Contact us: Andy Tyler (Secretary)
Tel: 07803 459 043, e-mail: fluasecretary [at] flua.org.uk
67, Goodwins Road, KING'S LYNN, Norfolk, PE30 5PE
Monday 29 June 2015 - "Network Rail insists it is still committed to upgrading the Ely North Junction - however the work may not be completed until 2019" reports the Ely News today. "Network Rail originally hoped to have the junction fully upgraded by the end of 2017 but this week a spokesman said bosses hoped the work would be completed by 2019."
Sunday 28 June 2015 - Ely North Junction makes BBC's 'Sunday Politics' programme today. Presenter Amelia Reynolds interrupts James Cleverly MP to say, "Norwich in 90, the Ely junction - are you going to guarantee these, here and now, guaranteed?" Mr Cleverly replies, "Well, the Secretary of State for Transport has made it clear he is still committed to these, and I will call his feet to the fire on that, but he has made his position clear." The programme can be found here, where it is available for 29 days (the item begins at 41:41).
Friday 26 June 2015 - "Rail service chiefs have insisted they remain committed to a multi-million pound upgrade of the network serving Norfolk, despite a review of the programme.... [Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin's speech] immediately triggered fears over the future of the project to improve the Ely North Junction, a key bottleneck on the route from Lynn to the capital. A review of the project is underway, amid concerns over the potential implications of additional services on three level crossings to the north of the site. The study is expected to be completed this autumn." The Lynn News report continues "But a Network Rail spokesman said today: The intention is to do it in control period 5 (the current programme scheduled for completion in 2019)." The Lynn News article confirms that Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk Elizabeth Truss is to meet Rail Minister Claire Perry next month [July] and stresses that "the project is particularly vital to enable half-hourly trains to run between King's Lynn and London King's Cross, as provided for under the terms of the contract awarded to the current franchise holder Great Northern."
Friday 26 June 2015 - "No more false dawns, now promises must be kept on rail services" is the title of the Leading Article in today's Eastern Daily Press. The main item in today's Comment column concludes with the following words: "Twice-hourly trains from King's Lynn to London, Norwich in 90, and more trains between Norwich and Cambridge were on the agenda for a reason. They must stay there and become a reality as soon as possible."
Friday 26 June 2015 - Radio Station KLFM 96.7 is concerned over progress on the Ely North Junction scheme and broadcasts Patrick McLoughlin's speech here.
Friday 26 June 2015 - Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk Elizabeth Truss MP issues a statement that she is meeting the Minister next month [July] to discuss Ely North Junction. She says "Along with my fellow MPs in the region we are keen to ensure the works progress as quickly as possible. The economic benefits to East Anglia are tremendous and this is the message I will make to the rail minister." North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has confirmed that the meeting with the Minister, Claire Perry MP, at which he will also be present, will be held in "10 days' time."
Thursday 25 June 2015 - Patrick McLoughlin MP makes an Oral statement to Parliament concerning Network Rail's performance and covers steps the Government is taking with regard to the timing and delivery of investment projects. His speech and the ensuing House of Commons debate is covered in Hansard (columns 1067 to 1080).
Thursday 18 June 2015 - The front page story on today's Eastern Daily Press covers the rapidly growing concern that upgrade works at Ely North Junction could be delayed. The EDP quotes Nick Daubney, Leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, as saying "Having already got the news the funding for this work had been approved, I’m bitterly disappointed there could be delays ... Our links to London and Cambridge are essential to the prosperity of King’s Lynn and the surrounding area.” Heather Garrod, President of the West Norfolk Chamber Council, also expresses her organisation's concern about the possible delay. The Eastern Daily Press also contains a very supportive Editorial, lending its voice to the calls for quicker action.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 - Network Rail made a presentation to Cambridge City Council's North Area Committee about the proposed Cambridge Science Park station and upgrade works to Chesterton Junction (Fen Road) level crossing this evening.
Monday 15 June 2015 - Business leaders in West Norfolk have written to Network Rail to seek clarity over the Ely North Junction upgrade scheme - they are concerned over reported delays to its implementation. Radio station KLFM 96.7 reports a Department for Transport spokesperson as saying "As part of our long term economic plan this government is committed to improving our railways and Ely North Junction is part of our £38 billion Rail Investment Strategy for the next 5 years. We continue to work with Network Rail and the rail regulator to determine costs and time-scales of the delivery of major rail investment programmes." Anthony Goodrich of King's Lynn Town Centre Partnership speaks to KLFM about the importance to the town's economy of two trains an hour between King's Lynn and London here.
