Trains from Ely to Peterborough cancelled for whole of September - and other dates too - to allow for urgent bridge repairs at Manea

Cambs Times editor John Elworthy investigates railway delays at Manea station after all trains are c

Cambs Times editor John Elworthy investigates railway delays at Manea station after all trains are cancelled from March station, here’s how he got on. PHOTO: John Elworthy - Credit: Archant

Trains from Ely to Peterborough will be cancelled for the whole of September – and other dates in August, October and November –to allow for urgent repairs at Manea.

The emergency works will see 87 pairs of wheel timbers on railway tracks on four bridges near the village replaced.

“It will require closures of the line over several weekends and a 28-day full closure in September,” says Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia.

“I know this kind of disruption is incredibly frustrating for our passengers, and I’m sorry that it will impact people’s journeys for so long.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “Although there’s never a good time to carry out engineering work, particularly over this length of time, we understand the need for these urgent and important works.”

Rail replacement bus services will run while the work takes place.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Following the derailment of a freight train on a wheel-timber bridge at Wanstead Park earlier this year, additional inspections were carried out on railway bridges with softwood timbers using new technology, to understand the internal condition of the timbers.”

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The spokesman said: “The four bridges at Manea were part of this additional inspection programme. It was found that 87 of the 140 pairs of wheel timbers across the structures now require urgent replacement. If these timbers are not replaced soon, it’s almost certain that there will be further deterioration.”

There are currently 20 miles per hour speed restrictions over these bridges to make it safer for trains passing over them, and this will continue until the work begins.

The work is expected to be completed during a 28-day closure of the line from September 6 to October 4 2020 and on the following dates:

Sunday August 2

Saturday 22 Sunday 23 August 23

Sunday October 11

Saturday October 31 to Sunday November 1

Sunday November 8

Any passenger planning a journey during this time has been advised to check with their train operator or National Rail Enquiries as to the alternatives available to help them travel.

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