Fen Line Users Association

Cambridge area resignalling

There are two parts to this project (detail here). Mainly it is concerned with replacing life-expired signalling equipment, which we support in the hope that it will reduce the number of signalling failures.

However, it also includes work on a number of level crossings; there are six that Network Raill proposed to convert from half barriers to full barriers, to improve safety although level crossing fatalities in Britain are only one seventeenth of the European average. This would result in them being closed to road traffic for much longer than at present, which could be a particular problem at Waterbeach station, preventing passengers crossing the line to catch their trains, as already happens at Downham Market and Shepreth. We raised our objection at the public inquiry; the decision has now been published here. The Inspector and the Secretary of State have accepted our argument, and refused permission for the change at Waterbeach.

Changing trains

GTR have agreed to lease the class 379 trains that GA previously ran between Liverpool St and Stansted Airport and Cambridge. The plan is that they will replace GN's class 387s, of which the borrowed ones will be returned and some others will go to Southern to relieve overcrowding there. We think they give a more comfortable ride than the 387s.

Cambridge South

This new station will give travellers from Fen Line stations direct access to Addenbrooke's and Papworth hospitals and to employment on the Biomedical Campus. Construction is under way, and the station is expected to open some time in 2025, probably in late spring. We have been assured that all trains will call there; the project includes raising the speed limit at Shepreth Branch Junction to partly compensate for the extra journey time.

There is more detail on the project here and pictures of work at the site here and in our picture library and a video here.


The draft Rail Reform Bill was published earlier this year. It stops well short of creating GBR as the independent organisation envisaged by Williams, instead including explicit provisions for the government to continue interfering with the day-to-day running of the railways. The Transport select Committee is now scrutinising it; the evidence submitted to it, including FLUA's, is here.

The legislation is not expected to be enacted before the general election, and Labour (who are widely expected to form the next administration) have now published their own Plan (full text PDF here). They say "Great British Railways will have the operational independence to make decisions relating to fares, timetables, track access and other operational aspects of the railway" but also that it "will have to agree the most substantive decisions with the Secretary of State" so a lot will depend on the definition of "substantive". To avoid the compensation costs that would be incurred by nationalisation, RoSCos and open access operators would continue in their present roles and train operating franchises would continue until their current term expires.

Ely area capacity enhancement

This important project includes upgrading Ely North Junction to allow the 11 train paths per hour that are needed now to support the all-day half-hourly service to King's Lynn, and to move more of the freight from Felixstowe off the A14 and onto rail. It would also enable future projects to increase capacity further. Funding for the next stage of the design process was applied for in March 2022; once the design is done there needs to be a further application for funds for actual construction. More information on the project here.

The government has announced (here) that some of the money previously earmarked for HS2 phase 2 will be allocated to it. That funding is not planned to be available until 2029 -- it covers the period 2029-2040. So there'll be a delay of 15 to 25 years compared to when the half-hourly service was originally promised. That's simply not good enough.

What we do

We represent the interests of users of the Fen Line to the rail industry management.

We monitor to ensure that services offered are maintained and improved.

We inform our members of the latest developments.

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The AGM takes place each November, located close to one of our stations and also on Zoom. Representatives of the rail industry attend to give members the opportunity to raise issues with key staff from across the network.

The draft minutes of the 2023 AGM are in the members' section.

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Become a member and get access to the members' section.

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Members' section (requires login)


FLUA works to develop services between the Fen Line stations (King's Lynn, Watlington, Downham Market, Littleport, Ely, Waterbeach, and Cambridge North) and onwards to Cambridge and London.

We seek the best for users from the fast-changing railway scene by working with all parties in the rail industry and with other relevant bodies in the development of the Thameslink Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise on the Fen Line.

Some of our history

Picture library

Electric trains from Fen Line stations to Cambridge and London King's Cross are run by Great Northern for commuters, business and leisure users.

Greater Anglia operates electric trains from Fen Line stations to Cambridge and London Liverpool Street. These peak time extras run Mondays-Fridays only.

Secretary: fluasecretary@flua.org.uk
Webmaster: flua@ninetiles.com

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