Thameslink, Great Northern and Greater Anglia are transforming rail journeys to and from Cambridge
This drive to support the city’s community and economy through improved transport links, requires an improved railway depot on sidings next to Cambridge station, to store and service new and improved trains.
Thameslink and Great Northern
More trains and extra services to new destinations have given Cambridge commuters, tourists and business travellers thousands of extra seats each day. These include new, frequent Thameslink trains to and from Gatwick Airport and Brighton. This number will double on Saturdays from May as you can read in this press release.
Combined with Great Northern, there are now six trains every hour from Cambridge to London King’s Cross and St Pancras International – with two continuing on to Brighton via Gatwick Airport.
In addition, from December 2020, Great Northern will start running trains twice as long (eight carriages instead of four) between King’s Lynn and Cambridge – doubling the number of seats on this busy part of the network.
New state-of-the-art Swiss-built trains are now in service on the line between Ipswich, and Cambridge, and Norwich and Cambridge.
These three and four car trains have replaced the former one, two and three car trains; delivering more seats and a better travelling experience on these busy routes.
In December 2019 a brand-new direct service between Cambridge North and Stansted Airport was introduced, improving the frequency of trains between the city and its nearest London airport.
In addition, from spring 2020 Greater Anglia will start to introduce its new commuter fleet of trains which will deliver more seats between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street.
Upgrading Cambridge Depot
To cater for these additional, and in many cases longer, trains we need to upgrade the depot and associated sidings next to Cambridge station.
The Cambridge Depot Upgrade is providing a larger, improved stabling and servicing facility at the depot. Funded through the Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, the upgrade is key to maintaining Thameslink, Great Northern and Greater Anglia trains.
This work includes the expansion of the sidings at the south end of the depot closest to the station with new track and the installation of new train servicing facilities to allow the trains to be cleaned internally, toilets emptied, train toilet water tanks refilled, and train hoppers refilled with sand to provide grip in slippery conditions. Also included is a new 12-carriage enclosed train wash north of Mill Road Bridge, replacing the previous 8-carriage open train wash which was situated in the south area. For more information about the train wash, read our Frequently Asked Questions.
In August 2019, Spencer Group, which is the principle contractor for the project, rebuilt part of Mill Road Bridge to enlarge one of the arches to allow trains to pass underneath. The new train wash will connect the existing north sidings with the upgraded south sidings via the larger arch. It is the upgraded south sidings where trains will be serviced, mostly overnight.
Programme – target key dates
Start on Cambridge Depot Upgrade project – June 2018
South side of depot part operational (stabling only) – May 2019
South side staff building in use – Spring 2020
Train wash construction begins (proposed) – Spring 2020
South side of depot fully operational (toilets/water tanking/sanding) – Summer 2020
Train wash operational – December 2020/January 2021