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10th January 2014 Cambs Times "GALLERY: Manea welcomes improved train service with symbolic voyage"
School children, residents, councillors and MP Steve Barclay gathered at Manea train station to celebrate an improved service to the village today.
Manea, where previously only two trains stopped a day, now has a two hourly train service, provided by Abellio Greater Anglia, which connects the village directly with Peterborough, Ely and Ipswich.
The train operator teamed up with Fenland Community Rail Partnership to organise the ceremony, which was attended by pupils from Manea Community Primary School.
The school children stuck posters they had designed on the fences surrounding the train station to encourage people not to drop litter.
Lucy Johns won the competition for the best poster. She was presented with a framed copy of it by Fenland District Councillor Ralph Butcher.
At 10.17am, everyone boarded a train to Ely to celebrate the improved service.

10th December 2013 Oxford Mail - Government backs moves to reopen old Varsity Line link to Cambridge
Officials say this would complete the “London-Cambridge-Oxford tech triangle” which it says is the “kernel” in the UK of cutting-edge high-tech industry developments.
DfT spokesman Jon Rhodes said: “The department is working closely with local authorities to identify a potential route for the Bedford to Cambridge railway line, which would allow trains to run direct between Oxford and Cambridge and potentially to other destinations further east.
“This work should be completed by the spring after which we will consider how it could be financed.”
Caryl Jones, a spokeswoman for the East West Rail Consortium, said: “By connecting centres of economic activity and growth, East West Rail will make the region more attractive as a place to do business, for employers and employees and for inward investment.
“It is expected to boost the regional GDP by some £38m per annum and create 12,000 new jobs.”

29th October 2013 Cambridge News - Direct trains from Cambridge to Leeds could be launched once HS2 opens
A direct train service between Cambridge and Leeds could be launched once HS2 opens, according to the Government.
The new link has been mooted as one of the potential consequences of capacity being freed up on the existing east coast main line by the opening of the high-speed network connecting London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.
The train between Cambridge and Leeds could also serve Stansted airport, and may offer the possibility of stops including Grantham, Doncaster and Wakefield."
Chris Burton, a committee member of the East Anglia branch of the Railfuture campaign group, said HS2 could be a mixed bag for Cambridge. He said: “If a lot of the Leeds services are diverted onto HS2, that will create capacity, and it’s possible somebody might come up with a Cambridge service".

25th October 2013 - Greater Anglia Cycle Strategy Consultation
Railfuture East Anglia have responded to the Greater Anglia Cycle Strategy Consultation:

18th October 2013 - Railfuture East Anglia's Thameslink Franchise Aspirations
Aspirations for the Thameslink Franchise have been sent the bidders. Concern has also been expressed about the level of service protection for Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton:

10th October 2013 Norwich Advertiser - East Anglia is not asking for HS2 type “megabucks” for rail which has seen a “woeful lack of investment”
The EDP, business leaders and politicians have long been campaigning for improvements to the rail link between this region and the capital with calls for faster, more frequent and better quality trains at the top of the list, as well as crucial upgrades to the track.
Last year, MPs published a report Once in a generation – A rail prospectus for East Anglia, which sets out a plan for major improvements to Anglian infrastructure from now until 2032.
“Since the main line to Norwich was electrified almost 40 years ago, there has been a woeful lack of investment in both track and rolling stock, and persistent problems with the franchise has made life difficult for the region and is hindering further growth.”

10th October 2013 Ipswich Star - Ipswich: Picture shows the scale of project to install rail bridge in Ipswich...as it makes its way through a town street
The structure, pictured here in Europa Way, was transported on Saturday and then put in place next to the existing rail bridge in Sproughton Road – an operation which took place over the weekend. Officials at Network Rail said the work has formed a key part of the project, which will link the East Suffolk line and Great Eastern main line, and went off without a hitch.
The main purpose of the chord is to remove the need for freight trains travelling to and from the Port of Felixstowe to use the sidings next to Ipswich train station as a reversing point.
Removing that manoeuvre will eliminate a major bottleneck on the Great Eastern main line and free up capacity for both passenger and freight services.

9th October 2013 - Cambridge and Cambridgeshire Plans
Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridgeshire County Councils have been consulting about local plans and transport plans. Railfuture East Anglia have responded.

10th October 2013 Railfuture East Anglia - Greater Anglia Cycle Strategy
Greater Anglia are consulting on their cycle strategy document with a closing date for responses of 1st November.

18th September 2013 Saffron Walden Weekly News - All inclusive bus and rail ticket from Saffron Walden now available
Residents are now able to buy a combined bus and train ticket from Saffron Walden centre to London Liverpool Street.
An hourly off-peak bus service from Saffron Walden to Audley End station, and more frequent journeys during the morning and evening peak periods, are also now on offer.

28th September 2013 - East Anglia Branch meeting in Norwich
www.railfuture.org.uk/.... (PDF Download)
East Anglia Branch meeting on Saturday 28th September 2013 at 14:00 in Chapelfields Chapel, Chapelfields Road, Norwich NR2 1SD with guest speaker David Reed of Track Access Services Limited.

