A new group project group run by the local councils has been set up to push forward the project to reopen Soham railway station.
A joint project group for Soham railway station is set to be formed by representatives of East Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and the local LEP.
Cambridgeshire County Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council have reaffirmed their commitment to reopening the railway station serving Soham. They have begun working with Network Rail to take the project through GRIP3.
A motion to move the proposed railway station at Soham failed to get any support after it was raised by a councillor at a meeting of Soham Town Council.
Local councils are going to press Network Rail to push forward with developing the business case for Soham following the news that doubling of the railway line between Ely and Soham had been shelved.
Proposals to double track the railway line between Soham and Ely have been shelved after surveys revealed that the work would be more expensive than planned. This could impact the proposal to open a railway station at Soham.
A series of exhibitions have been held to show the plans to enhance the line between Soham and Ely, which could pave the way for the railway station at Soham to be reopened.
Network Rail have launched a public consultation into the proposals to double the railway line between Ely and Soham. The proposal will increase the capacity for freight and passenger trains using the route. It will have an impact on the delivery of a railway station at Soham. Network Rail have advised the following.
There is a proposal for a new station at Soham which is a Project that is being promoted by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC). Although outside the scope of this Project, Network Rail and CCC are working together to ensure that these two projects are compatible.
Soham Railway Station will not open for at least five years and that will depend on finding the finance to deliver the £6m project.
Conservative parliamentary candidate, Lucy Frazer, has stated her support for reopening the railway station at Soham.
Soham Railway Station is possible after a study by carried out by Network Rail and Atkins on behalf of East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.
With a study into the feasibility of a railway station in Soham confirming it is an engineering possibility, the District Council is now set to investigate whether it is commercially viable.
Research carried out by Network Rail and Atkins on behalf of East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council looked at the engineering possibilities of the railway station, the impact of freight transport and the level of passenger demand for the station.
The results were positive with the costs of the work to bring the railway station back into use estimated at between £2.5m to £5m depending on the extent of the station and whether it is staffed.
The next stage of the process is to see whether the station would be commercially viable and whether it could fit in with the other routes and services already using the lines.
Councillor Peter Moakes, Chairman of Development and Transport sub committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “This is report is encouraging news for our plans to reinstate the railway station in Soham. The work has shown that there are no major engineering obstacles to bringing a station back into use. This will of course be a major boost for Soham and its ability to grow in the future.
“However, I think it is important to set this work in context. The research has shown that while we believe the demand is there for services, we need to speak to train operators and our partners to determine whether these levels of demand are commercially viable and whether it could fit into the current timetables using the lines. There is still a lot of work to be done yet before we can say Soham will get its railway station back but we are moving along on the right track.”
The second round of the New Stations Fund was announced in the Summer 2015 budget. Potential proposals noted in the budget was the extension of the Robin Hood railway line to Ollerton and Edwinstone and a new railway station between Castle Gary and Taunton.
On 26 August 2016, the Rail Minister announced that the second round of the New Stations Fund had opened. It would offer up to 75% towards the cost of construction of the railway station. The closing date for bids was 25 November 2016 with the results to be announced in early 2017.
A number of railway station bids for this funding have announced.
There are a number of railway stations where it is understood that a bid has been submitted but no confirmation has been identified.
Railfuture have published a report that considers the potential for a high frequency metro style service serving lines into Cambridge as part of the City Deal. The network would add to the East West Rail and Thameslink service enhancements by opening the route to Haverhill and reopening the Newmarket curve.
Railway stations are proposed at:
- Cherry Hinton
- Coldhams Lane
- Science Park
- Waterbeach Barracks
There are eleven railway stations proposed in East Anglia.
In addition, there are a number of new railway lines proposed through the area.
- East West Railway
- Leiston Works Railway
- Norfolk Orbital Railway
|Broadland Business Park||Suggested|
|Cambridge North||Open 2017|
|North East Chelmsford||Suggested|