Across the August bank holiday weekend, a key milestone in the development of the new railway station for Soham was successfully completed by Network Rail.
The developing station was connected to the wider signalling network, allowing future train services to start safely calling at the station.
The previous station was closed and demolished and it's been 56 years since a passenger train was called at the town.
The completion of the work means that from December, Greater Anglia’s Ipswich to Peterborough service will finally be able to stop at Soham once more, better connecting the population.
Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said “this is part of a general move for smarter and greener ways to get around Cambridgeshire, giving Soham people access to more job and leisure opportunities, helping them to leave the car behind, and putting Soham squarely on the business and tourism map.”
The work has been funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.
The Mayor added, "being well connected has always been the hallmark of successful settlements and that’s what we want for all our communities. I’m delighted that partnership working means we’re on course to open the new Soham station before Christmas."
Alongside the arrival of the first passenger train in December, the completion of the station will celebrate the result of a long campaign to restore services for the Soham community.
Over the last 12 months, the project has been undertaken at the same location as the previous station, and will offer a new gateway and option for locals to move around the region.
Additionally, in spite of restrictions imposed by COVID-19, Network Rail - along with their contractor J Murphy and Sons - has worked around the clock to ensure the conscientious assembly of the new station.
Greater Anglia is also involved in the final stages of the development, which will continue until the station opens in December.
Works include completing the station itself; essential track, safety and train testing; alongside driver training, to make sure everything is ready for the services to call at the station.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said "we are looking forward to adding another station to our network, making it even more convenient for people to catch the train."
The Director continued, "Soham station will be served exclusively by our brand-new trains which have gold standard accessibility, and all the mod cons modern rail travellers expect.”
"Rail is the most sustainable way of travelling after walking and cycling and we’re pleased to be making it even easier for more people with the opening of Soham station.”