Ely North Junction upgrade proposals

eastdyke

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The Cambridgeshire County Council Economy and Environment Committee (8th February) did not totally agree with the form of words put to them by Officers:
https://goo.gl/tg62sB
The words in red underline were deleted from the original proposition.

It was unanimously resolved to:
a) Note the proposals for wider regional and national benefits, of increased rail capacity through Ely North Junction;
b) Note the potential impact on the whole community, residents and local businesses of increased frequency and duration of level crossing closures;
c) Agree to oppose any measures that restrict traffic flow across the level crossings to the detriment of residents and local businesses until alternative solutions are put in place;
d) Note the intention to explore opportunities with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to fund the options development for a road and / bridge or rail solution (Options 7 or 8 of the traffic study) and;
e) Agree to continue to work with the Combined Authority, Network Rail and the Ely Area Task Force to develop a comprehensive road solution that meets the needs of all Cambridgeshire residents and in particular the communities of Queen Adelaide, Prickwillow and Ely.
Meanwhile the local press is running stories about 'delays' to the introduction of 8 car trains running to King's Lynn.
NR are variously accused with varying degrees of 'accuracy'.
eg from Eastern Daily Press:
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environ...kings-lynn-to-london-set-for-delays-1-5398045
There are currently eight-carriage Great Northern trains serving the Ely and Cambridge stations but officials at a rail summit in January last year hoped to extend the service to Watlington, Littleport and Waterbeach by December 2018.
But in Network Rail’s strategic business plan for Control Period 6 - the next round of funding for projects in the next five years - states that the final investment decision for longer trains has not yet been decided.

A spokesman from Network Rail said this is an internal governance process which every project has to go through, adding: “The King’s Lynn eight car scheme is amongst the CP5 projects that have funding.
“We are currently working up plans with operators to confirm when the infrastructure works to enable these services can take place.
[Part quote only there is more ......]
 
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eastdyke

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Do we know what options 7 and 8 were?
The options are in the report attached to the meeting Agenda, link posted by @bspahh in post 86 up-thread:
There is a report from Cambridge County Council https://*******.com/ybnr4rrx with a survey on road traffic through Queen Adelaide. There is a summary from pages 29-37 of the PDF file. The full report is from pages 39-132.

The report suggests one of three options. The cheapest is where they fit ANPR cameras to restrict the level crossings to local traffic. This would reduce the length of the queues, but still leave the local traffic to wait for a while. For £40m, there would be a bridge over the Peterborough line. For ~£100m there would be a bypass around the North of Ely and Queen Adelaide.
 

bspahh

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Network Rail has written to the Fen Line Users Association http://www.flua.org.uk/ about the 8 car trains to Kings Lynn, saying:
Everyone at Network Rail appreciates the desire amongst residents, local representatives and our partners at Great Northern to see the King’s Lynn 8 car scheme delivered as soon as possible. We know it will add much-needed capacity to this stretch of line, and will provide a range of operational benefits for both Great Northern and Greater Anglia. We are anticipating that design work will continue over the coming months and that this will be completed in the summer. In parallel with this we are currently working up plans with operators to confirm when the infrastructure works can take place. Once we complete our design work and have agreed access arrangements, a detailed construction programme will be developed, which will allow us to notify our stakeholders and the wider community about the commencement of the works and expected delivery dates. Given the timescales associated with this work, unfortunately we won’t be able to deliver the scheme by December 2018. A number of recent queries have been prompted by the publication of the Anglia route Strategic Business Plan for Railway Control Period 6 (2019-2024), which listed the scheme under ‘CP5 Major Programmes or Enhancement Delivery Plan (EDP) Projects which have CP5 funding, but not yet passed Final Investment Decision’. To clarify the situation, a final investment decision to deliver will be taken after the scheme [has] completed its design stages. For the avoidance of doubt, we remain committed to delivering this scheme as soon as possible.
 

Taunton

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Absolutely ridiculous that this ‘much-needed’ work isn’t even going to be done by the end of this year

I’ve no idea who is to blame for this dragging on for so long, but it is a disgraceful state of affairs.
Actually, what this says

We are anticipating that design work will continue over the coming months and that this will be completed in the summer. In parallel with this we are currently working up plans with operators to confirm when the infrastructure works can take place. Once we complete our design work and have agreed access arrangements, a detailed construction programme will be developed, which will allow us to notify our stakeholders and the wider community about the commencement of the works
is that they haven't even started. Indeed, they are only "anticipating" that design work will continue. However long does it take to do 4 cars of extension designs at a few stations?
 

ac6000cw

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It's probably not just 'platform extensions' - I think there are power supply upgrades needed, and doubtless some signals need moving and/or there are road and footpath crossing problems at some locations.

