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Railwatch 071 - April 1997

East Anglia

By Nick Dibben and Trevor Garrod

Public back rail A public meeting of nearly 200 people in St Ives in October voted three to one in favour of a rail link rather than a guided busway for future use of the St Ives railway route. The rail case was put by Stewart King of Cambridgeshire county council and RDS branch chairman Peter Wakefield who said the railway would complement existing bus services and had potential for freight and cross-city passengers. The busway scheme was presented by consultants SDG as part of an edge of city shopping complex backed by Sainsbury's. Although providing a frequent service, journey times would be longer than existing buses. A more serious problem would be that the guideway would not be able to reach the city centre.

Hospital station The county council has announced plans for a new station south of Cambridge on the main London line to serve Addenbrooke's Hospital. The hospital is the largest single road traffic generator in the city, and the £2m station will offer an alternative to the 19,000 vehicles per day using the site. Trains on both the King's Cross and Liverpool Street routes would stop at the station.

Working togetherRail users were represented at a meeting of the region's environmental groups in Cambridge. We explored ways to work together at a regional level.

Wrong route A resolution opposing the introduction of "permitted routes" in place of "any reasonable route" for cross country journeys from East Anglia to the Midlands was passed by the branch in September.

Rail ignored again The Government's failure to support improvement of the Felixstowe-Holyhead/Liverpool routes as part of the Trans European Rail Network was also condemned. It was agreed to lobby MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates on both issues.

Spring party Our book commemorating 150 years of the Reedham-Lowestoft railway will be published in April as the RDS contribution towards celebrations. Councils, the Broads Authority, environmental and historical societies are involved.

Track back Summer passenger trains were run by the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust which is restoring passenger trains to Dereham. Sections of track for re-laying the final few hundred metres were delivered in autumn.

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