Wednesday 10 June 2015 - South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has today written to Rail Minister Claire Perry seeking a meeting to discuss the progress of infrastructure upgrade works at Ely North Junction. The scheme is one of a shortlist of HLOS "Named Schemes" required by the Secretary of State for Transport to be implemented in Control Period CP5 (2014-2019).
Friday 5 June 2015 - Network Rail has issued a Frequently Asked Questions leaflet covering the Ely to Soham Rail Capacity Enhancement Scheme. The proposed works are on the Ely to Bury St. Edmunds line.
Tuesday 2 June 2015 - The Department for Transport has announced today that the three companies shortlisted as bidders for the East Anglia rail franchise (which includes services to/from Liverpool Street, but not King's Lynn-King's Cross services) are Abellio East Anglia Ltd., First East Anglia Ltd., and National Express East Anglia Trains Ltd. Invitations to Tender are expected to be issued in August.
Thursday 21 May 2015 - Network Rail has submitted revised planning applications for the new "Cambridge Science Park station" at Chesterton; the site lies partially within Cambridge and partially within the South Cambridgeshire District Council area. See Cambridge City Council ref. 15/0994/FUL and South Cambridgeshire District Council ref. S/1236/15/FL .
Sunday 5 April 2015 - The Govia Thameslink franchise agreement execution version, the Govia Thameslink conditions precedent agreement, and the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise train services requirements - including 2 trains per hour King's Lynn-King's Cross services from May 2017 - are published by the Department for Transport together on one page here.
Friday 27 March 2015 - Our Counties Connected – A Rail Prospectus for East Anglia published.
Friday 6 March 2015 Network Rail starts consultation on Ely to Soham rail improvements, their consultation running until Wednesday 22 April 2015. The proposed works are on the Ely to Bury St. Edmunds route.
Thursday 19 February 2015 - The Department for Transport has today published its Prospectus for the East Anglia Rail Franchise (please note that the Govia Thameslink Railway "Great Northern" King's Lynn-King's Cross services are part of the Thameslink Southern and Great Northern franchise). The OJEU Notice for the East Anglia Rail Franchise can be found here.
Thursday 19 February 2015 - David Cameron, the Prime Minister, spoke today at Felixstowe and outlined the Long Term Economic Plan for Eastern England. As part of that announcement, the Timetable for Action - Implementation in the East of England 2015-2030 states the following: "2016 - September 2016 Network Rail Initial Industry Plan for the five years of funding from 2019 onwards will be informed by a Network Rail study looking at the costs and benefits of electrifying the railway between Felixstowe and Birmingham [via Ely] ... government is extending in 2015 the study already underway of the East-West Rail (Bedford to Cambridge) to explore the options for the Eastern section of the line. Specifically the study will consider how East West Rail could connect Oxford with Ipswich and Norwich. The study will also consider the possibility of a new station south of Cambridge at the new Addenbrookes campus, with a report expected in 2016 ... government has committed to additional Local Growth Funding between 2016 and 2021, through a number of Eastern Local Growth Deal expansions, including: £38m for Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership which will include contribution to the construction of a new Ely Southern Bypass [relevant to Ely Station level crossing works] ... 2019 - completion of upgraded railway junctions at Ely and Peterborough and capacity enhancements on the Felixstowe – Birmingham line that will enable both growth in Port of Felixstowe container traffic to be met and growth in Kings Lynn and East Coast main line passenger services ..."
Monday 16 February 2015 - The Network Rail CP5 Enhancements Delivery Plan December 2015, published today, states (page 57) "Ely North Junction Capacity Improvement ... Project reference code A001 ...The programme for this scheme is under review update, Network Rail will work with its customers and Department for Transport to achieve an agreed programme of delivery. An update to the delivery plan for this project will be provided as part of the March 2015 update [to the CP5 Enhancements Delivery Plan]".
Friday 13 February 2015 - Members have been sent copies of The Fenman 2015 No 1 today, by email or by post, as appropriate. Please ignore any red MailScanner warnings at the bottom of any e-mail from us dated today with the latest issue of The Fenman attached as a pdf file. Some members have apparently received this 'warning'. We are aware of this issue and are working to resolve it. The email and pdf attachment mentioned above is genuine.
