Rail Industry Focus

15.09.16

The station of today and of tomorrow

Source: RTM Aug/Sep 16

As Cambridge North station finally begins to take shape, RTM speaks to Eliane Algaard, director of route asset management for Anglia at Network Rail, to find out more about the latest developments.

For a station that has been plagued with delays and setbacks over the last couple of years, knowing Cambridge North is finally beginning to take shape – with a completion date just around the corner – will be a breath of fresh air for local commuters. 

The £50m station – the brainchild of a partnership between the DfT, Network Rail and Cambridgeshire County Council – serves a two-for-one purpose in the region. As well as helping alleviate overcrowding at Cambridge station, the new link will serve to boost the local economy given its premium position next to the city’s science and business parks. 

Modern design 

Devised by Atkins, one of the most eye-catching aspects of the new building is its design. In order to reflect the impact of the local business and science community, the building’s rainscreen cladding will feature a perforated pattern derived from John Horton Conway’s ‘Game of Life’, a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician during his time as a lecturer at the University of Cambridge. The Game of Life and the diamond motif run across the building and the landscape, enforcing the notions of emergence and self-organisation which were key to Conway’s work, Atkins said. 

Parts of the cladding have already been erected given that steelwork started in May. According to Eliane Algaard, director of route asset management for Anglia at Network Rail, around 60 tonnes of structural steel had already been lifted into position as RTM went to press – with the platform construction next to it substantially completed, two lift shafts installed to full height, and work taking place to build the track, points and structures to carry the OLE and power supply. “We are, at the moment, on track to complete on time and on budget,” Algaard told us. 

Beset with delays 

Of course, ‘on time’ is a subjective analysis: the station was originally meant to open by December 2015, a deadline pushed back to May 2016, then December this year, and now, finally, May 2017. Much of this was due to the station’s responsibility transferring from the county council to Network Rail last year, sparking anger and disappointment amongst local MPs. 

But Algaard argued it was necessary to get the business case exactly right. “It was a matter of making sure we were not rushing into a solution, making sure we had a solution which solved today’s problems but was also fit for future growth,” she added. 

With 3,000 journeys anticipated being made from the station every day, it will be well served by 1,000 bicycle spaces and a 450-space car park, as well as a taxi drop-off and pick-up area. “We believe these will be more or less at full capacity very, very quickly,” explained Algaard. “That’s why we think it’s more like creating a new urban centre – really focusing on Cambridge being a new centre for growth for that part of the country.” 

TRY TO USE  0V9A1007 edit

Thinking green 

To reflect both the neighbouring science community and the many open spaces, the station will be extremely green. “It really goes with the spirit of what Cambridge Business Park is all about,” she added. “For example, 10% of the station’s power will be generated by a green roof and solar panels – that’s the main sustainability element. 

“The way the station will be operated by Abellio will also aim to minimise wastage and maximise recycling, and the way it’s positioned will provide a very nice connection with the Guided Busway, which will really minimise any CO2 emission and push people to use public transportation.” 

Now that the station’s construction is in full swing, the next milestone in the run-up to its hopeful launch date of 21 May is the signalling commission, expected this November. 

The station building will be completed in February next year, with Network Rail looking to have the infrastructure authorised for passenger use in April.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

David   15/09/2016 at 14:01

Quite ironic that the trackbed of the former GER branch to St. Ives can still be seen. How the times change...

Andrew Gwilt   16/09/2016 at 05:05

The new Cambridge North railway station does look like any other railway station and would provide better journey times for those who live in the Chesterton area and the railway station is close to the Business Park and could also provide P&R facility. Once completed. GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) Great Northern and Abellio Greater Anglia will operate services to/from Cambridge North with GTR managing the new Cambridge North railway station whilst Abellio Greater Anglia already manages Cambridge railway station and a new proposed Cambridge South railway station which is soon to be built will be operated by either Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) or Abellio Greater Anglia and will serve Addenbrooks Hospital with a P&R facility.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

View all News

editor's comment

17/01/2017Rising to the digital demand

The countdown is well and truly on for this year’s UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA), and the whole RTM team is looking forward to welcoming you to the fourth edition of this event on 9 February.  Held once again at Battersea Evolution, the prestigious awards ceremony promises to be an extraordinary evening, celebrating some of the major achievements of the industry in the last year. You can see the awards shortlist on pages 27-29, and read more details at ukria.com. If... read more >

last word

Making rail fares simpler

Making rail fares simpler

David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus, explains how a number of initiatives over the next 12 months aim to make rail fares simpler. By the end of 2017, we hope passengers will see fairer and simpler fares.  Two recent initiatives should help achieve this.  One initiative was a response to our four-year cam... more > more last word articles >

interviews

Tackling regulation at its routes

24/01/2017Tackling regulation at its routes

John Larkinson, the ORR’s director of railway markets and economics, speaks to RTM about ... more >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Southern Rail passengers reminded to claim compensation

03/02/2017Southern Rail passengers reminded to claim compensation

Southern’s annual season ticket holders have been reminded that they are entitled to claim compensation due to the franchise’s poor performance over the 2016-17 financial year. Last year, the DfT promised that Southern season ticket holders would be able to claim the equivalent of a month’s worth of fares in compensation... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The role of simulation in ERTMS training and system design

01/02/2017The role of simulation in ERTMS training and system design

Paul Boyle, head of ERTMS at Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), discusses the role of simulation in ERTMS training ahead of this year’s &lsqu... more >
Digital railway maintenance

01/02/2017Digital railway maintenance

Tim Flower, head of maintenance at Network Rail, explains how the infrastructure owner is adopting a new approach for condition monitoring to max... more >
Challenges and opportunities for big data in the Digital Railway

01/02/2017Challenges and opportunities for big data in the Digital Railway

Dr John Easton and Dr Shruti Kohli from the University of Birmingham write for RTM about the role big data can play in transforming the country&r... more >
A better railway depends on harnessing technology

27/01/2017A better railway depends on harnessing technology

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), argues that we must change the status quo and invest in technology if we are to c... more >