There have been 8-car trains on the Ely-Kings Lynn line for some years in the peaks, but they can't call at all stations and only a certain number of EMUs are allowed in traffic at any one time due to power supply limits.
 

Bald Rick

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There are certainly level crossing issues.

Also, someone has to come up with the money. And they won't come up with it until they know how much it needs to be. And you won't get that design is done. QED.
 

jopsuk

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really it should be the full bridge scheme, but £100 million for a relatively quiet B road is a heck of a lot. The level crossings on the A10 (Foxton and Littleport) could do with that money sooner.
 

eastdyke

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There are certainly level crossing issues.
Also, someone has to come up with the money. And they won't come up with it until they know how much it needs to be. And you won't get that design is done. QED.
And you can't do a design for a single service in isolation because there are at least 5 enhanced service aspirations that (may*) hang on Ely. (*or more like be hung by)
I understand that, but just talking about services to King's Lynn as brought up in post #125 by @bspahh, there are level crossing issues over the whole route to King's Lynn.
I understand the level crossing concern over 2tph (from 1tph) but just making services 8 car in place of 4?. The increase in risk at level crossings for that needs some more explanation.
 

Bald Rick

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And you can't do a design for a single service in isolation because there are at least 5 enhanced service aspirations that (may*) hang on Ely. (*or more like be hung by)
I understand that, but just talking about services to King's Lynn as brought up in post #125 by @bspahh, there are level crossing issues over the whole route to King's Lynn.
I understand the level crossing concern over 2tph (from 1tph) but just making services 8 car in place of 4?. The increase in risk at level crossings for that needs some more explanation.
Ok here goes.

Level crossing risk is measured by the number of fatalities or weighted injuries (FWI) a crossing can expect in a given time period, usually a year. It is a function of a multitude of factors, and the FWI numbers are usually vanishingly small at any one crossing. The two most significant factors are:

1) Number of people going across the crossing (by train or road / path)
2) Number of potential interactions between rail vehicles and road users, ie how many trains use the crossing, and how many road vehicles / pedestrians use the crossing.

Taking 2) first; if you increase either the number of trains or number of road users, the number of interactions increases; therefore the likelihood of there being an incident will increase, assuming the probability of any one interaction going 'wrong' stays the same, on average. Put simply if you double the train service, you very roughly double the interactions, and therefore risk (actually it doesn't, but this is the simple explanation).

Back to the question, and factor 1). If you double the length of trains, then by implication you increase the number of people on the trains. (Again this is an assumption, but a reasonable one). Therefore the number of people on the crossing increases. Assuming the number of interactions remains the same (same number of trains and road users) and the probability of an interaction going wrong remains the same, there is still a raised FWI as more people can be affected if something does happen.

Another way to look at it is that if a 4 car Class 379 with all passenger seats occupied hits a loaded artic on a crossing, 211 people are at risk of injury or worse (209 passengers, 1 train driver, 1 lorry driver). If an 8 car Class 379 with all passenger seats occupied hits a loaded artic on a crossing, 420 people are at risk, ie approximately double.

Having been on site in the aftermath of loaded trains have hit HGVs, tractors, etc etc, it's not something I would want to wish on any passenger or driver. The Cambridge - Kings Lynn line has a particular issue; from memory a train hits a vehicle on a crossing on that stretch every year or so.

This is the very very simple version, but I hope it explains how the models work.
 
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Bald Rick

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really it should be the full bridge scheme, but £100 million for a relatively quiet B road is a heck of a lot. The level crossings on the A10 (Foxton and Littleport) could do with that money sooner.
Queen Adelaide isn't a major problem with the train lengthening programme. It is a problem for the all the other things in the Ely area, ie those that increase the frequency of train service.
 

