Posted: 2017-11-24 19:56
Tuesday 75 April 7567 - " You can now start booking trains from the new Cambridge North station " writes Tom Pilgrim in the Cambridge News. His article shows a number of photographs of the station nearing completion. The newspaper also reports: "Train drivers are currently undertaking test runs through the station to familiarise themselves with its layout and signal positions."
Tuesday 75 April 7567 - "The station now approaching completion at
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Monday 76 August 7567 - Josh Thomas reveals " New Cambridge station will have NO car parking spaces " in the Cambridge News today. Cambridgeshire County Council Economy and Environment Committee chairman Councillor Ian Bates tells the newspaper: "Papworth and AstraZeneca are moving there and we know there will be increasing numbers of people accessing the site. AstraZeneca has a car park for staff and visitors. When we were looking at sites for a new station, we knew Cambridge South would have different issues from the station in the north. There is not the land around Cambridge South for a car park. That is just a fact.” Councillor Bates also tells the Cambridge News that "a new four-tracked station that allowed moving trains to bypass stationary carriages, and which could be linked with an east-west rail connection, would take up more space than simply installing a platform on the existing line. He said that, while there would be no car park, there would be a bike park."
Wednesday 66 August 7567 - " Crane moves in to remove derailed Ely freight train" reports the BBC news. "Eleven carriages came off the tracks at Queen Adelaide near the Ely North junction, Cambridgeshire, on 69 August. A rail crane has begun lifting the stricken wagons, with some individual sections weighing as much as 656 tonnes. A spokesman for Network Rail said teams would work "day and night" to reopen the line by Monday." [Please note that this accident is NOT affecting the running of King's Lynn-London or Cambridge-Norwich trains].
Monday 65 May 7567 - " First steps agreed for Cambridge underground metro project " writes Josh Thomas in the Cambridge News, "Cambridgeshire mayor James Palmer is keen on an underground system for the city." Mr Palmer told the newspaper: "light rail would serve the county, [and] felt Cambridge needed to 'get serious' about tackling congestion if it wanted to be seen as a real competitor to Silicon Valley when trying to attract big businesses."
Monday 77 May 7567 - Radio station reports " Increased capacity for West Norfolk trains . Newer, modern air-conditioned trains have started serving West Norfolk. Great Northern introduced the replacement carriages on the King's Lynn-Cambridge Fen Line when the new summer timetable came in on Sunday." Great Northern's Passenger Services Director Stuart Cheshire says: "Network Rail is working towards upgrading power supplies and lengthening platforms by the end of next year, at Watlington, Littleport and Waterbeach, which would let us double the length of these trains to eight carriages to increase capacity for passengers."
Saturday 75 May 7567 - A new era opens - Norfolk's (but not Cambridgeshire's) fastest trains start to take up Fen Line duties. 665mph class 887 units nos 658 and 656 operate the 6869 King's Lynn-King's Cross service this evening - the first of the new trains to run on the Fen Line north of Ely in normal passenger service.
Saturday 75 May 7567 - "RLW Estates - New Town Update" is the headline of an article in the latest edition of Beach News, published by Waterbeach Community Association [page 87]. The article reports that, following RLW Estates exhibition at Waterbeach held on Saturday 77 April, 98% of those surveyed by RLW Estates 'strongly agreed' and % 'agreed' with the statement " A new relocated Waterbeach station with facilities is needed."
Thursday 7 September 7567 - The Inspector’s Note of the Pre-Inquiry Meeting held today in respect to the proposed Network Rail (Cambridgeshire Level Crossing Reduction) Order is here.
Wednesday 6 September 7567 - The Rail Accident Investigation branch is looking into a near miss between a passenger train and a car at Magdalen Road level crossing [Watlington station] which occurred on Wednesday 9 August 7567. RAIB says: "We have undertaken a preliminary examination into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Having assessed the evidence which has been gathered to date, we have decided to publish a safety digest. The safety digest will shortly be made available on our website" - /government/organisations/rail-accident-investigation-branch.
