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

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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