eastdyke

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Ok here goes.
..........
I thank you for that.
If trains are not lengthened extra passengers will still use the 4 car until the number travelling causes such overcrowding that the increase is balanced by those who find it unacceptable and travel another way. In the meantime the extra passengers who do travel do so in non-ideal conditions and, whilst (possibly?) feeding into the risk models, do not give a service enhancement on which to hang any cost of measures of mitigation. Further, the actual risk to train passengers would clearly not double overnight with the doubling of train length.
Running 1tph at 8 car invloves approximately half the risk of an incident happening when compared with the 'aspirational' 2tph.
No doubt the tin hats are on when dealing with the local politicians, business leaders and user groups who thought that 8 car was all going to happen in the current year.
And yes there are a significant number of crossing incidents on the route (it's East Anglia there are lots of crossings, many user worked), which feeds into the justification for the projects already ongoing to reduce/improve crossings.
But the money avaiable for the work is quite small when compared to the number of crossings on the network and progression made difficult by the 'needs' and views of local people, often not those who will benefit from any improved service.
 

Class 170101

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Does the model take account of loadings of the train in that if a four car train is loaded to 200 people seated it is safer than 200 seated plus 200 standing and therefore an 8 car would be 400 but all seated and this should be safer than 200 seated + 200 standing?
 

eastdyke

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It's all so simple, according to a piece in Fenland Citizen titled:
'Half hourly trains for Wisbech and rural transport hub at Manea is aim of new pressure group'
https://www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/ne...-manea-is-aim-of-new-pressure-group-1-8407412
As far as this thread goes a short extract is:
The group, which is backed by a prominent local business but is made up of volunteers, wants Wisbech rail ready to run trains the minute work to upgrade the Ely North rail junction is completed and have devised a possible half-hourly time table. The junction is essential for improved rail services not just in Fenland but across the eastern region.
The 'new pressure group' seems to be Wisbech Rail Consultative Group set up by Railfuture East Anglia.
No level crossings in sight in the full article, just lots of things that would need lots of money and then probably some more:
Half hourly trains for Wisbech and rural transport hub at Manea is aim of new pressure group

Wisbech Rail Consultative Group insist the new station should be on the town side of the A47 to truly benefit residents.



Trains will run every half hour from a town centre station that’s the aim of a newly formed public pressure group set up to increase lobbying for the reopening of the Wisbech to March rail line.

Peter Wakefield who heads the Wisbech Rail Consultative Group set up by Railfuture East Anglia said they will be meeting with Cambridgeshire Mayor James Palmer within the next few weeks to discuss the rail project.


Wisbech Rail Consultative Group insist there should be a half-hourly service once the rail link is reopenened.


He said the campaign to re-open the line, which should be called the TransCambs Link, has built up momentum in the last five years largely thanks to local MP Steve Barclay but also Wisbech 2020 and now has the backing of Transport Minister Chris Grayling who has said the Wisbech scheme must be delivered.


“We want to see it deliverd within the next few years and we want it to link right through to the newly funded Cambride South station. Wisbech is vital to the whole county’s economic sustainability.


“It will improve transport connectivity by giving Wisbech and Fenland residents access to high quality jobs all along the corridor and especially in Cambridge and will be a huge benefit to the whole county.”

The group, which is backed by a prominent local business but is made up of volunteers, wants Wisbech rail ready to run trains the minute work to upgrade the Ely North rail junction is completed and have devised a possible half-hourly time table. The junction is essential for improved rail services not just in Fenland but across the eastern region.


Wisbech Rail Consultative Group have drawn up a detailed report on the project including pointing out the benefits to the whole county.

Once the upgrade has been carried out it will enable more trains to stop at Manea and the group hopes the village station will become a rural transport hub.

“As a rural transport hub Manea station would be upgraded with a dedicated car park, better waiting room facilities, better lighting and security. It is also hoped to provide cycleways from the village to the station and a bus service linked to the train times from Chatteris,” said Peter.



He said footfall has already increased dramatically at Manea station and with a proposed half-hourly service linked to the half hour trains from Wisbech that will increase further.

In a detailed report the consultative group points out the most efficient way of working through Cambridge and in rolling stock use, would be to combine the Wisbech to Cambridge service with the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street service - giving people in Wisbech a direct link to the capital.


Wisbech Rail Consultative Group - run by Railfuture - wants Manea to become a rural transport hub once the Wisbech line is re-opened.

Peter added: “There is no doubting public support. At the outset we delivered leaflets to every household asking Wisbech people to sign a petition calling for Cambridgeshire County Counci to officially start work on a feasibility study - very rapidly we had over 5,000 responses, there are around 10,000 homes in the town, so that demonstrates the strength of feeling there is for this project.”

He also said a town centre station is vital.



