The six-span railway bridge between Ely and Littleport which is set to be strengthened.

Major disruption is expected on King’s Lynn’s rail network during the school half-term break.

There will be no trains running between Lynn and Ely for five days from Monday, February 12 to Friday, February 16 for work on a £1m bridge repair scheme.

A rail replacement bus service will be in place but journey times are expected to take up to 90 minutes longer.

Network Rail has said failure to complete the work – on a bridge between Ely and Littleport – would lead to train service delays and cancellations.

An estimated 76 trains cross the six-span bridge at speeds of around 60mph.

The structure needs strengthening and 24 steel plates are to be put in place.

A spokesman for Network Rail said the improvements had been planned for half-term as less people travelled.

If the work had been carried out over weekends, it could take more than six months to complete. Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “These improvements are a vital aspect of our railway upgrade plan to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway for passengers in the north of the region.

“I understand the inconvenience of the closure and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this essential work.”

Stuart Cheshire, passenger services director for train operator Great Northern,  said: “We have planned a comprehensive rail replacement bus service but journeys will take longer so we ask passengers to look at the revised timetable online and plan ahead.”

The replacement bus service will serve Lynn, Watlington, Downham Market, Littleport and Ely.

Meanwhile, only one direct train will run between Ely, Cambridge North and King’s Cross per hour and there will be no direct service between Waterbeach and King’s Cross. Passengers will have to change at Cambridge.

Services between Cambridge and King’s Cross will operate normally.

See www.greatnorthernrail.com/elyblockade for more details.

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