Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough tracks progress of railway improvements on tour of network: Arriving at Cambridge station. From left to right - Katie Frost, Network Rail Anglia route director; Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; Thomas Shannon, Network Rail Anglia route operations manager

Monday 16 Oct 2023

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough tracks progress of railway improvements on tour of network

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

On Friday 13 October, the Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Dr Nik Johnson, joined partners from the rail industry on a tour of Cambridgeshire’s network.

The visit started at Peterborough station. A partnership involving the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Network Rail, LNER and Peterborough City Council has secured £30m from the Government’s Levelling Up Transport Fund to redevelop the station and its surroundings.

The proposals will transform access to the station and enhance the passenger and retail facilities. They would also release land in the station quarter that can be redeveloped for commercial use, creating new jobs and driving economic value.

The Mayor enjoyed a journey from Peterborough to Cambridge from the driver’s cab of a CrossCountry Class 170 Turbostar train, which are set to be refurbished. The vehicles, which run between Birmingham New Street and Stansted Airport, will see both the interior and exterior of vehicles refreshed, delivering smoother and more comfortable journeys for passengers between Peterborough, Cambridge and beyond.

Finishing his tour at Cambridge signal box, the Mayor saw how the signallers here operate much of the railway network across Cambridgeshire. Hundreds of services move safely through the area every day.

Recent signalling upgrade work by Network Rail has enabled a speed restriction to be removed leading to faster, more reliable journeys through Whittlesea. Around £200m is being invested to replace signalling equipment in the Cambridgeshire area. This will improve reliability for passengers, modernising how the railway is operated, controlled and maintained. A new station is also being built at Cambridge South to serve the world-leading biomedical campus which is due to open in 2025.

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: "The Peterborough Station Quarter redevelopment is part of a major investment in vital infrastructure that the Combined Authority has been instrumental in securing, and it was great to see for myself efforts to upgrade rail services to match the new station.

“This is a key portal for the East of England and making rail travel ever better for leisure, tourism, and industry is a key priority.”

Katie Frost, Network Rail Anglia route director, said: “The railway in the Cambridge area is vital to the economies and communities we serve. We’re grateful the Mayor took the time to see how we operate this busy railway and to talk about our plans for improving it.”

John Robson, CrossCountry's Regional Director for the East Midlands and East Anglia, said: “The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority forms a critical corridor on our route between the Midlands and Stansted Airport. It’s fantastic to show the Mayor this from the driving seat, as we work to deliver more frequent services on the route in future.

“We’re also working hard on the refurbishment of trains in use between the Midlands and Stansted Airport, giving passengers the uplift in quality and comfort they deserve on this important CrossCountry route.”

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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