East Anglia Rail Network


Cambridgeshire Corridor Study

Network Rail have published their Cambridgeshire Corridor Study, which can be downloaded here:

A timetable expert has told us “that there has been no attempt to assess current demand; access current supply; assess whether the current supply is sufficient to meet current demand; if not, what short term measures can be taken so it does and ( there has been no attempt to) develop options that will enable a suitable train service to meet future demand.”

A column in the Cambridge Independent by local transport expert, Edward Leigh, is headlined “Railway Plans lack Ambition”. He writes that “ what’s missing is simply any grasp of the scale of change needed to radically reduce the environmental damage of road transport. Rail is one of the least carbon-intensive and least polluting forms of transport, so we should aiming for a huge and rapid shift to rail. Assertions in the report like this beggar belief - ‘No additional services are required for the high peak hour between Cambridge and Ipswich to meet 2033 demand’. Newmarket has a similar population to Ely but only 16% of passenger numbers through its railway station. A faster, more frequent service from Bury St Edmunds, ideally through to Cambridge South, would see demand rocket.” The column concludes with “where’s the vision, where’s the ambition?”

Norfolk Suffolk Integrated Transport Strategy response

In May 2018 Railfuture East Anglia submitted a four-page document responding to the recently published New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) strategy for integrated transport in Norfolk and Suffolk which was followed up by a meeting on July 23rd with Ellen Goodwin, Infrastructure Manager at NALEP, attended also by David Cummings of Norfolk County Council.

We raised the case for improved train/bus integration in both Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth and improved accessibility at certain stations (such as Needham Market, Stowmarket, Diss and Wymondham) and for new stations in the Norwich area. We were informed that NALEP would contribute to work to improve the capacity of the Felixstowe branch and could potentially fund a feasibility study to improve line capacity to Stansted Airport jointly with neighbouring authorities.

The response can be downloaded here:

Cambridgeshire Regional Metro

Railfuture East Anglia is promoting Cambridgeshire Metro, a service of trains of such frequency that for most journeys reference to a timetable is unnecessary.
The train service will be provided by the existing regional rail network, planned higher service
frequencies, greater passenger capacity, shorter end to end journey times together with some
selected line re-openings and improved access from other forms of transport including a light rail line linking housing and employment areas in and around Cambridge.

Ely North upgrade delaying hourly Peterborough to Ipswich service

Following campaigning by Railfuture East Anglia for an hourly service between Ipswich and Peterborough, we welcomed its inclusion in the Anglia franchise announced last summer, the only real ‘gain’ beyond what was in the Invitation to tender (ITT). However, Network Rail now say this is not possible due to insufficient capacity at Ely. The franchise award was evaluated prior to the ‘Hendy review’ which pushed the Ely works beyond 2019! This means that, effectively, Greater Anglia will have new trains delivered before they can be put into service on this route.

Greater Anglia have appealed to stakeholders (including campaigning groups) to lobby ministers and DfT officials as we gear up for CP6 (2019-24) planning cycle to ensure that this junction is given the highest priority.

Railfuture East Anglia chair Nick Dibben said “Capacity at this junction is hopelessly inadequate to meet the needs of the local economy. The cities of Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich as well as the Port of Felixstowe and Stansted Airport all rely on rail services that pass through Ely .We welcome the recent commitment from the ‘New Anglia’ and ‘Greater Cambridge and Peterborough’ LEPs to co-fund the business case for this project – the first time the New Anglia LEP has put money into rail!”