Network Rail has successfully completed a key milestone in the development of the new railway station for Soham which will pave the way for trains to start to call at the station from December 2021.
Over the August bank holiday weekend, the developing station at Soham was connected to the wider signalling network. This is an important milestone in the construction process to allow future train services to start to call at the station safely.
Completing this signalling work means that from December, Greater Anglia’s Ipswich to Peterborough service will be able to stop at Soham; the first time a timetabled passenger train has called at the town for 56 years since the last station was closed and demolished.
Funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, the completion of the station later this year and the arrival of the first passenger train in December will mark the culmination of a long campaign to reintroduce services for the Soham community.
The new station, which has been taking shape over the last 12 months on the site of the previous station will provide a new gateway and choice for residents to move around the region.
Network Rail, along with their contractor, J Murphy and Sons has worked diligently to deliver this key milestone despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Together with Greater Anglia, the final stages of the project to prepare the new station for trains to start to call at Soham will be progressing until the station opens in December. This includes completing the station itself, essential track, safety and train testing will take place, alongside driver training, to ensure everything is ready for the services to call at the station.
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “This is part of a general move for smarter and greener ways to get around Cambridgeshire, giving Soham people access to more job and leisure opportunities, helping them to leave the car behind, and putting Soham squarely on the business and tourism map.
“Being well connected has always been the hallmark of successful settlements and that’s what we want for all our communities. I’m delighted that partnership working means we’re on course to open the new Soham station before Christmas.”
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: “Connecting the new station to the signalling network puts us onto the finishing straight for trains to start to call at Soham in December.
“Our collaboration with the Combined Authority demonstrates how the rail industry can work with local stakeholders to deliver rail upgrades for the benefit of local communities and the wider regions.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “We are looking forward to adding another station to our network, making it even more convenient for people to catch the train.
“Soham station will be served exclusively by our brand new trains which have gold standard accessibility and all the mod cons modern rail travellers expect.
“Rail is the most sustainable way of travelling after walking and cycling and we’re pleased to be making it even easier for more people with the opening of Soham station.”
Photo and video credit: Network Rail