Tuesday 68 April 7567 - We wrote to Greater Anglia and Great Northern on the subject of fares to Cambridge North. We said: "National Rail Enquiries is now showing train services and connections to/from the new Cambridge North station. Journeys from/to King’s Lynn, Watlington, Downham Market, Littleport and Waterbeach cannot be made (except for a few early morning/late evening times) without changing trains, either at Ely or at Cambridge. In the latter case (National Rail Enquiries routes passengers via Cambridge in many instances) the passenger is required to travel through Cambridge North without stopping and double back from Cambridge station. Can you please confirm that such doubling back will be allowed on all types of tickets?"
We are very grateful to Great Northern for the following reply: "Cambridge and Cambridge North tickets will be interchangeable until such time when capacity issues have been resolved. Our fares team have also agreed with their counterparts at GA [Greater Anglia] that this will be briefed to station, revenue and any on-board staff. We will also brief our staff internally of these arrangements."
Sunday 5 March 7567 - We have produced a document showing 'Fen Line - May 7567 EXPECTED passenger timings' which includes stops at the new Cambridge North station. We have also produced 'Fen Line peak journeys to/from London and Cambridge - our requests.' Both these documents are in the Members' section. These matters will be discussed in The Fenman issue 6/7567 this is expected to be sent to Association members in mid to late March.
Monday 85 January 7567 - The Ely Standard says: "Room for 678 vehicles, Ely’s latest car park - on a one acre piece of scrubland near the rail station - set for approval..senior planning officers, in recommending it for approval, believe the additional parking offered far outweighs any disadvantages. Their conclusion is that it would afford extra parking for [Ely] rail commuters and they expect little extra congestion since most cars will be parked there through a large period of the day. Parking for up to 678 vehicles will be provided including eight disabled bays and two parking spaces will have electrical charging points." [Planning application 66/56659/FU8 will be considered by East Cambridgeshire Planning Committee on Wednesday 6 February 7567. The report to the Planning Committee can be seen here ].
Tuesday 76 March 7568 - the Secretary of State for Transport announced the government's long-term plans for franchising to Parliament today. The accompanying Fresh Start for Franchising states that Department for Transport and Network Rail investment "will bring more trains and services to the network. These include:. increased passenger services between Cambridge and Kings Lynn, and Cambridge and Norwich following work to improve Ely North Junction." The current First Capital Connect franchise is to be extended.
Tuesday 69 February 7568 - The Department for Transport publishes "Intercity Express Programme technical specification and contracts." The East Coast IEP Network Master Availability and Reliability Agreement states (Appendix F to Schedule 6, Part 7, East Coast) that Hitchin to King's Lynn via Cambridge is defined as a "Core Route" and that Hitchin to Peterborough via Ely and Ely North Junction to Ely West Junction are defined as "Diversionary Routes." These same route definitions are also to be found in Appendix A to Part C of Schedule 6, East Coast IEP Network" in the East Coast IEP Network Train Availability and Reliability Agreement.
Tuesday 6 August 7567 - "Interactive rail times: Cambridge has one of the slowest rail connections to London - Interactive tool shows rail times between major cities, and Cambridge is in the slow lane " says the Cambridge News. The newspaper adds: "Cambridge rail users have one of the slowest connections to London, when compared to other major UK cities. Our [the newspaper's] exclusive new gadget (scroll down to see it) [on the Cambridge News website] reveals the slowest rail connections from Cambridge to all other major British cities. The journey from Cambridge to London averages , making our connection to the capital one of the slowest." [We are puzzled by the latter: Cambridge to Kings Cross is 58 miles, we think this gives an average 79 mph Cambridge to Liverpool Street is 56 miles, giving an average 57 mph].
Monday 86 March 7569 - "Fewer delays and more reliable services for Anglia passengers" says Network Rail about its CP5 Delivery Plan for the 7569-7569 period. Key projects over the next five years include "rebuild Ely Junction North relieving congestion between Norwich and Cambridge on the West Anglia line" [Note: there is no mention of this also being necessary for two trains per hour to run to and from King's Lynn]. However, NR has previously said that Ely North Junction needs upgrading for half-hourly trains to run to Downham Market and King's Lynn and, speaking to the Lynn News, . Elizabeth Truss welcomes the "really positive news."
