The Anonymous Widower

Cambridge Station To Get Another Platform Lengthening

Of all the stations I use regularly, Cambridge seems to have more expansion programs than any other station I know.

When I first used it regularly it had the following platforms.

  • One long through platform split into two numbered 1 and 4 to handle most traffic.
  • Two bay platforms pointing North for services to Ipswich and Norwich.
  • Two bay platforms pointing South to London.

These have since been joined by a pair of through platforms to the East of the main lines through the station.

Wikipedia says this about Platforms 1 and 4.

  • Platform 1 is a 12-car bi-directional through platform generally used for southbound services to London King’s Cross and northbound services to King’s Lynn. It is also used for some early morning northbound services to Ely and for some late evening terminating services.
  • Platform 4 is a bi-directional 10-car through platform generally used for northbound services to Ely, King’s Lynn and Birmingham New Street. It is also used for some early morning southbound services to London King’s Cross and London Liverpool Street and for some terminating late evening services.

I was told today, that Platform 4 is going to be lengthened by forty metres at its Northern end.

  • This will make Platforms 1 and 4 the same length.
  • It will probably allow twelve-car trains to be run from London to both Cambridge North and Kings Lynn stations.

As both Greater Anglia and Great Northern already have twelve-car trains, adding forty metres of new platform is probably an affordable way to increase capacity between Cambridge and London.

A West Anglia High Speed Service

I like the concept of a high speed service Between King’s Cross and Cambridge.

Cambridge is sucking in the best scientific, engineering and financial talent in the UK and a high speed service to and from London would be ideal for reverse commuters.

Trains would be as I described in Will Hitachi Announce A High Speed Metro Train?.

  • The trains would run non-stop between King’s Cross and Cambridge.
  • The trains would run every thirty minutes.
  • Between London and Hitchen, the trains would run at up to 140 mph under digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line.
  • Between Hitchin and Cambridge, the trains would run at up to 100 mph on the Cambridge Line.
  • When Cambridge South station opens, the trains would stop at the station.
  • I would run a pair of trains to Cambridge station, where they would split with one train going to King’s Lynn and the other to Norwich.
  • Trains could split in the lengthened Platform 4 in Cambridge station.
  • Returning to London, they would join in Platform 1 at Cambridge station.
  • The King’s Lynn portion would stop at all stations to King’s Lynn.
  • The Norwich portion would stop at Cambridge North and then all stations to Norwich.
  • The 54 miles between Ely and Norwich would be on battery power.
  • All stations to the North of Ely would get a service every thirty minutes.

I can see other services like this starting all over the country.

  • London Euston and Milton Keynes, Rugby and Coventry.
  • London Kings Cross and Leeds
  • London Kings Cross and Lincoln, Grimsby and Cleethorpes
  • London Paddington and Bristol
  • London Paddington and Cardiff
  • London Paddington and Oxford
  • London St. Pancras and Leicester, Derby and Nottingham.
  • London Waterloo and Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.

Note.

  1. The enabling factor would be trains running at 140 mph under full digital control.
  2. Existing 140 mph trains like Class 390 and Class 395 trains could also be used.

The services would generally handle shorter distances than High Speed Two and fill in the gaps left by that network.

 

August 4, 2021 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Probably to give greater flexibility when adding extra four coaches to an eight coach train from King’s Lynn or dividing a twelve coach train going north.
    Work also needed to change approach tracks to platforms 5 and 6 if this goes ahead.

    Comment by Hugh | August 5, 2021 | Reply

    • According to my informant, work starts soon!

      It should also be noted, that in the next few years, LNER, Hull Trains et all, will be running 140 mph trains between Hitchin and Kings Cross under full digital signalling.

      The Class 387 trains will be like horses and carts on a motorway.

      As Southeastern have a need for more Class 395 trains or similar for the expansion of HighSpeed services, I could see some of the older trains being moved to King’s Cross and King’s Lynn to help free up the ECML.

      Note that a pair of Class 395 trains are 240 metres long and would need the longer platform. And they would fit well!

      There’s more to this platform lengthening than meets the eye.

      Comment by AnonW | August 5, 2021 | Reply


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