Cambridge’s new station – Cambridge North
Cambridge North opened to commuters on Sunday 21st May 2017, with the very first train being the 08:54 from Cambridge.
But it wasn’t just the commuters, people arrived throughout the day on their on bikes and with their families, to get a peek at the design of the new station especially the metal cladding on the main building and footbridge which incorporate a pattern based on the mathematical theory from “The Game of Life” by Cambridge mathematician, John Conway.
The new station’s location in the suburb of Chesterton, and is less than a mile from the Cambridge Science Park and within the Cambridge Northern Fringe regeneration plan connecting with the guided busway and providing an interchange with Park & Ride and local bus services.
While it can take 30 minutes by bus or car from Cambridge North to Cambridge Station, it’s just 6 minutes by train. The journey time from Ely to Cambridge North is just 12 minutes, significantly quicker than by road, reducing commuting times to the Science Park and Business Park from surrounding areas and reducing congestion in the city center.
It will also be particularly useful to those who live north of Cambridge in getting to London with a journey time of 54 minutes to Kings Cross on the fastest services. An estimated 3,000 passenger journeys per day is anticipated, with room for expansion if necessary.
Facts about the station:
Work commenced on the scheme in 2015 in conjunction with Network Rail, at a cost of c£50M. Initial ideas by the council on what to call the station included the Chesterton Interchange, Stephen Hawking Science Park, and Cambridge Fen until finally settling on Cambridge North.
The station operated by Greater Anglia is served by trains on Great Northern and Greater Anglia routes. Currently, there are four trains per hour connecting with Cambridge, and one per hour continuing onto London King’s Cross, plus one per hour to London Liverpool Street. There are 2 trains per hour to Ely, with one per hour to Norwich. More services stopping at Cambridge North are planned to be introduced next year including a new Norwich to Stansted Airport service.
The station accommodates two passenger 254m platforms able to cater for 12-car trains plus waiting areas, ticket office, toilets and retail space. There’s parking for 450 cars and 1,000 bikes.
When the Thameslink network is completed in 2018, there will be 2 trains per hour to Brighton via Cambridge, London St Pancras and Gatwick Airport.
Not everyone has approved of the location. It has been deemed as being a long way from the main employment areas, where perhaps a shuttle to the main station might have been a better bet. However, there were many positive comments from commuters on Sunday, saying that the station now provided a joined up service with Cambridge and would alleviate a congested and poorly served community.
Author: Gerry Westwood, Photos: Tim Bond