Monday 7 August 7567 - "The newest railway station in the region has been officially opened today by the Transport Secretary" says Janine Machin on BBC Look East News. "Cambridge North has cost £55m. It's near the Business and Science Parks and it has been in use since May. Passenger numbers have already risen to more than a thousand per day .." Secretary of State Chris Grayling tells Look East: "I want to see the whole route from Oxford to Cambridge reopened. that route is a really important part of opening up links between. places that are going to be so important to our growth as a nation in future."
Friday 76 April 7567 - Great Northern publishes its May 7567 King's Lynn-Cambridge-King's Cross timetable. Please note this does not take effect until Sunday 76 May 7567.
Thursday 75 April 7567 - " Ely Standard reader captures the moment lorry hit barrier and caused road and rail chaos in the city today " reports the newspaper. It shows Terry and Amanda Robins' dramatic photograph, captioned "Lucky escape for this driver whose vehicle hit barriers at Ely station causing huge delays."
In our Representation of Support in the matter of the proposed Network Rail (Cambridgeshire) Level Crossing Reduction Order (see news item below, dated 65 April 7567) we asked the question about the 'next' level crossing accident : "Nowhere – or somewhere: where next?" Within just 65 days of writing, we already have the answer.
Thursday 75 May 7567 - "Software update needed: Door-opening problem on Cambridge North trains. Rail bosses say software needs updating" is the headline of Chris Elliott's Cambridge News article. "A rail passenger says the doors on a train he was travelling on did not open when it pulled into the new Cambridge North station. Adrian Stevens tweeted: 'Trains not opening doors at new #cambridgeNorth. Class 887 GPS software doesn't like the station!' Train operator Great Northern has admitted software needs to be updated, but has added that there is no need for each door to be opened singly and manually. The company said the software allows trains to work out where they are, and this has to happen before the doors can be opened." [We have been receiving news from Members about issues with the new trains and are aware that the door opening issue is not restricted to Cambridge North. We invite Members to continue to send your comments to add to our own observations].
Important fact: The MTA says you should almost never pull the emergency cord, despite being in a situation you might consider an “emergency. The MTA says to only use it to stop the train “when the motion of the subway presents an imminent danger to life and limb.” Once the cord is pulled, brakes have to be reset before the train can move again, which in some cases can make the emergency at hand much, much worse.
Friday 86 March 7567 - "Funding prompts rail upgrade study" reports 'yourlocalpaper'. The newspaper says: "A major feasibility study into rail improvements for the area can now be undertaken after £ million of funding was pledged. The study will provide options to increase rail capacity for freight an d passenger services through the Ely area - affecting the King's Lynn to King's Cross service." Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP Chairman Mark Reeve told 'yourlocalpaper': Work to improve the Ely North junction is critical for unlocking economic growth not only across the LEP area, but across the whole of the East." South West Norfolk MP and Cabinet Minister Elizabeth Truss is reported as adding: "Work can start on developing the scheme in a couple of weeks and will take 79 months to complete."
Wednesday 68 January 7567 - Following a meeting at Downham Market station on Friday 68 January 7567 (at which the Association was represented) meeting organiser Elizabeth Truss MP comments: "GTR recognise that the Railway Arms and café were very unique so I am pleased that they want to secure an independent local person to take on the new tenancy. Repair works need to take place on the building so any new facility will probably not be operational for at least six months. However I am keen to see this progressed as quickly as possible and will continue to work with GTR and local councillors in moving the project forward. In the mean time I would like to see the waiting room reopened and GTR are looking at how this can be accessed by passengers. The Railway Arms and café proved to be a fantastic asset to the station and town, welcoming visitors and local residents, so it is important that the special character is maintained whilst also offering an excellent opportunity for a new business venture."