Author Topic: Thameslink improvements delayed  (Read 1106 times)

Offline Barry

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Thameslink improvements delayed
« on: January 19, 2018, 04:12:08 PM »
The Thameslink improvements that were supposed to be happening from May 2018 have now been delayed, and Cambridge seems to be one of the places particularly hurt:

In the case of Cambridge North, where I have a particular vested interest, the situation seems to be most concerning.  Not only have the planned semi-fast services to London been quietly dropped, but there isn't even a suggestion that the works (at Ely and Waterbeach) necessary to allow the King's Lynn services to stop are even planned for a particular date :-( 

If Cambridge North doesn't get a reasonable service I fear Stagecoach will rightly get fed up waiting and move the busses back to where people actually use them (ie the Science Park)?  Certainly, the extension to the Guided Busway is looking a but redundant for the foreseeable future, it's looking possible that Northstowe will arrive without having the benefit of a good train service at North, and it appears that developers may have moved on by the time North gets a service that would justify the proposed orbital service from West Cambridge / Eddington / Darwin Green / Orchard Park to the station! :-(
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 04:17:39 PM by barryb »

Offline Steves

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Re: Thameslink improvements delayed
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 05:39:34 PM »
The Cambridge North Thameslink trains have been quietly dropped as you say.  There are two possible explanations - take your pick:

1  The Thameslink timetable was so difficult to put together that the Cambridge North extensions just could not be accommodated

2  Greater Anglia as the operator of Cambridge North refused to accept more TSGN trains than the two in each direction that they currently have so the two fast Kings Cross services are the services that will stop.

The half hourly service from Cambridge North to Kings Cross is dependent on the Kings Lynn 8 car project - Waterbeach, Littleport and Watlington platform extensions.  This is in the planning stage and work should start in August/September 2018 if all goes well.  It looks unlikely to meet the December 2018 timetable change although the timetable allows for it  so the service should come in as soon as the work is completed.  Of the three, Littleport is most problematic as it is dependent on a Transport and Works Order to close a foot crossing.  The closure and the associated closure of the road underpass at Littleport station is not contentious although there is a suggestion that Network Rail did not issue the correct notices.  However, the Transport and Works Order included on a number of crossing proposals which are contentious so the Order may be delayed or even refused which would impose further delay.

There is a slight problem on the horizon which is the new Waterbeach station.  The developers are keen to build this so if something goes wrong with the plans for upgrading the existing Waterbeach station, it conceivable that they will be canned and the half hourly service will not then start until the new Waterbeach station is built (current estimate 2022).

Altogether not a good situation.  Information about the start date of the 8 car project comes from a presentation by Network Rail in November and may be slightly out of date.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 05:59:34 PM by Steves »