Huntingdon to Woodwalton Four Tracking rail improvement scheme
Improving rail travel on the East Coast Main Line
We're investing in the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to allow more and faster services to run.
We are reinstating track between Woodwalton and Huntingdon Station to remove a critical bottleneck between the north and London. This will allow fast trains to overtake slower ones, and in combination with other schemes increase the number of high speed services that can run.
Spanning 12 counties, the 393 mile long ECML will soon be home to the new InterCity Express Programme trains which will allow more passengers to travel on each service and have a higher top speed than existing rolling stock. Projects on the route will remove bottlenecks to make room for one more long distance passenger train per hour whilst improving links to and through London – all while keeping freight on the rails and off our congested road network.
As part of this programme we are working on a scheme to reinstate the fourth track on the east side of the railway between Huntingdon station and Woodwalton in Cambridgeshire, England known as Huntingdon to Woodwalton Four Tracking. This scheme is a vital aspect of our plans and will remove a critical bottleneck between London and the north.
Phase 1 of the scheme, and the focus of this consultation, is the permanent closure of Abbots Ripton leveln crossing in advance of the reistatement of the fourth track (Phase 2 of the scheme).
Phase 1 - Abbots Ripton level crossing closure and diversion - Public Consultation September 2016
Phase 1 of the Huntingdon to Woodwalton Four Tracking scheme is the permanent closure of Abbots Ripton level crossing. Network Rail is committed to reducing risk at level crossings. Reinstating the fourth track during phase 2 of the scheme would mean that users would face increased risk from the greater number of trains running and they would have to cross four lines instead of the current three. Closure of the level crossing in advance of the four tracking works is essential as it will remove all safety risk associated with the public crossing the railway.
The proposed diversion route crosses a field off Rectory Way by way of a grassed track and then on existing hard surfaced roads. We are proposing to divert the bridleway across private land and beneath an existing underbridge around 400m south of the existing level crossing. This is high enough to accommodate horse riders. The diversion would require only minor works such as the erection of bridleway signage, lineside fences to close the crossing over the railway, and possibly other short lengths of fencing.
Consent for the project
In order to secure the necessary permissions to close the level crossing at Abbots Ripton we will be submitting an application to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order. This type of application is commonly used for railway projects of this type and would grant permissions to extinguish, divert and create public rights of way. We are planning to submit our application in December 2016 and, subject to consent, the closure is expected to be completed in summer 2018.
Come and speak to the team
We are holding a public drop in session on Monday 19 September 2016 at Abbots Ripton Village Hall, Huntingdon, PE28 2PF between 3pm and 6pm. The event will be an opportunity to review plans for the project, speak to members of the Project Team and provide your feedback. Alternatively you can provide your views online, below. Please provide your feedback by 12 October 2016 so we have adequate time to consider your comments.