Saturday 7 February 2015 - the Association's Committee today ratified FLUA's draft Combined Response to four inter-related consultations (those on the GTR December 2015 timetable, on NR's draft Anglia Route Study, on NR's "Improving Connectivity", and on the forthcoming East Anglia Rail Franchise). In the case of the East Anglia Rail Franchise (which does not cover GTR's King's Lynn-Cambridge-King's Cross services) this response is subject to further consultation with members. If you are a Member and would like to comment on the East Anglia Rail Franchise elements of the draft Combined Response, you will find a link to this in the Members' Section of this website. Alternatively, Members can email or write to Andy Tyler for a copy of the draft Combined Response. If Members have any comments, they are asked to submit these in writing (email or letter) to Andy Tyler before Friday 6 March 2015 (to permit time for adequate consideration to be given to them). There will be coverage of the draft Combined Response in The Fenman 2015 No 1; this is due to be sent to members towards the end of next week. Please note that you can comment directly to the Department for Transport on the East Anglia Rail Franchise before 16 March 2015, when its consultation period for this closes. If you work in the rail industry or for a public body and would like a copy of the draft Combined Response, please send your work email address to Andy Tyler and a copy will be emailed to you.
Friday 19 December 2014 - It has come to our attention today that Network Rail has issued a consultation document Improving Connectivity which is germane to the current DfT consultation on the East Anglia Rail Franchise. We do not know when this draft report was published; NR's consultation period ends on 31 January 2015.
Tuesday 9 December 2014 - The Department for Transport has today issued a consultation on the East Anglia rail franchise. We will be consulting members on a proposed response to the DfT in due course. Members who wish to make individual comments directly to the DfT should note that the consultation period closes on 16 March 2015.
Tuesday 2 December 2014 - The government has today issued its National Infrastructure Plan, which states "Chesterton Rail Station - as announced by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister the government will provide £44 million between 2014-15 and 2016-17 to build a new rail station at Chesterton, linked to Cambridge Science Park."
Friday 7 November 2014 - Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has today launched a consultation on its proposed December 2015 timetable (i.e. that which will run from the December of next year). Though there are no changes proposed for Great Northern Outer services from December 2015, the consultation document gives background information on the proposed half-hourly King's Lynn-King's Cross service (due to operate from May 2017, following the upgrading of Ely North Junction) and the proposed cross-London Thameslink services to and from Cambridge (due to operate from 2018). GTR, which operates a management contract on behalf of the Government, states "From May 2017, following Network Rail improvements the junction north of Ely, train services between London Kings Cross and Kings Lynn will be increased in frequency to two trains per hour all day (with the exception of when existing freight trains operate on the route). It is proposed to maintain one train per hour which will call all stations north of Cambridge and the second to call at principal stations only." GTR's consultation on the proposed December 2015 timetable closes on Friday 30 January 2015.
Wednesday 5 November 2014 - Network Rail has today issued its Consultative Draft Anglia Route Study. The study identifies a range of choices for funders (such as Government) for Control Period 6 (2019-2024) and beyond. The consultation ends on Tuesday 3 February 2015.
Friday 31 October 2014 - Copies of The Fenman 2014 No 4 and the Notice calling the AGM have been posted/emailed to members today. A copy of the new issue of The Fenman and the AGM Agenda are also available in the members' section. The AGM will be held on Saturday 22 November at King's Lynn and our Guest Speaker will be Larry Heyman of Govia Thameslink Railway (Great Northern). As usual, we have also invited railway management to answer members' questions at the AGM.
Monday 13 October 2014 - Cambridgeshire County Council has granted planning permission for the Ely Southern Bypass.
Thursday 25 September 2014 - The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has decided that Cambridgeshire County Council may go ahead and make the decision on the planning application for the Ely Southern Bypass without further reference to himself. Cambridgeshire County Council now expects to issue its formal approval for the bypass shortly. When built, the bypass will enable the closure of Ely Station level crossing.
Wednesday 24 September 2014 - Stephen Barclay MP has posted an item about the possibility of extending a restored March-Wisbech line to King's Lynn, opening up a direct rail link from King's Lynn to Peterborough and the Midlands.
Sunday 14 September 2014 - Great Northern (part of Govia Thameslink Railway) takes over King's Lynn-King's Cross services.
Thursday 11 September 2014 - We are grateful to our colleagues at the Association of Passenger Transport Users for making available a guide of the practical implications for rail users of the change from FCC to Govia Thameslink Railway and are pleased to recommend it to members.
Monday 8 September 2014 - The Planning Committee of Cambridgeshire County Council has unanimously supported the planning application for the Ely Southern Bypass today. The matter will now be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for a final decision. The details of the planning application for the bypass make it clear that the bypass would permit the closure of the Ely Station level crossing, which, in turn, would allow trains to run north of Ely more frequently.