“Who wants to end up on the wrong side of the A47 when they arrive in Wisbech? If the station is built south of the A47 it will be harder for people to get to and some of the wider economic benefits will be lost. There is land available for a station and we have drawn a map to show where it should go,” he said.

Finally the group wants to see some of the lengthy and expensive processes needed to be completed before work can start simplified.

“There are eight distinct stages, they are time consuming and expensive, we believe they can be simplified and we understand Mayor Palmer is also of the same view and that is one of the things we will be discussing when we meet with him in the next few weeks,” concluded Peter


 

TheDavibob

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The thing that jumped out was the dream of "[combining] the Wisbech to Cambridge service with the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street service". Are wires going to magically appear?

If Ely North is removed as a major constraint, what's the reasonable capacity of Ely - March (and Peterborough) for passenger trains?
 

jopsuk

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"we'd like to skip much of the GRIP process".

But yeah, they do seem to be saying that they want the whole thing electrified. The stations would have to be 120m platforms, and I reckon having even more trains across the various level crossing (starting with Fen Road in Cambridge, just south of Cambridge North!)

I count 21 level crossings from Cambridge to March, not including the one at Ely station, but including the one at Queen Adelaide.
 

eastdyke

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"we'd like to skip much of the GRIP process".

But yeah, they do seem to be saying that they want the whole thing electrified. The stations would have to be 120m platforms, and I reckon having even more trains across the various level crossing (starting with Fen Road in Cambridge, just south of Cambridge North!)

I count 21 level crossings from Cambridge to March, not including the one at Ely station, but including the one at Queen Adelaide.
Less those to be closed as part of the Transport and Works Act Order for Cambridgeshire Level Crossings that fall within scope for March-Cambridge (not sure where we are in the Public Inquiry process at the moment):
https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-co...rossings-Cambridgeshire-Final-List-Update.pdf
Plus those on the Wisbech branch :)
 

eastdyke

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The thing that jumped out was the dream of "[combining] the Wisbech to Cambridge service with the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street service". Are wires going to magically appear?

If Ely North is removed as a major constraint, what's the reasonable capacity of Ely - March (and Peterborough) for passenger trains?
The 'reasonable capacity' is not really affected by Ely North Junction itself, much more about other constraints, especially level crossings!
For Ely area in general there are at least 5 elements for aspirational growth of which services to/from Wisbech may perhaps be considered the least likely.
 

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Bald Rick

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If Ely North is removed as a major constraint, what's the reasonable capacity of Ely - March (and Peterborough) for passenger trains?
Probably the same as it is today. Lots of AHBs likely to need upgrading.

"we'd like to skip much of the GRIP process".
Ah, if I had a quid for every time a third party funder said that, did a feasibility, and then wondered why their project went wrong, I’d have at least £23.
 

Bald Rick

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I count 21 level crossings from Cambridge to March, not including the one at Ely station, but including the one at Queen Adelaide.
I don’t have the most up to date list, but there are nearly 50 from Cambridge to March inclusive.
 

locomad46

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There are currently 3 stations on the King's Lynn - Cambridge line that can only take 4 car trains, being Watlington, Littleport and Waterbeach, while SW Norfolk MP Liz Truss was recently almost demanding the platforms be installed almost overnight. Knowing where she lives, so has NO use of the line, WHY does she need to have them extended?
 

AS43

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There are currently 3 stations on the King's Lynn - Cambridge line that can only take 4 car trains, being Watlington, Littleport and Waterbeach, while SW Norfolk MP Liz Truss was recently almost demanding the platforms be installed almost overnight. Knowing where she lives, so has NO use of the line, WHY does she need to have them extended?
SW Norfolk includes Downham Market which, despite having an 8 car platform, sees one 8 car service in each direction per weekday. The rest of the day, 4 car trains are invariably busy and, during the peak, overcrowding is the norm (not helped by the switch to 387s from 365s). Therefore, it's in her constituents' interests for 8 car trains to be standard and that can only realistically happen with the platform extensions (SDO not being desirable at certain locations).

That's WHY.
 

jopsuk

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It's as if even an MP like Truss from time to time actually represents her constituents, not just her personal interests. You know, like she's been elected to do.
 

Ianno87

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It's as if even an MP like Truss from time to time actually represents her constituents, not just her personal interests. You know, like she's been elected to do.
And lots of South West Norfolk many miles from a railway use Downham Market as a railhead.
 

eastdyke

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