Soham station opening.

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayor Dr Nik Johnson opened the new Soham station on December 13. The £18·6m station was funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority with £1m in Local Growth Deal support, and built by J Murphy & Sons close to the site of the former station that closed in 1965.


The Transport Select Committee plans to scrutinise the potential effect of the Integrated Rail Plan on rail capacity and connectivity and on the government’s levelling up agenda. The committee is particularly interested in receiving written evidence that addresses the contribution that the IRP will make to rail capacity and connectivity; whether and how it will help to ‘level up’ communities; integration and interaction with HS2; delivery challenges; and the effects of the government’s decision to rescind Transport for the North’s powers to develop Northern Powerhouse Rail. The closing date for written evidence is January 24.

The University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research & Education and leasing company Rock Rail have established a strategic research and teaching partnership to address rail-specific cybersecurity challenges. ‘Together we will answer fundamental questions faced by the sector to manage the cyber security risk of today and into the future that is unique to rolling stock, and the sector as a whole’, said Dr Richard Thomas, Industrial Fellow in Data Integration & Cyber Security at BCRRE.

gb-tfw-Mark 4s Holyhead

Transport for Wales has appointed DB ESG to design and install a manual selective door operation function on its seven sets of MkIV coaches by the December 2022 timetable change.

SLC Operations has announced a £750 000 investment package which will help to create more than 20 jobs. Midlands Engine Investment Fund Maven Debt Finance has provided £500 000 growth funding, with a further £250 000 from an existing investor. SLC was formed in early 2020 and awarded licensed train operator status later that same year, enabling it to provide a range of services including driver and guard hire, rolling stock introduction/acceptance and mileage accumulation, vehicle collection and delivery and train service planning.

Keltbray hivi

HS2 contractor Align JV has awarded Keltbray a £12m extension to its C1 Shaft contract, covering construction services for the next two tunnel ventilation shafts at Amersham and Little Missenden.

Govia Thameslink Railway and co-operative Energy Garden have installed a trial solar farm on the roof of Streatham Hill depot in London. The 526 solar panels are projected to save 884 tonnes of carbon and generate 4 165 000 kWh over a 20-year period, with 42% sold directly to GTR to power the depot’s daytime usage. A power purchase agreement has been signed with clothing company Patagonia and Younity which includes an additional social premium.

Greater Anglia EMU

Greater Anglia stopped offering first class tickets on West Anglia services between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street from December 12, with older trains being declassified and its newer fleet already being standard class only. The operator now only offers first class on its Norwich – London inter-city services. ‘When we ordered our new trains in 2016, customers told us one of their top priorities was to get a seat’, said Commercial, Customer Service & Train Presentation director Martin Moran. ‘By not including First Class seating areas, we were able to fit in more seats for everyone.’

The Urban Transport Group says city regions must ‘have a seat at the table’ when decisions are taken about how rail reform is to be implemented. ‘Rail is critical to so much of what city regions are trying to achieve, from meeting ambitious air quality and decarbonisation targets to giving the public the transport they want and need: one network, one ticket, one identity. Yet too often in the past, local rail services have sat outside the wider local public transport — remote and unresponsive to local need’, said Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Transport North East and UTG lead for rail.

TransPennine Express Class 185 DMU (Photo Siemens Mobility) (1)

Transport for the North has published a regional Transport Decarbonisation Strategy. There are four priority activities: rail electrification; improving public transport including Northern Powerhouse Rail; developing a Zero Emission Vehicle charging infrastructure framework; and developing a regional route map for transport decarbonisation.

Phil Wells_headshot_Cropped (002)

Phil Wells has joined WSP as Group Stations Director, leading a 160-strong team and a portfolio of projects including the HS2 stations at London Euston, Old Oak Common and Birmingham Curzon Street; Crossrail’s Paddington and Tottenham Court Road; and Brent Cross West. Previously AECOM’s Regional Rail Director for London & the South East, he has worked on major multi-disciplinary projects including the Rugby station remodelling, Bank station capacity upgrade, Network Rail’s southern track alliance, Lewisham station and depot enhancements at Eastleigh and Beckton.