This is the first of a few emails to come.
Phil managed to get Chris Penn to tell us some more information regarding
the timeline for decision about the location of the trainwash. As Phil says
(highlights added): "It’s not very helpful, except to suggest that
Chesterton was the main suggestion, 2010-16. If Cambridge North was off the
table in May 2016, and GTR was involved the same year, this suggests that
they then focussed on GES at some point after that. *Clearly, they were
circling on alternative locations for several years before we were alerted
in 2019. Did the Council know about the knock-on implications of building
And below is the relevant part of email from Chris Penn in full.
Our email at info@quashthetrainwash also been contacted by a person called
Mark Chapman who claims to be a railway historian and who "has some
information". We shall see what this brings to light.
Until anon, Sean
*From: *Chris Penn <chris.penn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
*Date: *Friday, 24 April 2020 at 17:29
*To: *Philip Howell <philip.howell@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
*Subject: *RE: Cambridge Residents Meeting latest
Please accept my apologies for the late response – I fully appreciate your
frustration in the delay.
Network Rail have provided the following information which explains the
background to the project and why it changed, who is leading the project
now, their current role in this process and the sale of Cambridge North
(also known as Chesterton Sidings).
Network Rail through the Thameslink Programme have been delivering
enhancements at the Cambridge Depot facility prior to 2016. The scope of
these enhancements related to the provision of an increased and upgraded
stabling and servicing facility to accommodate class 700 trains being
introduced by the Thameslink Programme. The Project originally was not
remitted to provide any additional stabling capacity for GA and therefore
at that time there was no need for such a significant remodelling of the
Depot (including the move the carriage wash machine).
When GA won the franchise in 2016 it was necessary to revisit the original
Depot Programme and to see if both GTR and GA operational needs could be
accommodated at the same location at Cambridge by developing a functional
design that would enable increased movements between the north and south
*GTR appointed lead Contractor*
In 2016 the DfT appointed GTR as a lead contractor to deliver the Cambridge
Depot infrastructure and are still leading on the feasibility study,
optional selection for the location, configuration of the carriage machine
wash and delivery.
NR’s more recent involvement has been based on the need for asset
protection. This means that their role is to ensure GTR's proposals do not
harm or pose a threat to the safety of the existing railway. The site of
the proposed train wash facility at Cambridge is Network Rail Land but this
is leased to GA and they are the Depot Facility Owners (DFO).
*Sale Cambridge North*
The land at Cambridge North (also known as Chesterton Sidings) was
identified as being suitable for commercial development from early 2010 and
included the construction of the new Cambridge North Station. Network Rail
worked with the County Council and other local authorities to progress
For land to be sold Network Rail have to apply for and be granted land
disposal consent from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). As part of this
process key stake holders are consulted (including GTR, GA and the
Department for Transport( DfT)) and no objections were raised to this land
being sold. The land disposal consent was approved by ORR on 26 May 2016
and can be found on the ORR website, please see links: