectively.
 

LAX54

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Well you have to do something first! I thought part of the argument for improving the Ely route was to divert more of the existing trains away from London, where there's also a capacity crisis due to far more passenger traffic on the NLL etc.

Note my argument was for a more limited Soham scheme (i.e only a short double section at the Ely end, so the remainder of the single line could be used more flexibly and effectively.

FIRST... deal with the Felixstowe Single Line to the Ports, at the moment when one train is late, then every train be it FL / GB / AGA etc are all late for some hours after, and normally ends up with a round of passenger runs cancelled, once we get that line on an even keel, and the punctuality has improved, and we can manage the existing services, then work on Ely / Soham etc, this morning at 0530/0600 we had a couple of late freights, at 1600 we are still trying to catch up, luckily its a Saturday, so the late runners are not too bad, still not good however.
 

OxtedL

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Except that, on its own, it doesn't realise a single extra train path...

What kind of work do you need for that? Are we talking about just a recast, or additional resignalling, or something altogether more expensive?
 

Class 170101

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Whether or not Felixstowe is sorted first, second or third Ely to Soham needs doing. I am surprised political pressure from the London Mayor has not been brought to bear on this issue as he has stated he wanted freight not destined for London diverted (paraphrasing) away from it.
 

Bald Rick

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What kind of work do you need for that? Are we talking about just a recast, or additional resignalling, or something altogether more expensive?

Recast, clearly. Power upgrade (being done). And 70+ level crossings...
 

chappers

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Ely to Soham re-double has been officially postponed anyway as the initial surveys have indicated the cost will be way above original budget.

Felixstowe capacity enhancement is happening - scope is still developing but installing a new double junction at Westerfield and doubling the branch down to Tuddenham Road is certainly on the table, with a couple of other long loops to be installed elsewhere
 
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There is no point doubling Soham to take more freight unless they do work on the Felixstowe line first, and as that is unlikely in the forseeable future, there seems little point, as extra freight cant be handled, there is too much now for what is there !

They don't necessarily have to do anymore work on the Felixstowe line, there was talk of withdrawing the passenger service between Ipswich and Felixstowe with the port owners paying for replacement buses although that idea has gone quiet in recent months
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Ely-Soham and Felixstowe lines have always been single track...

No, not correct, only in recent years, before the war and before Soham nearly got obliterated by a MOD train it was double all the way (Ely to Soham)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
They tried to put in freight loops at the Ely end put they lost funding from Europe due to not making the start date
People on this forum claim the compound for the work was set up/cleared
Railway herald article
http://railwayherald.com/uknews/work_starts_on_new_freight_loops_at_ely

Yes because the money was specifically for the loops, however they decided they wanted to double Ely to Soham instead so the money had to go back, infrastructure was set up at Ely for months with hardly any work taking place then they just cleared up and went overnight, the location was next to the bridge that collapsed they built a roadway down there and a yard, had office portokabins and other machinery present then as I said they disappeared
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I thought it was required for 2tph to Kings Lynn as per govai contract commitments

I think they will need to spend more money and do more work than Ely North Junction for these ECS moves (if you have been on any the hourly services between 9am and 4pm you will know why I have just called them ECS moves)

In truth the trains they send down there after 6pm get stacked at Littleport and usually arrive at KLN late
 
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eastdyke

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Except that, on its own, it doesn't realise a single extra train path...

But does what you say depend upon whether (or not) the north junction re-modelling includes continued inclusion of access to the west curve?

And a projection of future services?

Increase Norwich - Cambridge to 2 tph (one to Stansted).
Most EMT via west curve missing Ely with a stop at March.
All sand trains without a reverse at Ely.
Much improved service resilience.
And some?
 

a good off

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They don't necessarily have to do anymore work on the Felixstowe line, there was talk of withdrawing the passenger service between Ipswich and Felixstowe with the port owners paying for replacement buses although that idea has gone quiet in recent months
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


No, not correct, only in recent years, before the war and before Soham nearly got obliterated by a MOD train it was double all the way (Ely to Soham)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Yes because the money was specifically for the loops, however they decided they wanted to double Ely to Soham instead so the money had to go back, infrastructure was set up at Ely for months with hardly any work taking place then they just cleared up and went overnight, the location was next to the bridge that collapsed they built a roadway down there and a yard, had office portokabins and other machinery present then as I said they disappeared
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I think they will need to spend more money and do more work than Ely North Junction for these ECS moves (if you have been on any the hourly services between 9am and 4pm you will know why I have just called them ECS moves)

In truth the trains they send down there after 6pm get stacked at Littleport and usually arrive at KLN late

CockneySparrow, the line from Soham to Ely Dock Jn was always single with a passing loop for freight at Barway. The LNER had a scheme to double it before WWII but the money got diverted elsewhere due to the war.
 
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LAX54

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They don't necessarily have to do anymore work on the Felixstowe line, there was talk of withdrawing the passenger service between Ipswich and Felixstowe with the port owners paying for replacement buses although that idea has gone quiet in recent months
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


No, not correct, only in recent years, before the war and before Soham nearly got obliterated by a MOD train it was double all the way (Ely to Soham)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Yes because the money was specifically for the loops, however they decided they wanted to double Ely to Soham instead so the money had to go back, infrastructure was set up at Ely for months with hardly any work taking place then they just cleared up and went overnight, the location was next to the bridge that collapsed they built a roadway down there and a yard, had office portokabins and other machinery present then as I said they disappeared
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I think they will need to spend more money and do more work than Ely North Junction for these ECS moves (if you have been on any the hourly services between 9am and 4pm you will know why I have just called them ECS moves)

In truth the trains they send down there after 6pm get stacked at Littleport and usually arrive at KLN late

I do no think there is any chance of the Felix Pass service going now, in fact maybe the opposite, at the very most they could go back to the 80's where there were no passenger services for a couple hours mid day, but we had less freight then too ! but now the line cannot cope at all, the Main Line and Cross Country maybe able to cope with a few more added, even with no upgrade at Soham and Ely, but it would just cause mayhem from the BFC/Ips Yd to the Ports. The only time you may be able to run a couple more would be between 0100 and 0200/0300, even then it would be tight! at the end of the day it is the busiest Port in the UK, the busiest Rail Port in the UK, and has a 1950's single lane country B road running to it !
 

ac6000cw

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CockneySparrow, the line from Soham to Ely Dock Jn was always single with a passing loop for freight at Barway. The LNER had a scheme to double it before WWII but the money got diverted elsewhere due to the war.

I agree - the recently replaced bridge at Ely dating from the 1930s was built to double track standard to allow for the LNER doubling scheme which never happened.

The section in the 'Red for Danger' book covering the 1944 Soham bomb accident specifically says in relation to Barway Siding signalbox that the train 'exchanged single-line tokens there at 1.31 am'.

The current line has no loop at Barway, but (AFAIK) there are intermediate block signals between Ely and Soham to allow 'flighting' of trains in the same direction. Maybe the Barway loop was too short for modern freight trains (in BR days) and couldn't be economically extended so BR decided to abandon it.

My guess is that when the railway company (GER at the time?) doubled the Newmarket - Soham section they didn't go any further because of the unstable ground conditions beyond Soham made it difficult/expensive to deal with. Nothing much has changed really....

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

at the end of the day it is the busiest Port in the UK, the busiest Rail Port in the UK, and has a 1950's single lane country B road running to it !

What ?!! - the modern A14 dual-carriageway trunk road runs right into the port area.

And in the other direction the A14 bypasses Ipswich via the massive modern bridge across the River Orwell estuary, so it's actually got very good road access. Then it's dual-carriageway A14 north-westward, or dual-carriageway A12 towards the M25 and London.

See https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place...2!3m1!1s0x47d97635581d89a3:0x821bdd4b6b3e6df0
 
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GB

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Think he was meaning the single line is 1950s B road....which is pretty much correct.
 

ac6000cw

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I think in 'road equivalent' terms the current branch is a good single-carriageway A-road (it was a B-road before the resignalling, when the loop at Derby Road was too short to hold a decent length freight, and it was manual token block working).

What I find odd is the seeming lack of imagination/forethought that means that after spending all the money to *build* the Bacon Factory Curve (and deliberately making the curve tracks long enough to hold full-length freight trains), each track on the curve is only signalled for one direction (AFAIK - apologies if I've got it wrong)). So if one train is being held on the curve, another in the same direction which might be heading for a different terminal can't overtake it by using the other track. It's the same situation on the double track section up to Westerfield. In some other countries they would be shaking their heads in disbelief.

