A major feasibility study has been commissioned which aims to bring Soham Railway Station a step closer to being built.
Cambridgeshire County Council in conjunction with East Cambridgeshire District Council has formally commissioned Network Rail to undertake the GRIP (Governance for Rail Infrastructure Projects) 3 Options and Feasibility study.
This work, due to be completed by early 2017, will assess what is required to deliver the railway station in Soham which the two authorities have long campaigned for. The study will look at what is needed to make sure the station is economically viable and meets requirements of the councils.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman for the Environment Transport and Economy Committee, said: "By commissioning the GRIP 3 study, we are edging ever closer to delivering the much talked about and much needed railway station for Soham. With East Cambridgeshire District Council, we have long campaigned that reconnecting the town with the rail network is vital if we are to grow as a county and a region. Jobs, investment and the vibrancy of Soham rest on the outcome of Network Rail's report and we look forward to receiving it.
East Cambridgeshire District Council Leader, James Palmer, said: "Soham is a growing town and a very popular place to live. It is only right that we, as local councils, press extremely hard for the infrastructure needed to coincide with housing growth. It is imperative that Soham has a railway station, and the GRIP 3 study is part of the ongoing process to bring this greatly needed asset back to the town."
A Network Rail spokesperson said: "We are working with our partners at Cambridgeshire County Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council to look into the design and feasibility of a new station at Soham that could potentially bring significant benefits to the area."
The Soham Railway Station Joint Project Group, consisting of six elected members and representatives from Soham Town Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, will help the study to build a strong case to show how any service stopping in Soham would be used and how many people would use it.