20th September 2013 - Railfuture Response to the Transport strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire consultation
Railfuture East Anglia have submitted a response to the Transport strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire consultation. The Railfuture response can be viewed here along with details of how individuals can respond using a questionnaire to influence future transport policy in Cambridgeshire. Anyone interested in the future transport strategy in South Cambridgeshire should fill in this survey which includes two questions related to rail infrastructure.

13th September 2013 Wisbech Standard - Community delight as Manea wins battle for improved rail services to Ely, Peterborough and Ipswich
A Fenland village is preparing to become a commuter hotspot after winning a long-running battle to persuade Greater Anglia to give them a two-hourly service to Peterborough, Ely and Ipswich. Manea will benefit from the new service because of the completion of work at Peterborough station over Christmas.
A package of possible improvements to Manea station, as part of Fenland District Council’s rail strategy, will now be discussed. These may include a station car park, improved waiting accommodation, better information and extending the platforms.

23th September 2013 - September 2013 RailEast Published
Wisbech Rail Reopening Campaign petition presentation. A14 sirens, the branch committee view. Norwich to Cambridge, hub to hub.

20th September 2013 - Railfuture Response to the Transport strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire consultation
Railfuture East Anglia have submitted a response to the Transport strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire consultation. The Railfuture response can be viewed here along with details of how individuals can respond using a questionnaire to influence future transport policy in Cambridgeshire. Anyone interested in the future transport strategy in South Cambridgeshire should fill in this survey which includes two questions related to rail infrastructure.

13th September 2013 BBC News - Cambridge-Bedford rail link options proposed
Network Rail said passenger and freight demands had led to plans to reinstate the line between Oxford and Bedford and it was likely to be a reality by 2017.
There would be a further wait for a direct link to Cambridge as much of the old track disappeared, the company said.
Railfuture said jobs, business and contacts between the Oxford and Cambridge academic centres would be boosted by completion of the route.

13th September 2012 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Transcript - East West Rail
Transcript covering short quote from an earlier interview with Peter Wakefield, and interviews with Patrick O'Sullivan from the East West Rail consortium, and Ian Bates Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning at Cambridgeshire County Council.

13th September 2013 Cambridge News - Four options for reopening Varsity train line from Cambridge to Bedford revealed by Railfuture
Peter Wakefield, chairman of Railfuture’s East Anglia branch, said: “If councillors are serious about this, they have to start protecting routes, else it will be virtually impossible.”
Cllr Ian Bates, the council’s cabinet member for growth and planning, said: “We are currently leading the work on looking at the business case for a rail line between Cambridge and Bedford which would have great benefits for residents along any potential route, which could include St Neots and the A428 corridor.
"Work is at the very early stages and we are working with partners across the eastern region to look at options that would connect most of East Anglia.”

13th September 2013 - East West Rail Briefing for Cambridgeshire
Railfuture East Anglia have written to Councillors in Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council presenting options for the proposed East West Rail link from Cambridge to Oxford to cross Cambridgeshire.

16th August 2013 - Response to the Wisbech Rail Reopening Petition received from the Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council
"We welcome this petition and all the work you and the Campaign have put into promoting better transport links for Wisbech. This is an important part of demonstrating the strength of feeling locally and in time, of improving provision.
The Council supports the goal of better transport links to and from Wisbech, and rail if possible, and has already commissioned work to understand the feasibility of different options to achieve that goal. We are now carrying out detailed works into the proposals so
that we can understand the scale of costs involved and how they may be addressed and, subject to the outcome, we would hope then to be in a position to identify potential solutions. I appreciate that this process may appear to be very lengthy, but it is necessary to ensure we develop the right solution."

16th July 2013 - Wisbech Rail Reopening Petition Handed to Cambridgeshire County Council
wisbechrail.org.uk/.... (16th July 2013)
"Tuesday 16 July saw Peter Wakefield, Chairman of Railfuture, East Anglia, present the 2907 signature petition for reopening the railway link from Wisbech to March and onwards. This took place Cambridgeshire CC HQ at Shire Hall to a full meeting of Councillors.
The photograph above shows the petition with some of the CC Councillors joining some Railfuture members. The 3784 shown on the posters is the total number signing the petition; 2907 from Cambridegshire, 493 from Norfolk and 384 signatures from friends and family in the rest of the country."


Click here for information about local rail travel.
Dominic Lund-Conlon of Essex County Council was the planned guest speaker at our branch meeting in Colchester on Saturday 15th June - See Meeting Flier

Derek Haynes, Chairman of the Holt, Melton Constable and Fakenham Railway, was the guest speaker at our branch AGM in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 23rd February - See Meeting Flier

Richard Eccles of Network Rail was the guest speaker at the well-attended branch meeting on Saturday 8th December 2012 at the Central Library in Cambridge - See Meeting Flier

Railfuture East Anglia 40th Anniversary Celebratory Leaflet - PDF Download (25/09/2012).

David Horne, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, was an excellent speaker at the branch meeting in Norwich on 29th September 2012 - See Meeting Flier

TJ Noomen of Greater Anglia was the main speaker at branch meeting in Colchester on 23rd June 2012 - See Meeting Flier


Snippets is a monthly news bulletin about railway matters within the Railfuture East Anglia branch area. Issues go back to 2000.

An archive of Snippets can be found at SNIPPETS.