Work to replace wheel timbers between Peterborough and Ely will take place in September - and while in the long term the works will provide a more reliable service, there will be disruption while the project is completed.
Over the last 18 months, inspections have been carried out on railway bridges with softwood timbers using new technology, to understand the internal condition of the timbers. The four bridges at Manea were part of this additional inspection programme and 115 timbers were identified as needing replacement.
From September – November 2021, 57 pairs of wheel timbers were replaced across the four bridges. In September 2022, Network Rail is returning to replace 29 more pairs of wheel timbers. If these timbers are not replaced, it’s almost certain that there will be further deterioration. This would then lead to either speed restrictions or the closure of the line, significantly disrupting train services.
The work is expected to be completed during 7 weekend works on the line on the following dates:
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Saturday 11 September
Sunday 19 September
Sunday 26 September
Sunday 3 October
Sunday 10 October
Sunday 17 October
Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 October
Any passenger planning a journey during this time is urged to check with their train operator or National Rail Enquiries as to the alternatives available to help inform their travel plans.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Running a safe railway is my absolute priority and this work is vital to running a safe and reliable railway network for our passengers.
“We can only carry out this work when trains aren’t running and have planned this in at the weekend when fewer people travel.
“I advise passengers to check before they travel and thank everyone for their patience while the work takes place.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “This track maintenance work will help to improve reliability along this key part of our network.
“A rail replacement bus service will operate while the work takes place, so customers will be able to complete their journeys. Passengers should check before they travel, allow more time for their journey and wear a face covering when travelling by train or rail replacement bus and at our stations.
“We have several measures in place to keep customers safe including regular cleaning and sanitisation of trains and stations, and high levels of face covering compliance.
“We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place.”
Richard Morris, Regional Director East Midlands & Anglia, CrossCountry said: “We are pleased that Network Rail are carrying out this essential infrastructure upgrade work at times of the week when fewer of our customers will be travelling. We will work collaboratively with our rail industry partners to ensure alternative travel arrangements are put in place to minimise the inconvenience to passengers”.