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.
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?
- 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.
- 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:
- Meetings held by GTR and Greater Anglia and their contractors The Spencer Group, but not attended by Network Rail, on 16 January 2020 and 24 February 2020
- A PDF sent to residents in an email on 04 February 2020 (Cambridge Trainwash Presentation February 2020)
- The 24 Feb meeting PDF (Cambridge-sidings-upgrade-meeting-24-February)
- A website that GTR has created (https://www.cambridgeraildepotupgrade.co.uk/).
- An email to this campaign from GTR on 06 March 2020.
- 26 February: Cambridge Independent – “Train wash not a done deal, residents told“
- 25 February: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
- 25 February: Cambridge105
- 22 February: BBC Look East
- 15 February: ITV Anglia – Cambridge campaigners fighting to stop construction of nine-metre high train wash
- 29 January: BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
- 21 January: Cambridge News – Cambridge residents worried about new ‘monstrosity’ train wash to be built behind their homes
What can you do?
- Please direct all construction complaints to the subcontractor, The Spencer Group, by contacting Diane Rowe at email@example.com 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.
- The petition link is https://change.org/quashthetrainwash
Tell government officials
- Email or tweet your concerns to Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge
- Email or tweet your concerns to Councillor Dave Baigent
- Email or tweet your concerns to Councillor Sophie Barnett
- Email or tweet your concerns to Councillor Anna Smith
Come to community meetings
- The next community meeting is: 19 March, 19:30, at ‘The Hut’ at the Argyle Street Housing Cooperative.
Come to GTR’s meetings
- The next trainwash open evening hosted by Govia Thameslink, Network Rail, Spencer Group and Greater Anglia should be (subject to change) Monday 24 Feb at 18:30 at the Salvation Army Building, 3 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DG.