Setback for train station bid

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Soham’s hopes of getting a train station in the near future were dealt a blow after Network Rail omitted it from their funding until 2019.

The rebuilding of the station, which has remained closed for 70 years, had been included as a proposal in the authority’s 2014-19 business plan.

Earlier this week more than 300 residents signed a petition run by a Soham town councillor calling for that proposal to be acted upon.

Cllr Hamish Ross, 52, of Quay Fen Common, said: “It’s something everyone in Soham is passionate about. It would make Soham more attractive for house holders, business, investment and people coming in to the town. It would be all-round good news.”

Network Rail, however, said public sentiment would not be enough to rebuild the line. A spokesperson said: “We are aware of the aspiration to reopen Soham station and are supportive of the project.

“Our funding for 2014-19 was confirmed by the regulator earlier this year and does not include funds for a new station in Soham.

“However, we will be carrying out improvements to the railway in the area and making it possible for the station to be rebuilt if funding becomes available in the future, either from government or a third party.”

East Cambridgeshire District Council are continuing to work with a range of partners including train operators and Cambridgeshire County Council to deliver the station, according to spokesman Tony Taylorson.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the rail disaster which wrecked the station. James Nightall’s George Cross was unveiled to the public by Soham Museum at a commemorative event at The Brook on Tuesday.