Cambridgeshire County Council is working with East Cambridgeshire District Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to assess the feasibility of a new passenger train station in Soham.
A station at Soham would help to reconnect the town with the rail network, as well as help improve growth, jobs and investment in the town.
Cambridgeshire County Council, with East Cambridgeshire District Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has formally commissioned Network Rail to undertake the GRIP (Governance for Rail Infrastructure Projects) 3 Options and Feasibility Study. This work will assess what is required to deliver the railway station and what is needed to make sure the station is economically viable.
Stage of Project
The project is currently at GRIP 3 Approval in Principle stage. This should be completed by May 2019.
Two options are being developed through the Network Rail Approval in Principle process which allow for both a single platform station if the Ely- Soham doubling project is not taken forward and a double platform stage with bridge if the doubling project goes ahead.
Network Rail is expected to complete the GRIP 3 Approval in Principle stage by June 2019. Subject to ongoing funding from the Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council to continue this development work, Network Rail anticipate the single option selection will run from July 2019 to June 2020, and detailed design from September 2020 to May 2021.
Providing that the necessary capital funding is available, Network Rail foresee construction taking place between June and November 2021. A period of time would then be required for the operator to train staff and drivers. This means that new services couldn’t be introduced until the May 2022 timetable change. Network Rail is currently investigating how it might compress this schedule so they can meet the December 2021 (or earlier) timetable change instead.
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Timetable Capacity report
Network Rail has assessed the impact of trains stopping at Soham would have on the rail network.
The key findings from the assessment are, building a new station at Soham on the existing single-track infrastructure, with today’s two-hourly train service is possible and has a very minimal impact on the existing passenger and freight train timetables.
GRIP 3C will be completed in May 2019, the plan is then to start GRIP 4 in July 2019 with the timetable change and station operational by May 2022.
Costs & Funding
The potential costs of re-opening the station are also part of the option selection and outline business case which will support bids for funding the station.