Emergency railway works between Ely and Peterborough reach halfway point

Monday, 19 October 2020

Network Rail are continuing to replace wheel timbers in most urgent need of replacement across four bridges in the vicinity of Manea, between Ely and Peterborough.

As we pass the halfway point, 32 pairs of wheel timbers have been replaced and works are on track to be completed by Sunday 29 November. These timbers are being replaced to remove the risk of further deterioration which would lead to additional speed restrictions or the closure of the line, significantly disrupting train services.

There are currently 20 miles per hour speed restrictions over these bridges to make it safe for trains passing over them. Network Rail are continuing to carry out inspections to monitor the bridges while these works are taking place. Additional safety measures, such as further speed restrictions, could be implemented if required. Passengers are urged to check with train operators about the impact to their journeys regularly.

The work will continue during weekends on the following dates:

- Sunday 25 October

- Saturday 31 October – Sunday 1 November

- Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 November

- Sunday 22 November

- Sunday 29 November

Passengers planning a journey during these times are urged to check with their train operator or National Rail Enquiries to help inform their travel plans.

To maintain the safety and reliability of the railway over these structures, Network Rail are working with freight and train operating companies to agree a plan to return to Manea next year to replace more wheel timbers. These timbers are in better condition and pose less of a risk so can remain in place until next year. An update will be published when this plan has been confirmed.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “A huge amount of progress has already been made as our engineers work hard to renew the wheel timbers across the four structures.

“Running a safe railway is my absolute priority and this work is vital to keep our network running safely and smoothly while reducing the risk of delays. I’d like to thank our passengers for their continued patience while we complete our work.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “It’s good to hear that this work is going well. We will continue to make sure passengers can complete their journeys – even if part of it is by bus. We have enough buses so that people can socially distance.

“Please remember to wear a face covering on our stations, trains and the rail replacement bus service.” Passengers can check how their journey will be affected at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator at www.greateranglia.co.uk , www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk or www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk.