Latest Rail News

07.08.17

Grayling: Cambridge North station a core part of creating UK’s own Silicon Valley

Cambridge North was officially opened by transport secretary Chris Grayling today, who said that the station would lead to the creation of the UK’s own ‘Silicon Valley’.

The station was opened for passenger service back in May, but now has been officially by Grayling, who also met with key stakeholders working on the East West Rail project during his visit.

Around 3,000 commuters will use the station every day, which should ease congestion in the city centre and speed up travel to Cambridge’s Science Park located just outside the city.

“The opening of Cambridge North marks the start of our plans to transform journeys for passengers in Cambridgeshire and maximise growth for the wider region,” the transport secretary stated. “We are committed to making journeys across this region quicker and easier, as soon as possible. The new station is already contributing to that.

East West Rail is at the heart of that transformation and can be a critical part of our plans to make this region the UK’s own Silicon Valley, a world-renowned centre for science and innovation.”

East West Rail plans to link Cambridge and Oxford directly for the first time in 50 years, making it one of the UK’s most strategically important rail projects.

Through its delivery, transport leads hope the region will be developed into the UK’s own Silicon Valley and will give a boost to other industries such as housing, science and technology.

Eventually, the route will also provide a connection between East Anglia, the south midlands and the south west.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, stated: “This station brings a welcome boost to the local economy as part of our railway upgrade plan.

“It has improved the way people travel around the city with better connections to both Cambridge city centre and to London, and provides vital rail links to the science and business parks, to support jobs and create new opportunities.”

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Comments

James Miller   07/08/2017 at 16:16

Cambridge North station has one problem. Connection is easy to Cambridge, Ely, Kings Lynn,London, Norwich and Peterborough, but it needs direct connections to Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich.

Lutz   07/08/2017 at 20:28

I wonder if there is a benefit to be had by extending the scope of East-West rail to Bristol - that other key technology centre.

Andrew Gwilt   07/08/2017 at 21:17

I agree with James Miller. Unless a new loop is to be built that will spur off the line towards Cambridge but instead heading north and connecting onto the Fen Line towards Cambridge North, Ely and Kings Linn where trains from Ipswich can terminate at Cambridge North and use the spur line to head back to Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich. Without having to go via Cambridge and heading to Ipswich.

Andrew Gwilt   07/08/2017 at 21:29

Since Cambridge North is now officially opened by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today and was declared opened back in May. Will there be plans to build a new railway station to the south of Cambridge (Cambridge South) that will be located near to Addenbrooks Hospital and the M11 motorway. Plus with P&R included or near to a P&R site. And with 3/4 platforms to be built where the new station will be built so that it can be a Interchange station where the West Anglia Main Line (Liverpool Street-Cambridge line) meets with the Hitchin-Cambridge route "Fen Line" (Kings Cross-Kings Linn line) south of Cambridge.

John Grant   08/08/2017 at 12:55

C Grayling obviously hasn't noticed that Silicon Fen grew up long before the new station. The Science Park has been there for about 50 years now and it's about a quarter hour walk from the station. BTW now it's officially open will the class 387s know there's a platform there, and open their doors without the driver having to spend up to a minute cajoling them after the train stops? @James: currently (apart from early morning and late evening and two trains mid-afternoon) passengers from King's Lynn and other Fen line stations have to go via Cambridge, just like the ones from Ipswich, or wait 1/2 hour in Ely. Frequent services with good connections are more important than having a though train for every possible journey.

Mikeb   08/08/2017 at 15:20

@John Grant. You are correct in what you say about connections. For instance, the East Midlands service from Liverpool to Norwich has good connections at Ely into the Peterborough to Ipswich service but in the reverse direction, connections are not so good. Finally, Chris Grayling talks about "creating UK's own Silicon Valley" but realistically, Cambridge is still "light years" behind California in the field of computer technology and it is unlikely that Britain will never have any serious competitors to the likes of Microsoft and Google.

John Grant   08/08/2017 at 19:02

@Mikeb: we're actually not that bad at the technology (think of ARM), it's the stuff that runs on top of it, and more generally exploiting it in the marketplace, where California's dominant, and a lot of the reason seems to be the attitude of investors. Does Chris Grayling really think opening Cambridge North station will anything to change that?

Fenland Paul   09/08/2017 at 11:53

@Andrew Gwilt - a new station at the Addenbrookes campus has already been proposed under the Cambridge City Deal: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/three-new-train-stations-750m-12016359 Not an enormous amount of progress on it yet though...

Mikeb   09/08/2017 at 15:45

@ John Grant. Whilst ARM is listed as a British multinational, it is owned by Japanese telecom/computer multinational Softbank Group - like so many other British "start-ups" in this sector, it has fallen into foreign hands. Finally, I totally agree that Grayling should not expect dozens of new British tech firms to suddenly appear with the opening of Cambridge North.

Fenland Paul   09/08/2017 at 16:43

@Mikeb @ John Grant It's very unlikely that a new station is going to be the specific reason new companies come to Cambridge. They do that because of the people - the whole tech and life sciences ecosystem that exists round here, and which I've been fortunate to be a part of for the last 11 years. What the new station will do is prevent firms from leaving because of the poor travel infrastructure - that has been a very real risk over the last few years, and whilst this isn't the only upgrade that's needed it's a start. But no, on its own it won't bring in new investment.

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