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  RAIL NEWS SNIPPETS   Issue 177 - 4 August 2008  
  News from the East Anglian Branch of Railfuture   Edited by Martin Thorne and Jerry Alderson  

No announcements.


Work starts on platform extension for 12-coach trains at Cambridge station

Platform 1 (but interestingly, not platform 4) at Cambridge station is due to be lengthened in September 2008 for 12-carriage trains, Apparently from the May 2009 timetable the 12-car trains will start, but with just two (the 07.15 and 07.45 from Cambridge to London). It seems incredible that there will not be any London-Cambridge ones in the evening – the 17:45, 18:15 and 18:45 have standing each night; every vestibule is full. However, First Capital Connect intend to introduce timetable and stopping-pattern changes from May 2009 which should alleviate some overcrowding.

According to http://www.dft.gov.uk/foi/responses/2008/aug/foiresponsedespatch/congestiondata.pdf, recently published as a Fredom of Information request, the Cambridge/KX line now has four of the six most overcrowded trains in Great Britain:
176% - 07:15 Cambridge - London Kings Cross
176% - 08:02 Woking - London Waterloo
164% - 07:45 Cambridge - London Kings Cross
164% - 17:45 London Kings Cross - Kings Lynn
159% - 08.22 Oxford - London Paddington
154% - 18:15 London Kings Cross - Ely.
Apparently these were a random snapshot in autumn 2007, but have only just been released through the FoI Act. If the 07:15 and 07:45 represent ‘average’ rather than ‘worst’ snapshot figures they will still have standing passengers when they are lengthened to 12 cars.

For those readers interested in the technical aspects of the platforms, in order to run 12-car 365s (as opposed to 12 shorter carriages [e.g. Class 317], which can already be accommodated in platform 1 without fouling the scissors crossing), platform 1 needs an extra 6.5m whereas platform 4 requires 38m, according to the original Thameslink 2000 proposals. This will be achieved by removing the slope and installing steps, thus platform 1's lengthening does not require realignment of the trackwork for bays 2 and 3.

At Royston the up platform currently supports 11 cars (and the down only 8 cars). Apparently they only intend to extend the up platform, which will be done at non-disruptive times by May 2009.

Waterbeach to get help points

A new help point stand, with wiring, has been installed on both platforms at Waterbeach. However, the equipment has not yet been attached. It is not known when it will be working. The station is unmanned despite having more than 7,000 passengers per year.


First Capital Connect's Great Northern routes hit performance high as extra capacity is confirmed

The King's Lynn and Peterborough (Great Northern) lines into London have achieved their best performance levels in 11 years, achieveing a Public Performance Measure (PPM) of 96.54% for the period between 27th April and 24th May 2008. This masure counts passenger trains arriving on time or within 5 minutes at their destination.

First Capital Connect's proposal for the Cambridge & Peterborough Capacity Scheme was signed off by the Department for Transport at the end of July. The scheme will provide 15% more peak-time seats though a new timetable and longer trains frm the May 2009 timetable change.


Consent given for doubling of Felixstowe branch for increased container traffic

Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, has been given consent to lay a second track along part of the Felixstowe branch. 6.5km of line will be doubled between Trimley St. Mary and a point just east of the old Orwell station. In addition, three additional sidings will be laid in Ipswich Upper Yard. The rail improvements would allow 40 trains a day to serve the port instead of the current 26.




Snippets 177

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