Existing and mock-up image of the trainwash behind GES
Existing view and mock-up view of the visual impact of the proposed trainwash behind GES

GTR, Network Rail, and Greater Anglia want to build a huge industrial trainwash behind Great Eastern Street, Cambridge, in the middle of the Mill Road Conservation Area.

An example of a carriage wash

Trains become dirty from various materials in the environment and also from their own brake dust. A trainwash is like a carwash, but on a much larger scale. In early 2019 GTR demolished an existing open-air trainwash (south of the Mill Road bridge). GTR now wants to build a much larger and enclosed facility.

  • It will be 33m long x 9m high x 7m wide, operate 24/7/365 (peak times 18:00-6:00). It will block sun, cause noise and vibration, and pollute our environment.
  • Due to its size and location, it may end up being a primary washing point for trains in East Anglia – just 25m behind homes.
  • Little meaningful consideration has been taken for the health and amenity of residents on the street or the wider community.
  • The developers have not undergone a fully transparent planning process.

We are not anti-rail. We depend on the railway, choose to live near it, and would be content for it to continue as is. Our concern is for the industrial scale of this proposed facility and where it could be appropriately situated. Over 600 people have agreed on our petition.

Why are we concerned?

Click here to read about why planning is uncertain

  • It is unclear that this is Permitted Development.
  • Network Rail and GTR have declined a request from the Cambridge City Council to submit an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development.
  • GTR has not provided evidence of its choice of location with respect to other available areas.

Click here to read about how threat & Impact have not been adequately assessed

  • A similar facility in Scarbrough has been reported as extremely noisy.
  • GTR has not finalised its plans for the size, locations, look, or chemicals of the facility, six weeks out from starting work.
  • GTR has not modelled the shade cast by the proposed facility.
  • GTR has not fully modelled noise of the aggregated sound or vibrations of the proposed facility and all train and car movements.
  • GTR has not fully chosen or assessed the impact of the chemicals to be used, and claims that this can not be done until the trains are manufactured.
  • GTR claims that approximately 33 trains will use the facility per day on average, but cannot guarantee that this will not increase.
  • GTR has not assessed the impact on the conservation area.
  • GTR has not assessed the impact on property values.

Where do we get our information?

Our information is summarised from:

Media attention

What can you do?

Complain directly

  • Please direct all construction complaints to the subcontractor, The Spencer Group, by contacting Diane Rowe at diane.rowe@thespencergroup.co.uk or the helpline at 07903 509790. If you want to direct a complaint about the project, you can address Steve Lammin, GTR’s Engineering Director, specifically in your email or message.

Sign and share our petition
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Tell government officials

Come to community meetings

Come to GTR’s meetings

Print posters and display them widelyPut posters in your house and car windows, and in approved public places. Download the A4-posters file or use the images below.