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About Ely

Ely, in Cambridgeshire, is a cathedral city located roughly 15 miles to the north east of Cambridge. Construction of Ely Cathedral began in 1083 by the first Norman Bishop, Simeon. Construction of the cathedral continued until the dissolution of the abbey in 1539 during the Reformation. Under the guidance of George Gilbert Scott the cathedral was restored between 1845 and 1870.

The city has two Sites of Special Scientific Interest: a former Kimmeridge Clay quarry and one of the United Kingdom's best remaining examples of medieval ridge and furrow agriculture. Agriculture remains the region's main economy but the city had been the centre of local pottery production from the 12th century to 1860.

There are just under 80 Grade I and Grade II listed buildings in Ely and include the Norman Ely Castle, St Mary's Vicarage and the Lamb Hotel.

Ely railway station lies on the Fen Line and is a major railway hub with the Cambridge to Ely section opening in 1845. Five major railway lines—excluding the former Ely and St Ives Railway—emanate from this hub: north to King's Lynn, north-west to Peterborough, east to Norwich, south-east to Ipswich and south to Cambridge and London. There are direct trains to Cambridge, London, most of East Anglia, the Midlands and the North. T here are connecting services to many other parts of England and to Scotland.

About Birmingham

In recent years the city of Birmingham has evolved from its industrial roots into a modern, thriving and cultural city. The redevelopment of the Bullring Shopping Centre and also of the old industrial areas such as Brindleyplace, The Mailbox and the International Convention Centre have all played their part in the rejuvenation of the city. Old streets, buildings and canals have been restored to create a city for the 21st century.

Birmingham, along with the residential borough of Solihull and Wolverhampton, along with the industrial towns of the Black Country, together form the West Midlands Built-up Area which covers around 230 square miles. Surrounding this, is Birmingham's metropolitan area which includes Tamworth and the cities of Lichfield in Staffordshire, Coventry, Nuneaton, Warwick, Leamington Spa and the towns of Redditch and Bromsgrove in Warwickshire.

Birmingham is also a very green city with 571 parks which is more than any other European city. Sutton Park covers 2,400 acres and is the largest urban park in Europe and a National Nature Reserve. Birmingham Botanical Gardens, located close to the city centre, retains the regency landscape of its original design by J. C. Loudon in 1829,while the Winterbourne Botanic Garden in Edgbaston reflects the more informal Arts and Crafts tastes of its Edwardian origins.