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Soham's new railway station means 'freedom' for town's young

Soham station (7519187)
Soham station (7519187)

Soham residents have had their first glimpse of plans to build a new railway station in the town.

On Tuesday, Network Rail held its first consultation with residents, displaying proposals to build the single platform station along with footbridge, car park and potential to expand to two platforms if another line was added.

The new station, which is set to be open in 2021, is expected to cost £21.8 million and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has already spent £2.7 million drawing up plans for the scheme.

At the event, the proposals received mainly positive comments..

Barbara Hallow said she remembered the old station, which closed in 1965 after the Beeching Report, and had been wanting a new station for years as an alternative to catching the bus. “We never wanted it closed,” she said.

And Dave Nash said the possibility of a train stopping in Soham again was a ‘brilliant idea’.

Soham station (7519184)
Soham station (7519184)

“This town has been screaming out for a station for years and there’s other towns that aren’t as big as Soham that have retained a railway station so it will be a boon.”

The route, which will be operated by Greater Anglia, is on the Ipswich to Peterborough line and would call at Bury St Edmunds and Ely.

Soham resident Mr Nash said a direct link-up with Newmarket and Cambridge ‘was the only thing missing’.

But combined authority boss and Soham resident, mayor James Palmer said he would be pressing Network Rail to open up lines required for a direct connection to the city.

Soham's old station
Soham's old station

“We know that our young people when they go to school and sixth form they go to Cambridge, they go to Bury St Edmunds, they go to Ely, those are the options they have and of course public transport to allow them to get to those places is key.

“We have been waiting a long while for this and we have been working very hard for it and it will mean freedom for the young people of Soham. Whether or not they can get to Cambridge initially, it will mean freedom for them.”