LETTER: Re-instatement of the south to west junction south of Soham near Newmarket is essential

PUBLISHED: 07:31 06 February 2016

I wish the new Railway Task Force (Ely Standard January 28) every success with their quest to get Soham station re-opened.

But I fear that their struggle will be a long one, with the Government maintaining a tight grip on Network Rail’s spending and Network Rail’s current heavy workload, which includes at least two main line electrification programmes (both currently running behind schedule), Crossrail, and a multitude of other urgent upgrades and replacements.

Also, Network Rail announced in the last week that the Ely North Junction upgrade and the re-doubling of the Ely to Soham line are not now due for implementation until ‘after 2019’ (no mention of Soham Station).

As part of their efforts to push the station project forward, the Task force might like to ask themselves what sort of service passengers can expect when the station does open.

Trips to Newmarket and Cambridge? – No chance.

In British Railways days of austerity the south to west junction south of Soham near Newmarket was removed, meaning that to travel to Newmarket or Cambridge by train from Soham (other than travelling north via Ely) would mean getting a train eastwards to Bury St Edmunds, and then another back to Newmarket and Cambridge. Either way at least one change of train would be required – two if you wanted to travel to Newmarket via Ely.

I would therefore suggest that the number one priority for this group should be getting the re-instatement of this junction included in the line re-doubling plans, which would facilitate a Peterborough (or Wisbech when opened), March, Ely, Soham, Newmarket, and Cambridge service.

Otherwise Soham will just become a quiet station on the Ely to Ipswich line.

FRANK CONNOLLY

Masefield Drive

Downham Market

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