Author Topic: Soham station  (Read 370 times)

Offline barryb

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Soham station
« on: November 28, 2019, 12:06:05 AM »
The Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority had signed a contract for the building of a new station at Soham, on the little used (by passenger trains) line between Ely and Bury St Edmunds (and which doesn't currently allow a direct link to Cambridge).

https://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/new-station-for-soham-could-be-open-by-2022-says-mayor-1-6362561

In the ongoing absence of the Ely North improvements, with redoubling of the line under review, and with no concrete plans for upgrading Haughley Junction there's no sign of the franchise commitment for an hourly service on the line actually happening.

Further, with no curve allowing Newmarket to Soham services, with the line from Cambridge to Newmarket being mainly singled, with Cambridge station being congested, and with Network Rail believing that existing capacity on that line is sufficient until 2040, there's little sign of services to Cambridge that might truly unlock the potential of a new station.

It seems like it is headed for being a remarkably poorly served station that stands to be of limited use; I hope its existence creates pressure for the projects that will allow it to be useful and used to go ahead.

I was struggling to think of the last reopening in order to receive such a poor service. Even Beauly received a comparatively more useful service on reopening, and it only cost about 250k (in early 2000s prices) rather than £22m!

Offline Coast_Hopper

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Re: Soham station
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2019, 04:55:49 AM »
It may well be poorly served by passenger trains but I think if anything it will.make Soham a new London commuter town with an influx of people rammed in the first train to Ely just after 6.30 weekdays to get a London train from Ely

There could be a shift in peoples shopping habits with Bury being preferred to Newmarket or indeed Cambridge or even further afield Ipswich

Offline John Wakefield

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Re: Soham station
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2019, 04:17:15 PM »
There could be a shift in peoples shopping habits with Bury being preferred to Newmarket or indeed Cambridge or even further afield Ipswich

I think it very unlikely that people will use the train for shopping
a) Shopping is moving from the High Street to on line
b) Trains are expensive, buses are cheaper and go right into city/town centres, rail stations are out of town & require a bus or long walk into the shopping areas. Also pensioners go free on buses.

Offline Elsworth Fox

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Re: Soham station
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2019, 12:10:11 PM »
I think it very unlikely that people will use the train for shopping
a) Shopping is moving from the High Street to on line
b) Trains are expensive, buses are cheaper and go right into city/town centres, rail stations are out of town & require a bus or long walk into the shopping areas. Also pensioners go free on buses.
I agree entirely with this opinion.  The big problem of Cambridge Station is that it is not near the main shopping area (Thanks Cambridge University).  Whenever people in St. Ives talk about reopening the line to Cambridge, I ask them how many people would use it to go to the centre of Cambridge.  The silence is deafening.  Soham station reopening is a vanity project for the mayor who comes from Soham. 

Offline barryb

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Re: Soham station
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2019, 10:05:19 PM »
Logically you would think people would prefer the bus from Soham (and indeed Newmarket), and perhaps also Ely and Royston) because of the locations of the stations.  In terms of convenience even Bury Station isn't idea for the Soham shopper!  I'm a logical person and I like logic so it annoys me when things aren't logical.

However the number of people I see travelling the other direction to me on Newmarket trains, the miniscule market share for Ely buses, and the Royston bus's tenuous grasp on existence suggests otherwise.  Bus travel around Cambridge is apparently so awful that people would prefer a train that almost certainly doesn't finish up where you want to be, and in that respect I suspect there will be more people than you'd like to imagine struggling to make journeys to Soham by inadequate trains with unreliable connections!

Even more offensively to my logical nature, I'm convinced that if the old Mildenhall line was turned into a busway, Newmarket and the surrounding area would see the same leap in service provision and passenger numbers as St Ives to Cambridge did  :P

Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: Soham station
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 01:42:15 PM »
Cambridge station may not be good for the historic centre but there's a *lot* of office development going up in the area around it, plus around Cambridge North and the future Cambridge South/Addenbrookes, so rail will appeal to a lot of commuters. Plus train to CBG then cycle/walk/local bus is a lot faster than sitting on a bus stuck in heavy traffic where any timetable is pure fantasy, and there's going to be a lot of people for whom Drummer Street is not much better than the central station.

I refer readers to my past moans about the train SNO-SVG-CMB being an hour faster than the bus despite being three times the distance!

Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: Soham station
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 01:43:57 PM »
Oh, and Cambridge isn't the only employment centre in the region, despite what it claims!