History of the St Ives Railway Line


On 17th August 1847 the railway line linking Cambridge with St Ives and St Ives with Huntingdon was opened to traffic. On 1st February 1848 the line between St Ives and March (linking with Peterborough and Wisbech) was opened. On 10th May 1878 the Ely-Sutton line extended to St Ives was opened.

The St Ives - Cambridge and St Ives - March lines proved reasonably popular. For most of its life there were 7 or 8 trains a day between St Ives and March.

The St Ives - Ely route proved the least successful and could be described as a white elephant. The biggest problem it suffered was the fact that few of the intermediate stations were located close to, let alone in, the villages they served. There were also many complaints about the timetable. The service was withdrawn from 2nd February 1931 apart from one early morning train from St Ives to Ely carrying milk and fresh produce. Two annual booked excursions used the line until 1958, before it was closed completely and the track removed.

The St Ives - Huntingdon route was closed to trains on 15th June 1959 and the St Ives - March passenger services were withdrawn on 6th March 1967. The service to Cambridge continued running until 5th October 1970. Most of the track between Cambridge and St Ives still exists apart from the last few miles to St Ives. The St Ives bypass road, which opened in 1980, was built in the place of the railway.

Copyright 2003 David Bartlett