Werrington Dive Under

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A schematic of Werrington Junction. The left hand side details the current layout and the right hand side the proposed layout as at November 2018. New lines are in red and lines to be taken up are shown in green

Werrington Dive Under (also known as the Werrington Grade Separation)[1] is a replacement dual track grade separated railway junction 3 miles (5 km) north of Peterborough railway station in Cambridgeshire, England. The current junction leads to the Great Northern/Great Eastern Joint line (GN/GE) which goes through Spalding to Lincoln and beyond. The dive under was proposed to allow trains on the west side of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to access the GN/GE line without conflicting with the faster passenger services on the ECML.

Current junction[edit]

The current junction is located 3 miles (5 km) north of Peterborough railway station, on the three lines that are used by the fast ECML passenger services.[2] Freight trains that are travelling north and south onto the GN/GE line to and from the Ely line, must cross over all tracks to gain access to their respective lines. This is recognised as a bottleneck junction and as such, faster passenger trains must slow down to allow the freights sufficient time to cross over the lines.

When the line closed between March and Spalding in 1982,[3] freight traffic was diverted through Peterborough station instead of cutting across the western edge of the Fens to avoid the line through Peterborough station. Railtrack, Network Rail's predecessor, recognised that the ECML was congested and so upgraded the GN/GE line to accommodate the heavy container trains to and from the east coast ports.[4] This left the junction at Werrington as a significant bottleneck.[5]

Proposed junction[edit]

In 2016, Network Rail submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to the Secretary of State for Transport[6] to build either a flyover or a dive-under the fast lines north of Peterborough to allow freight trains to access all lines without impacting upon other faster services. In summer 2018, Chris Grayling approved the order[7] after a public inquiry favoured the dive-under option over the flyover.[8] Initially, costings were estimated to be in the region of £100 million; but the agreed cost on approval was £200 million.[5][9]

The project will see the construction of 1.9 miles (3 km) of new line that will run underneath the fast lines, culverting works on Marholm Brook and the movement of the Stamford lines 82 feet (25 m) westwards over the culverted brook.[10] The project, coupled with other ECML improvement schemes (such as the four tracking from Huntingdon to Woodwalton)[11] will improve capacity on the line through Peterborough by 33% according to Network Rail.[12] This equates to two extra train paths an hour by 2021, when the work is scheduled to be completed.[13][14]

Residents in Spalding are worried that the works at Werrington will cause the level crossing barriers in the town to be down 24 minutes of every hour as they perceive that more freight trains will transit through the station in the town.[15] The Campaign for Better Transport praised the works and stated

See also[edit]

  • Hitchin Flyover - a flyover at Hitchin to alleviate traffic problems in accessing the Cambridge line north of Hitchin
  • Nuneaton North Chord - a flyover on the West Coast Main Line at Nuneaton constructed for similar reasons


  1. ^ "No. 61797". The London Gazette. 22 December 2016. p. 27228.
  2. ^ Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (2016). Railway track diagrams. Book 2, Eastern (4 ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. 16. ISBN 978-0-9549866-8-1.
  3. ^ Body, Geoffrey (1986). Railways of the Eastern Region. Vol. 1, Southern operating area. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens. p. 112. ISBN 9780850597127.
  4. ^ "Claire Perry officially opens £280 million Lincolnshire rail improvements". GOV.UK. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "A lost line... and a lost opportunity". www.railmagazine.com. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Werrington dive-under approved". Rail Engineer. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  7. ^ "UK railway news round-up". Railway Gazette. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  8. ^ Lamy, Joel (18 November 2017). "Inquiry to look at new railway proposals in Peterborough". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Morgan Sindall mobilises for £200m Werrington dive under". www.theconstructionindex.co.uk. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  10. ^ Stephen, Paul (7 November 2018). "NR Primed to start work on £200m ECML dive-under". Rail Magazine. No. 865. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 26. ISSN 0953-4563.
  11. ^ Makey, Julian (21 December 2017). "Railway crossing set for closure as operator confirms new bridleway". Hunts Post. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  12. ^ Smale, Katherine (14 August 2018). "Green light for 'crucial' East Coast Main Line works". New Civil Engineer. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  13. ^ Milner, Chris, ed. (November 2018). "Network Rail prepares for £200m Werrington upgrade on ECML". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 164 no. 1, 412. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 6. ISSN 0033-8923.
  14. ^ Lamy, Joel (26 July 2018). "More trains between Peterborough and London after rail improvement agreed". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Spalding gridlock fears over freight train plans". Spalding Today. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Freight on Rail: Press Release - Government urged to listen to three quarters of drivers who want more rail freight". www.freightonrail.org.uk. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°36′47″N 0°17′18″W / 52.6131°N 0.2884°W / 52.6131; -0.2884