Cambridge - Newmarket Line Upgrade

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Neen Sollars, 30 Jan 2019.

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  1. Neen Sollars

    Neen Sollars Member

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    East West Rail (EWR) is coming to Cambridge, consultation on proposed routes is about to start. However to capitalise on the upgraded rail links to the west, the stated aim of the EWR consortium is also to improve rail journeys to the east to benefit the whole of East Anglia. So how can the line from Cambridge - Newmarket - Bury St Edmunds (BSE) and on to Ipswich be upgraded to improve the service?
    I have viewed the closed thread "Cambridge-Newmarket electrification candidate" but it appears that electrification is not going to happen. So think upgraded line for DEMU, BEMU, Bi Mode, Hydrogen powered trains.
    It looks as if an upgrade to this line will happen, what do the users of this line want from an improved service and what new possible destinations do they want, would they expect to change trains at Cambridge for East West Rail?
     
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  3. bspahh

    bspahh Member

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  4. camflyer

    camflyer Member

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    As a regular user of the line I would certainly like to see, at a bare minimum, half-hourly services between Cambridge and Ipswich via Newmarket. The 3 car services (which often only run as 2 car) are packed at peak times and missing an hourly service into work isn't a good start to your day. A later last train from Cambridge would be helpful too. Longer term reintroducing the West Curve would open up direct services to Soham, Ely and beyond.

    Double tracking of the whole line between Bury and Cambridge won't be possible due to housing developments in Newmarket and the single bore tunnel but most of the line could be done and some modifications to Newmarket station could increase capacity. Rail Future had a proposal to lengthen the platform:

    https://www.railfuture.org.uk/east/...ransport-Strategy-for-East-Cambridgeshire.pdf
     
  5. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    Already under some consideration.
    Network Rail (undated):
    https://www.networkrail.co.uk/our-railway-upgrade-plan/key-projects/east-west-rail/eastern-section/
    East West Rail Consortium - June 2018:
    https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/wp-...062018-Item-7b-Eastern-Section-Prospectus.pdf
    The general intention seems to be that through services should run, but of course that brings with it increased performance risk.
    The extent to which freight use of any capacity that could/may/will be provided is not at all clear.
    Edited to add:
    The latter document has some pretty, no very, unlikely 'investments'. Unless the Suffolk/Norfolk Councils have some as yet untapped money sources and a whole new way of justifying expenditure!
     
    Last edited: 30 Jan 2019
  6. Neen Sollars

    Neen Sollars Member

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    Thanks, Very informative thread. It should be revived. I note from my historic railway map, there was a rail line from Fordham to Mildenhall. I have re- posted my
    Thank you for the links, I will study them. I like the phrase " increased performance risk" in other words the longer the journey the greater risk that unforeseen events cause delay. Which is why I raise the issue of willingness to change trains at Cambridge (North) for East West Rail services, a service that was not there before. Cambridge North would become a hub for EWR services, EWR services Camb to Oxford only, but I could see other passenger services using the line, as well as freight. You would access Cambs North via northern chord off the Cambs - Newmarket line, more tph on that line could mean Camb central and Camb N as separate destinations.
     
  7. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    I don't wish to be a crayonista but if there was a political will to decarbonize freight and although it would make the GWML pale into insignificance, electrification of F2N would change the whole picture. It would have to be done in stages - there are an awful lot of level crossings and old signaling but IF it happened it would make the Cambridge infill much easier.
     
  8. Neen Sollars

    Neen Sollars Member

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    Gralistair, Firstly, I am not sure if you are Mayflower from the "North Western Electrification" Flickr album, but thank you for your contribution to it and all the other photographers. First class and I am hoping for a similar site when work starts on EWR at the end of this year.
    If Felixstowe to Nuneaton were electrified then EWR could not be used as a diversionary route for freight because it is not going to be electrified. afaik
     
  9. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    No Mayflower is LDECRexile aka Dave. I am Gralistair (short for Graham Alistair) and Dave has labelled my album Grahams shots. Linked album by Dave

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/127646831@N03/albums/72157678710119421

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/127646831@N03/albums/72157651259517065
     
  10. Neen Sollars

    Neen Sollars Member

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    Thanks for the links, as you say the thinking in June 2018. I note the use of words "interchange" and "connecting into". I think the "increased performance risk" - potential delay - in running a labelled EWR service from Ipswich or Norwich to destinations south of Oxford is not worth that risk. EWR should be a model of efficiency just running Oxford (Business Park and Science Park) to Cambs Science Park and Camb North.
    North and South East Anglian passengers benefit from much more frequent service into Cambs with all the potential routes from it. 2tph from Ipswich, 2 tph from Mildenhall meaning 4 tph from Newmarket to Cambs.
    Cambridge North and Oxford would become the "interchange stations" for the end of the route, with New Sandy, Bedford and Bletchley interchanges along the way. A fantastic improvement for East Anglian passengers?
     
  11. matt

    matt Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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