Wednesday 6 August 2014 - Members have been sent copies of The Fenman 2014 No 3 today, by email or by post, as appropriate. Please ignore any red MailScanner warnings at the bottom of any e-mail from us dated today and with The Fenman attached as a pdf file. We are aware of this issue and are working to resolve it. The email and link we have sent you is genuine. However, if you prefer not to open the attachment, you can read The Fenman 2014 No 3 in the members' section.
Tuesday 22 July 2014 - 'Great Railway Journeys' television star Michael Portillo officially inaugurates the heritage-inspired refurbishment of King's Lynn station, speaking warmly about soon-to-depart franchisee First Capital Connect, Network Rail, and FLUA. FCC has issued photographs of the inauguration and of the works to the station. Mr. Portillo was Minister of State for Transport when Government authority to electrify the Cambridge-King's Lynn section was granted on 7 February 1989.
Thursday 10 July 2014 - Govia Thameslink website sets out TSGN franchise details.
Wednesday 12 June 2014 - The Secretary of State for Transport informs Parliament that the Government has signed the TSGN contracts with Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd. The Department of Transport issues a news story which also links to a video about TSGN and the rail franchising system.
Saturday 24 May 2014 - Govia's new TSGN website outlines benefits to Great Northern - and other routes - arising from the new TSGN franchise, stating "the service from London King’s Cross to King’s Lynn will double to half hourly from May 2017."
Friday 23 May 2014 - The Thameslink Programme website shows the cross-London Thameslink service network proposed from December 2018. King's Lynn-Cambridge-King's Cross services will continue to run into King's Cross and hence are not shown on this diagram.
Friday 23 May 2014 - Department of Transport (DfT) awards Thameslink Southern & Great Northern (TSGN) franchise to Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd., subject to the normal 10 days 'standstill' period. The DfT's press release includes an interactive map which contains the following text (hover your mouse over the relevant station name) "King's Lynn - *More modern air-conditioned trains replace the current units. * Off-peak services to King’s Cross will double to half-hourly in each direction by 2017” and "Cambridge - *More modern air-conditioned trains on the Cambridge Express. *Nearly 3000 extra seats to London in morning peak. Total capacity more than doubled. *Off-peak journeys to King’s Cross cut to less than 50 minutes from 2018. *6 off-peak trains per hour to and from central London from 2018. *2 trains per hour to Brighton via Gatwick Airport from 2018. * “2 trains per hour to Tattenham Corner from 2018.” The Govia press release contains more information.
Monday 28 April 2014 - The Secretary of State for Transport informs Parliament that that he has directly awarded an agreement to extend the Abellio Greater Anglia franchise for 27 Months. This will ensure continuity of service until a new Greater Anglia franchise, expected to start in October 2016, is let. Part of the new agreement provides for a doubling of the current levels of off-peak services between Cambridge and Stansted Airport (between 0900 and 1600) on Mondays to Fridays. Abellio Greater Anglia will continue to operate King's Lynn-Cambridge-Liverpool Street services during Mondays to Fridays peak-hours.
Monday 31 March 2014 - The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership submits its growth strategy to government, linking housing, transport and skills. The Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan calls for "a transport network fit for an economically vital high growth area" and includes the provision of a "Kings Lynn to Cambridge and London Kings Cross half hourly frequency" as part of its transport strategy. All six Fen Line stations are within the Enterprise Partnership's area.
Monday 31 March 2014 - Network Rail's CP5 Enhancements Delivery Plan describes Project A001 "Ely North Junction Capacity Improvement" in more detail [page 56]. The objective of the project is to develop "a scheme which improves capacity in the area by developing an operationally flexible junction that can deliver multiple train moves simultaneously." A blockade of 3 weeks is envisaged, with the infrastructure ready for use in May 2017. The Government's specification for 2 London trains per hour (Mondays-Saturdays) to/from King's Lynn from May 2017 is contained in the Minimum Service Specification - Invitation to Tender for the TSGN (Thameslink Southern and Great Northern) franchise [tables ECML1 and ECML2]. The winning bidder, which will take over King's Lynn-King's Cross and other services from September this year, is expected to be announced by the Government in May.
Monday 31 March 2014 - Network Rail's CP5 Delivery Plan for the 2014-2109 period includes an upgrade to Ely North Junction, necessary for two trains per hour to run to and from King's Lynn; speaking to the Lynn News, M.P. Elizabeth Truss welcomes the "really positive news."
Tuesday 18 February 2014 - Department for Transport and FirstGroup announce current First Capital Connect franchise extended until Sunday 14 September 2014, the anticipated start date of the new Thameslink Southern & Great Northern franchise.
