Ely railway station

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Ely National Rail
Place Ely
Local authority East Cambridgeshire
Grid reference TL542793
Station code ELY
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Number of platforms 3
DfT category D
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 Increase 1.255 million
2005/06 Increase 1.279 million
2006/07 Increase 1.421 million
2007/08 Increase 1.506 million
2008/09 Increase 1.583 million
2009/10 Decrease 1.580 million
2010/11 Increase 1.732 million
2011/12 Increase 1.824 million
2012/13 Increase 1.878 million
2013/14 Increase 1.976 million
Key dates Opened 1845.[1] (1845.[1])
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Ely from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Ely railway station serves the city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England. The station lies on the Fen Line from Cambridge to King's Lynn, which is electrified at 25 kV AC overhead. It is a busy station served by trains running to a variety of destinations including Cambridge, Stansted Airport, London (King's Cross and Liverpool Street), Ipswich, Norwich, King's Lynn, Peterborough, Leicester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool. Ely station was built in 1845 by the Eastern Counties Railway at a cost of £81,500, the land on which it was built being a marshy swamp.[2] The station was modified substantially in the early 1990s, at the time that electrification was taking place.

Three other non-electrified lines meet at Ely:

Ely station won first prize in the station of the year competition 1987 (medium sized category).


The station is served by four operators:

  • Great Northern serve the station as part of their service from London King's Cross to King's Lynn. Outside peak hours the services run non-stop between London and Cambridge as part of the half-hourly "Cambridge Cruiser" service. One train per hour then continues beyond Cambridge, stopping at all stations on the Fen Line to King's Lynn. The journey from King's Cross to Ely is timetabled to take just over an hour on the fastest services. Services are more frequent (up to every half an hour) during peak hours when demand is highest. During peak hours most trains divide (northbound) or couple (southbound) at Cambridge which adds some minutes to the journey time. In addition, during peak hours most services make additional stops between London Kings Cross and Cambridge which contributes further to an extended journey time. During recent years the number of direct services has increased; from the timetable change of December 2013 there are direct services from London every half hour from 16:44 to 23:14. Some off-peak services can take as little as 1 hour and 5 minutes between London and Ely. During peak hours they can take up to 1 hour and 21 minutes. Most services are operated by Class 365 electrical multiple unit. Additional peak services to/from London start or terminate at Ely.
The Hunstanton portion of the 10.39 service from Liverpool Street at Ely in 1958
Station platforms viewed from across the bridge
Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Limited Service
East Midlands Trains
Limited Service
Limited Service
Great Northern
Fen Line
Abellio Greater Anglia
Limited Services
Abellio Greater Anglia
Abellio Greater Anglia
Liverpool Street-King's Lynn/Ely
Peak only
Historical railways
Line open, station closed
Great Eastern Railway Terminus
Line open, station closed
Great Eastern Railway Terminus
Disused railways
Line and station closed
Great Eastern Railway Terminus


There are two branches of Locoespresso[3] on the station, one on platform 1 and the other on platform 2/3. These serve hot and cold drinks as well as snacks, magazines and newspapers. Platform 1 also includes an L.A. Golden Bean kiosk which sells hot and cold drinks and snacks.


On Friday 22 June 2007 a goods train derailed at Hawk Bridge which carries the Ipswich line over the River Great Ouse a mile south of Ely. Photographs showed derailed wagons on their side, only prevented from plunging off the embankment by subsidiary structures and their attachment to the rest of the train. As a consequence of the derailment the bridge had to be rebuilt and there were no train services between Ely and Bury St. Edmunds until the works were completed on 21 December 2007.[4]

Low bridge[edit]

Immediately north-east of Ely station, the railway lines pass on a bridge[5] over the A142. The height available for road traffic passing beneath the bridge is only 9.0 feet (2.7 m) which is unusually low for a bridge over an A-road. Despite the various warnings, the limited headroom is a frequent cause of accidents.[6] High vehicles must use a level crossing next to the bridge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History Of The City of Ely
  2. ^ Gordon, D.I. (1968). Volume V: The Eastern Counties. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. David and Charles. 
  3. ^ "Locoespresso". 
  4. ^ "Ipswich – Peterborough Train Services Resume 21st December". One Railway. 19 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "Photo of Ely Low Bridge". www.geograph.org.uk. 23 March 2007. 
  6. ^ "Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan 2004-2011" (PDF). www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. July 2003. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ely railway station at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 52°23′25″N 0°15′59″E / 52.39028°N 0.26639°E / 52.39028; 0.26639