Given that the interlocking had to be extensively changed anyway to accommodate the new junctions etc., this seems to be a 'ha'porth of tar' situation...
 

GB

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Bidi on the curve would have been good, but would have required another set of crossovers at each end.
 

ac6000cw

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That's the first time I've ever heard the term 'modern' used to describe the A14...

Given that the oldest section of the current A14 dates from 1973 (the Huntingdon bypass), it's modern in infrastructure terms and in road design terms, in the sense that the major junctions are grade-separated and it's dual-carriageway.

It's certainly much more 'modern' than a lot of the rest of the road network in East Anglia...

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Bidi on the curve would have been good, but would have required another set of crossovers at each end.

So a 'Ha'porth of tar' really in comparison to all the other work that had to be done. The people and equipment had to be on-site to put in the new junctions and signalling anyway, so the incremental cost should have been quite low if it was all done at the same time.
 
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Bald Rick

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So a 'Ha'porth of tar' really in comparison to all the other work that had to be done. The people and equipment had to be on-site to put in the new junctions and signalling anyway, so the incremental cost should have been quite low if it was all done at the same time.

If ha'porth of tars cost about £5m, for something that would be rarely useful...
 

furnessvale

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A good start on relieving congestion on the Felixstowe branch would be the banning of light engine movements.

Any light engine to or from the docks should be attached, top or tail, to a revenue freight.

It's not the final solution but it could buy a bit of time.
 

ChiefPlanner

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A good start on relieving congestion on the Felixstowe branch would be the banning of light engine movements.

Any light engine to or from the docks should be attached, top or tail, to a revenue freight.

It's not the final solution but it could buy a bit of time.

Or minimised - used to gt 4x37 coupled together to work the 2130 and 2200 departures to Trafford Park. This was in 1981 though.

A fuelling point at Felixstowe might also help.
 

70014IronDuke

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Ely to Soham re-double has been officially postponed anyway as the initial surveys have indicated the cost will be way above original budget.

......

Which is, presumably, why MarkyT suggested just doing the first mile south of Ely.

What makes the cost so much above the originally planned budget - land stabilisation?
 

furnessvale

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Or minimised - used to gt 4x37 coupled together to work the 2130 and 2200 departures to Trafford Park. This was in 1981 though.

A fuelling point at Felixstowe might also help.

AIUI FLL have plans for a fuelling point at Felixstowe but are in no hurry to implement them.

Most of the light engine moves are FLL. Less LE moves means more available paths, potentially for operators other than FLL. I do not need to be a rocket scientist to work out what is going on!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Which is, presumably, why MarkyT suggested just doing the first mile south of Ely.

What makes the cost so much above the originally planned budget - land stabilisation?

I believe the answer to that is yes, which, I understand, is why it was single line in the first place.
 

GB

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There aren't actually that many light engine moves at the moment. Those that do exist are either when theres not much else about or going from one terminal to the other via Trimley.

...and the removal of a LE path doesn't necessarily equate to an additional freight path.
 

furnessvale

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There aren't actually that many light engine moves at the moment. Those that do exist are either when theres not much else about or going from one terminal to the other via Trimley.

...and the removal of a LE path doesn't necessarily equate to an additional freight path.

Two things spring to mind. If there is "not much else about" why is there a fuss about available paths? Surely the gap could be filled by more revenue freight.

Secondly, I agree one LE does not equal one heavy freight in pathing terms and some timetable recasting would be necessary.
 

ac6000cw

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There aren't actually that many light engine moves at the moment. Those that do exist are either when theres not much else about or going from one terminal to the other via Trimley.

Just based on casual observation on the line, I'd agree with that. Most often any 'light' engine moves are done by attaching the extra loco to the front or rear of a 'revenue' freight train (assuming there is one of 'yours' going in the right direction at the time).

Even the last point could be covered by having some sort of 'pooling' arrangement between the FOCs, so a loco could 'hitch a lift' with any train going in the right direction/to the right terminal. Efficient operation of the line is in all the FOCs interest, after all.
 
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