The transformation of train services between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street took a major step forward recently with the installation of a new footbridge at Cambridge station.
The 18-metre covered walkway will connect the station entrance and existing platforms with the new island platform, which will provide extra capacity for the railway when it opens in December.
Network Rail engineers worked round the clock to lift the 15-tonne bridge into place, connecting it to the new lift shafts and stairwells.
Cycle guttering is being provided alongside the stairs and lifts to platform level will make access to the new island platform easy for everyone.
Andrew Munden, Network Rail route director, said:
“The pace of change at Cambridge over the last few months has been quite astonishing. These improvements are part of an investment programme which will see the station and surrounding area transformed over the coming years.
“I’m pleased the footbridge installation went smoothly as it means we’ve now completed a vital part of the project. The two new platforms are set to make a real difference to passengers, boosting capacity, improving punctuality and reducing overcrowding further still.”
Andrew Chivers, National Express East Anglia managing director, said:
“I am pleased that the project has reached this milestone; this scheme will bring major improvements to Cambridge station which will benefit not only our customers but the city as a whole.
“The extra platforms will improve train service performance at Cambridge, allow us more options and enable us to run our new Class 379 trains in longer formations at peak times.”
The new platforms are crucial to train operator National Express East Anglia’s plans to improve train services and provide more seats for passengers on the West Anglia route in 2011.
Following the introduction of a new fleet of Class 379 trains earlier this year, the new platforms will mean services can run as maximum 12-car services from December.
Today, services between Cambridge and the capital are very busy and the existing track layout in and around the station is constrained, especially at peak times.
Adding two new 270m bi-directional platforms – numbered 7 and 8 – also means trains can arrive and depart in either direction, freeing up vital capacity on the existing platforms and making sure Cambridge can cater for additional rail services in the future.