Monday 10 February 2014 - Network Rail has raised no objection to ORR's Final Determination of CP5 funding. CP5 covers the 2014-2019 period and the Final Determination includes the upgrading of Ely North Junction. Network Rail will publish its finalised CP5 Delivery Plan in March.
Wednesday 18 December 2013 - Network Rail's Draft CP5 Delivery Plan contains Project A001 and states that: "This project is to develop a scheme which improves capacity in the [Ely] area by allowing parallel moves to/from Kings Lynn and to/from Norwich."
Wednesday 18 December 2013 - subject to detailed conditions, the proposed Cambridge Science Park station was given planning permission today. The Report to the joint planning committee can be found here.
Friday 6 December 2013 - Department for Transport publishes Tech connected prospectus, which states that "plans for a new station at Cambridge's Science Park" - to be located on the Fen Line - are "progressing rapidly."
Thursday 31 October 2013 - ORR publishes Final determination of Network Rail's outputs and funding for 2014-19. Chapter 11, paragraph 9.202 (page 385) states "Freight benefits'... there are many freight benefits accruing from other schemes. [...] Another example is the remodelling of Ely North Junction to provide for forecast freight flows across East Anglia as well as enhanced passenger services between Cambridge and each of King's Lynn and Norwich."
Thursday 3 October 2013 - BBC News screens item showing footage released by British Transport Police of cyclist narrowly escaping death at Waterbeach station automatic half-barrier level crossing on Thursday 12 September.
Thursday 26 September 2013 - the Government's minimum Fen Line service specification from May 2017 (M-F) to include half-hourly King's Cross services, following upgrade work at Ely North Junction.
Thursday 26 September 2013 - Invitation to Tender for Thameslink Southern & Great Northern published, including information about future half-hourly Fen Line services to and from London Kings Cross.
Tuesday 24 September 2013 - Cambridge County Council has submitted a planning application for the proposed Ely Southern bypass which would permit closure of the level crossing at Ely station.
Wednesday 3 July 2013 - Cambridgeshire County Council has submitted a planning application for the proposed Cambridge Science Park station located on the Fen Line.
Wednesday 24 April 2013 - Network Rail has now issued a consultation draft of its London and South East Market Study which includes the King's Cross-King's Lynn Fen Line within its scope.
Tuesday 26 March 2013 - the Secretary of State for Transport announced the government's long-term plans for franchising to Parliament today. The accompanying Fresh Start for Franchising states that Department of Transport and Network Rail investment "will bring more trains and services to the network. These include: ... increased passenger services between Cambridge and Kings Lynn, and Cambridge and Norwich following work to improve Ely North Junction." The current First Capital Connect franchise is to be extended.
Tuesday 8 January 2013 - Network Rail has included an upgrade to Ely North Junction in its Strategic Business Plan 2014-2019 to enable "increasing the number of trains running between King's Lynn and London".
Wednesday 25 July 2012 - Intercity Express Programme contract includes option for 125 mph trains - "East Coast London - Cambridge - Kings Lynn." See DfT IEP announcement
Monday 16 July 2012 - Paragraph 45, Railways Act 2005 Statement "The Secretary of State wishes to see sufficient capacity north of Ely station both to provide for forecast freight flows across East Anglia and to provide the potential to enhance passenger services between Cambridge and each of Kings Lynn and Norwich." [A half-hourly fast service already operates between Kings Cross and Cambridge with about two-thirds of these running north of Cambridge, mainly to Kings Lynn, but some as far as Ely only. Additionally, the Cambridge to Norwich service calls at Ely]. The Department for Transport has also today published a complementary document Illustrative Option schemes in CP5 HLOS. The first page of this states "[the HLOS] describes strategic outcomes without referring to specific schemes but a specific scheme has been assumed for cost purposes. For example, sufficient capacity is sought at Ely to provide for forecast freight flows across East Anglia and to enhance passenger services to Kings Lynn. The industry could resolve this in a number of ways but the Department has assumed the most efficient solution is the reconstruction and expansion of Ely North Junction. If another better way of providing the capacity is identified the industry should put this forward as a solution."
Monday 2 June 2012 - Once in a generation - A Rail Prospectus for East Anglia published.
Thursday 19 April 2012 - King's Lynn-Cambridge-King's Cross Growth formula Houses, Jobs, Fen Line
Thursday 29 March 2012 - Abellio, First, Govia, MTR, and Stagecoach shortlisted Thameslink bidders
Department for Transport announcement
Thursday 16 February 2012 - Corrected and updated: King's Lynn-Cambridge-King's Cross
Issues and opportunities - sketch outline