The Anonymous Widower

Cambridge North Station

Cambridge North station is being built to serve the North of the city and especially, Cambridge Science Park and other developments in the area.

This Google Map shows the area.

Cambridge Science Park And Cambridge North Station

Cambridge Science Park And Cambridge North Station

Note the Breckland Line between Cambridge and Ely, which cuts across the Eastern side of the map, at a right-angle to the main A14 dual carriageway. The rail line appears to split with a loop on the North West side by a green space. The station will go in this area.

These are pictures, I took from passing trains going to and from Ely.

From the pictures, the following seems to be apparent.

A long island platform is being built to the North West side of the tracks.

There is a lift tower by the car and cycle parks outside of all tracks.

There is a double-track loop that by-passes the platforms.

This is the only plan I can find on the Internet.

Cambridge North Station Pan

Cambridge North Station Pan

I know this about the station.

  • It is proposed to have three platforms according to Wikipedia.
  •  Thameslink will terminate two trains per hour at the station.
  • Most other services will stop at the station as they pass through.

The plan shows the main line going between the platforms, so will the double-platform in the pictures be used as a through platform for Cambridge to Ely trains and the far side as a terminating platform?

Unfortunately, when I returned to Cambridge, there were no seats on the other side of the train.

This article in European Railway Review is entitled New Cambridge North railway station taking shape – set for 2017 launch, has two pictures, which clearly show the second through platform on the South-East side of the tracks.

A few observations.

  • It would appear that to go between the car or cycle park and the trains, you always need to use the bridge.
  • My pictures show that the platforms are very long and will certainly handle the twelve-car Class 700 trains.
  • Passengers from Thameslink needing to go to say Kings Lynn or Norwich, will just walk across the platform to get their onward train.
  • Passengers from Kings Lynn and Norwich wanting to go South on Thameslink would probably change at Cambridge to avoid using the bridge.
  • On the current service pattern the station would only have a one train per hour service to Peterborough.
  • The station has no direct connection to Ipswich or Bury St. Edmunds.

I wonder if there are plans to allow Cambridge North station to act as a terminus for trains from the Ely direction.

Under the new East Anglian Franchise, Abellio are extending their Peterborough to Ipswich service to Colchester and making it hourly.

It is a pity, that this service can’t easily serve Cambridge North station.

This Google Map shows Ely station and the lines going South towards Cambridge.

Ely Station And The Lines To Cambridge And Ipswich

Ely Station And The Lines To Cambridge And Ipswich

Note how the line to Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich branches off to the South-East.

If a chord were to be built allowing trains to go between Cambridge and Bury St. Edmunds, this would do the following.

  • Allow the Peterborough-Ipswich service to call at Cambridge North, with just a reverse at Cambridge North.
  • Give Cambridge North station a second train in an hour to and from Peterborough.
  • Create a direct hourly service between Cambridge North station and Bury St. Edmunds, Ipswich and Colchester.
  • When the East-West Rail Link opens, it would allow freight trains to go between that line and Felixstowe without using the single-tack Ipswich-Cambridge route.

Strangely, it doesn’t appear that this chord has ever existed.

But, I do think it will be seriously considered in the future, with the main reason being the freight route from Felixstowe to the Great Western Railway at Reading.

August 26, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] I said in Cambridge North Station, I think eventually we’ll see Peterborough-Ipswich services calling at Cambridge North […]

    Pingback by Making Sense Of The New East Anglia Franchise « The Anonymous Widower | August 27, 2016 | Reply


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