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A new station, Cambridge South, is being constructed on the existing railway line where it runs along the western edge of the Biomedical Campus, just to the south of the guided busway bridge over the railway.
The notion of a station to serve the Biomedical Campus has been around for some years. Finally a public inquiry in 2022 concluded that the benefits of improved access to the campus and the reduction in local road traffic outweighed the encroachment into Hobson’s Park, and the construction began at the start of 2023, with the opening scheduled for the Spring of 2025. The service pattern is not yet finalised but it is clear that the station will be served by trains to and from both King’s Cross and the Liverpool Street lines, and in the future by East West Rail if that project comes into fruition.
There are links to the public inquiry inspector’s report and the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision letter below.
The station is not in Great Shelford parish, but will affect us in four main ways:
- Residents who work at or visit the Biomedical Campus, and others, particularly those who live in the northern part of our parish, may find the new station useful for their work or leisure journeys. Passengers boarding at Shelford will be able to change at Cambridge South for stations on the King’s Cross line without needing to travel into Cambridge and double back.
- The work includes re-modelling of the junction known as Shepreth Branch Junction, where the King’s Cross and Liverpool St lines diverge. This junction is within our parish, close to the Abberley Wood residential area. In essence the work entails a minor realignment of the junction to enable an increase in the line speed, and moving the point of divergence some 250 metres northwards. There will be modifications to the footbridge to accommodate this, and the farm crossing at the junction will close permanently, access for the farmer being provided from Addenbrooke’s Road.
- We can expect some construction traffic in the parish, particularly for the work at Shepreth Branch Junction detailed above. Great Shelford Parish Council’s Travel and Transport Infrastructure Working Group has been in dialogue with Network Rail since February 2021 and will continue to work to minimise the impact on residents.
- The new station is expected to have a footfall of at least one million passengers a year from its inception. Currently those people must be arriving at the campus by some other means, including private cars, so we may see some reduction in local road traffic although this may be offset by the overall growth of the Campus.
Current and Future Works
Some residents have queried why they are seeing work further away from the new station, for example on the control cabinets adjacent to the Station Road / Hinton Way level crossing. The answer is that Network Rail are also part-way through a programme of renewing signals, with their attendant cabling and power supplies, in the Cambridge region. This project covers a much wider area (roughly bounded by Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Royston and Elsenham) and is not related to Cambridge South station or to a possible East-West Rail link.
As part of the Cambridge South station work the trackside masts which support the 25kV overhead power cables are being renewed between there and Shepreth Branch Junction. This involves pile-driving to install the concrete bases for the masts: normally residents in the vicinity of this work should receive an explanatory leaflet and we have expressed our concern to Network Rail that this is not always happening. Anyone who is particularly disturbed or concerned can call Network Rail’s 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41.
At their most recent meeting with Network Rail the Parish Council’s Travel and Transport Infrastructure Working Group requested more detail on the schedule of work liable to affect us, notably the work at Shepreth Branch Junction and any knock-on effect on the DNA path or the path from the footbridge to More’s Meadow. There will also be some weekend (or longer) closures at key stages of the project and we are likewise pressing Network Rail for details of these.
Great Shelford Parish Council recognises the need for the station and is supportive, while conscious of the cumulative impact of several possible infrastructure projects in our neighbourhood. We will aim to maintain a dialogue with Network Rail during construction and will continue to share information with residents as it becomes available.