(England Twitter)-Cambridge railway station is a railway station serving the city of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located at the end of Station Road, off Hills Road, 2 kilometres south-east of the city centre. It is busiest railway station in the East of England with almost 8 million passengers using it in 2009/10.
Several routes start at the station including the West Anglia Main Line to London Liverpool Street, the Fen Line to King's Lynn, the Breckland Line to Norwich, services to Ipswich on the Ipswich to Ely Line, and the Hitchin-Cambridge Line, heading southwards and following an alternate route, to London King's Cross, via Hitchin. Most of these routes are electrified at 25 kV AC overhead except for the Ipswich to Ely Line. The station has the third longest platform in England.
At 514 yards (470 m), Cambridge has the third longest railway platform in the UK, after Colchester and Gloucester. This platform is the station's sole through platform, with a scissors crossover in the middle to divide it in two, and allow trains from either direction to pass those already stopped there. Bay platforms exist at both ends of the station.
Platform 1 is generally used for southbound through services to London King's Cross (with some additional peak services to London Liverpool Street services). It is also occasionally used for through northbound services or for frequently terminating trains.
Platforms 2 and 3 are south-facing bay platforms used primarily for services to London King's Cross or London Liverpool Street
Platform 4 is generally used for both Birmingham New Street and Stansted Cross Country services and also occasionally used for through southbound services to London or terminating trains.
Platform 5 is a north-facing bay platform used almost exclusively for services to Norwich (and occasionally Birmingham New Street).
Platform 6 is a north-facing bay platform used for services to Ipswich (with occasional services to Harwich International)
A new island platform on the eastern side of the station is scheduled for completion in December 2011. Platforms 7 and 8 will accommodate southbound through trains, freeing up the existing through platforms (1 & 4) for northbound trains. This is planned as part of a series of station extensions along the West Anglia Main Line currently taking place.
One of East Anglia's major stations, Cambridge is served by several operators.
CrossCountry serve the station with their Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport service, via Leicester and Peterborough. Services are operated using Class 170 diesel multiple units.
First Capital Connect serve the station as part of their service from London King's Cross. These services use Class 317 or Class 365 electric multiple units, although Class 365 units usually work the Cambridge Cruiser and semi-fast services.
The "Cambridge Cruiser" (termed 'Cambridge Express' from London) operates non-stop between London King's Cross and Cambridge.
There are also semi-fast trains between Cambridge and London, calling at Royston, Baldock, Letchworth Garden City, Hitchin, Stevenage and Finsbury Park.
There is an hourly stopping service to London King's Cross, stopping at all stations on the Cambridge-Hitchin portion of the line, then Stevenage, Knebworth, Welwyn North, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Potters Bar and Finsbury Park.
At London King's Cross, stopping services are often displayed as operating to Foxton, the last station before Cambridge, though the train does actually continue in service to Cambridge. This is done when users will arrive earlier by waiting for the next non-stop service. Stopping services from Cambridge to King's Cross are often displayed as running to Finsbury Park in a similar fashion; passengers will arrive at London earlier by waiting for a non-stop service.
Travelling northbound, there are hourly FCC services to Fen Line stations, calling at Waterbeach, Ely, Littleport, Downham Market, Watlington and King's Lynn. Off-peak these services run non-stop between Cambridge and King's Cross; during peak hours additional stops are usually made. Some of these additional stops were phased out in FCC's May 2009 'Seats for You' timetable, since in some cases supplementary services now run to serve the stops removed such as Royston and Letchworth Garden City.
National Express East Anglia serve the station with three routes:
To London Liverpool Street via the West Anglia Main Line. These services use Class 317 or occasionally Class 315 electric multiple units. During the morning peak some services start from King's Lynn or Ely, and during the evening peak some are extended beyond Cambridge to Ely and King's Lynn. There are typically two services each hour, one stopping service and one semi-fast service. On Sundays some services do not go to London Liverpool Street, instead calling at all stations to Stratford via Tottenham Hale.
A service between Cambridge and Norwich via the Breckland Line. These services use Class 170 Turbostar units and usually depart from Platform 5. This service was started in 2002 by Anglia, who ordered four of these trains for use on the new service. On rare occasions these services use older Sprinter units.
The Ipswich-Cambridge service. These services use Class 153, Class 156 or rarely, Class 170 diesel multiple units. One train a day continues to Harwich International and all services usually depart from Platform 6.
Several bus services stop outside the main station building, linking the railway with the city centre and other parts of Cambridge, including Addenbrooke's Hospital. Buses also travel from the station out of the city to Sawston, Saffron Walden and Imperial War Museum Duxford to the south and Histon and Impington and Cottenham to the north. A taxi rank and a large area for bicycle parking are also located outside the station, although only a small number of free spaces are available for cycles. Bicycle rental is available from a shop adjacent to the station.
The Eastern Counties Railway opened to Cambridge in 1845. The station building, with its long classical façade and porte-cochère (infilled during the 20th century) has been attributed to both Sancton Wood and Francis Thompson and is listed Grade II. The single long platform is typical of its period but now unusual in that (apart from a brief period in the mid-19th century) it was never supplemented by another through platform. There were major platform lengthenings and remodellings of the main building in 1863 and 1908. The station layout was altered in 1896 by deviating the Newmarket line approaches.
The University of Cambridge helped to block later 19th century attempts to create a central station. It also took powers to prevent undergraduates travelling by train.
Historically, services from the station included:
Great Eastern Railway
Main line from London Liverpool Street to Norwich and King’s Lynn
Cross-country services to Bury St Edmunds via Newmarket and to Colchester
Cross-country services via Ely, March and the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Line to northern England
Branch line to St Ives and beyond
Branch line to Mildenhall
Great Northern Railway
Services to London King's Cross via Hitchin, including the Cambridge Buffet Car Expresses
London and North Western Railway
Cross-country "Varsity Line" to Oxford