Station upgrades herald longer trains, less crowding and better journeys for south Cambridgeshire rail passengers: New train - Thameslink programme

Monday 23 Jan 2017

Station upgrades herald longer trains, less crowding and better journeys for south Cambridgeshire rail passengers


Rail passengers in South Cambridgeshire will soon benefit from longer trains that can carry more people as Network Rail begins work to extend platforms at three Cambridgeshire stations.

Platforms will be extended at Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton stations as part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, which is transforming north-south rail travel through London to help cater for the growing number of people who want to travel by train, as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

A team of Network Rail and contractor VolkerFitzpatrick engineers will begin work at the stations on Sunday, 19 February, with the extended platforms due be completed by the end of August.

When complete, the longer platforms will enable Great Northern’s new, Siemens-built Class 700 trains to call at the stations, providing longer trains that will carry more passengers.

Simon Blanchflower, Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme director, said: “Passenger numbers are at record levels and growing each year, so it’s vital we continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. The work we’re doing in Cambridgeshire will deliver longer trains, with more space for passengers as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan. I’d like to thank passengers and local residents in advance for their patience while we carry out this much-needed investment in the railway.”

Stuart Cheshire, Passenger Services Director, Great Northern said “The improvements at Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton stations offer passengers on the Great Northern route a glimpse of the benefits that the Thameslink Programme will deliver to their area over the next eighteen months. The brand new eight-car Class 700 trains, being introduced on the route later this year, are longer and more spacious with significantly increased capacity compared to the 30 year old trains currently calling at the stations.”

From 2018 passengers in Cambridgeshire will be better connected than ever before with direct services to St Pancras International (for Eurostar), Farringdon (for interchange with Crossrail and Heathrow airport), London Bridge, Gatwick Airport and stations south of London.



Notes to editors:

The platform extensions will involve some evening and weekend work, with some train services replaced by buses on certain weekends.

For more information about future service changes, passengers are advised to visit train operator Great Northern’s website, or visit

There will be some parking suspensions in operation in the station car park at Meldreth for the duration of the work.

If residents have any questions or issues while the work is ongoing they are advised to call our 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 114141 or email

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515

About Network Rail

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

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