Ely to Peterborough Line

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Ely to Peterborough Line
Train Speeds towards Peterborough - geograph.org.uk - 1930671.jpg
170203 speeds towards Peterborough near Turves
Overview
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Cambridgeshire, England
Termini Ely
52°23′28″N 0°15′59″E / 52.3910°N 0.2665°E / 52.3910; 0.2665 (Ely station)
Peterborough
52°34′29″N 0°15′00″W / 52.5746°N 0.2499°W / 52.5746; -0.2499 (Peterborough station)
Stations 3 not counting Ely and Peterborough.
Operation
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) CrossCountry
East Midlands Trains
Greater Anglia
Character Secondary[1]
Rolling stock Class 170 "Turbostar"
Class 158 "Sprinter"
Technical
No. of tracks Two
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 75 mph maximum
Ely to Peterborough line
Cambridge-King's Lynn
Ely-Ipswich
Ely
Ely-Norwich lines
Cambridge-King's Lynn
Chettisham
Black Bank
Manea(closed on Sundays)
Stonea
to Wimblington & St Ives
March
to Wisbech and Spalding
Benwick goods railway
Eastrea
Whittlesea
Peterborough East
East Coast Main Line
Peterborough
Peterborough-Birmingham line
East Coast Main Line

The Ely to Peterborough Line is a railway line in England, linking East Anglia to the Midlands. It is a part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 5, SRS 05.07 and is classified as a secondary line.[1] It is used by a variety of inter-regional and local passenger services from East Anglia to the West Midlands and North West, as well as freight and infrastructure traffic; it also links with the busy East Coast Main Line at its western end. Fenland District council (the area's primary local authority) put forward their Rail Development Strategy for the route in 2012, which includes infrastructure upgrades for the intermediate stations, improved frequencies for the services using it (e.g. doubling the Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport service to half-hourly and the Ipswich to Peterborough service to hourly) and establishing a Community Rail Partnership for the line in 2013/14.[2]

History[edit]

The line was originally opened by the Eastern Counties Railway company in 1847, linking the ECR mainline from London via Cambridge and Ely to Brandon and Norwich with Peterborough.[3] Trains initially terminated and started from Peterborough East, though a link to the Great Northern Railway's station was subsequently built to allow through running to the Midland Railway line to Leicester and the GNR main line to the north. Onward travel was also possible over two London and North Western Railway lines from Peterborough, to Rugby and Northampton whilst March would soon become a very busy junction with the opening of branches to Kings Lynn via Wisbech and Cambridge via St Ives (both by the ECR) in 1847/8 and the GNR route to Spalding in 1867. The latter two were subsequently jointly vested in the GER and GNR in 1879.

Many of the branches fell victim to the Beeching Axe in the early to mid 1960s, as did Peterborough East and several of the intermediate stations.[4] The March to Spalding line also closed in 1982 with the rundown of the marshalling yard at Whitemoor, leaving only the original main line in operation.

Service[edit]

A freight train at March

Passenger services are provided by CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia. To the west most trains continue beyond Peterborough to either Leicester and Birmingham New Street (via the Peterborough-Birmingham line), or to Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street. To the east most trains continue beyond Ely to Norwich or to Cambridge and Stansted Airport (joining in one direction or in the other the Cambridge-Norwich "Breckland" Line) or to Ipswich. Connections are available at the latter for stations along the Great Eastern Main Line toward Colchester and Chelmsford and for stations to Kings Lynn at Ely.

The line is used extensively by freight trains from the Port of Felixstowe to the West Midlands, North West and Scotland, as it forms part of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton rail freight corridor that is being upgraded by Network Rail to allow more rail-borne freight from the port to be diverted away from the London area.[5]

Infrastructure[edit]

The line is double track throughout, has a loading gauge of W10 and a line speed of between 40-75 mph. Apart from short stretches at each end, the line is not electrified.[1]

See also[edit]

Railways in Ely

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Route 5 - West Anglia". Network Rail. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  2. ^ Fenland Rail Development StrategyFenland District Council; Retrieved 2014-01-13
  3. ^ Peterborough - Ely - Norwich RUG - Historical Background www.penrug.org.uk; Retrieved 2014-01-13
  4. ^ Disused Stations - Peterborough EastDisused Stations,; Retrieved 214-01-13
  5. ^ Developing Rail Freight: Felixstowe - Nuneaton"Network Rail" report 02-03-2012; Retrieved 2014-01-13

Coordinates: 52°32′45″N 0°06′40″E / 52.5457°N 0.1111°E / 52.5457; 0.1111