New tracks and trains, platform shelters and Duke of Edinburgh opportunities
All welcome on 4 April, 7 for 7:30-9:00PM, at Foxton Village Hall Pavilion for the Rail User Group’s AGM and next meeting. This is always a great opportunity to put any questions you may have about our local rail service to the train operating company, Govia Thameslink Railways, and Network Rail. And the group does depend on local input!
Trains and station improvements:
- You may already have boarded an 8-car train serving our village stations – these are being gradually phased in. They have various advantages in terms of space and accessibility, and much improved verbal and illuminated stop announcements.
- Some long-awaited station improvements have finally made it onto the list, including a weather-proof shelter at Meldreth Station to be installed this spring. This will be along the lines of the new shelter at Royston and will sit in the garden area directly behind the platform wall on the Cambridge-bound side (the garden area is more extensive than we can manage to look after, so this works well).
- At Shepreth, you may have noticed a new water butt on the Cambridge-bound platform, which will make it much easier to keep platform tubs watered.
- We’ve been told that a platform shelter at Foxton’s Cambridge platform is back on the list. Watch this space!
- Shepreth Station has a new tub on the elongated platform that needs a sponsor – meaning someone to plant it up twice a year. If you’d be prepared to do this, either as a local resident or business, please get in touch.
- Duke of Edinburgh volunteers are sponsored by the Community Rail Partnership every spring and summer, helping to keep platform tubs watered – so please get in touch if you’d like to sign up or learn more.
The Rail User Group deals with train service issues, while the Community Rail Partnership, our umbrella organisation, coordinates community activities such as station gardening and develops projects with local schools and businesses that benefit in a variety of ways from the sustainable transport network on our doorstep. The CRP also provides input on strategic transport priorities in the area – helping to make our stations accessible to the local community but aiming to protect neighbourhoods around stations from becoming informal car parks. For example, we are working with Network Rail to reinstate the ‘unofficial’ car park on its land behind the Cambridge platform, and encouraging the Greater Cambridge Partnership Greenways Project to consider a pedestrian/cycle link connecting Barrington and Shepreth Station along Barrington Road.
Our Community Rail Partnership is now supported by a project officer, which will enable us to expand our range of activities in the wider community – including the other villages that directly rely on rail services from our village stations. Our project officer will be at the April 4th meeting and I look forward to introducing her. Our thanks to Meldreth, Shepreth, Foxton and Melbourn Parish Councils, Govia Thameslink Railway, and South Cambs District Council for together funding this new post.
For a full report of the February Rail User Group meeting, please see minutes posted on our website. And if you would be interested to get involved in any small way in the rail campaign, please do come along to the AGM and meeting on April 4th.
Susan van de Ven
Chair, Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership
Susanvandeven5@gmail.com, or Tel 07905325574