Rail Industry Focus

18.11.16

Ilkeston, 50 years on

Source: RTM Oct/Nov 16

The town of Ilkeston is finally getting another rail station after almost 50 years without tracks. Geoff Pickford, service director for highways at Derbyshire County Council, gives an update on the latest developments taking place at the site.

In 2013, just after the town of Ilkeston received the go-ahead for a new station as part of the DfT’s New Stations Fund, former transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin called the area “one of the largest towns in the country that doesn’t actually have a railway connection”. Indeed, Ilkeston, which once had three rail stations, lost its last one in 1967 as a result of the Beeching cuts. 

Fast-forward 50 years and that is all set to change, with work to build another station on the site of the original Ilkeston Junction and Cossall station currently underway and progressing well. Speaking to RTM, Geoff Pickford, Derbyshire County Council’s service director for highways, said the bulk of the work so far has been putting in the piles for the platform and the new footbridge. 

“It’s all pre-cast construction once you’re out of the ground,” Pickford explained. “A lot of the beams and quite a lot of the platform slabs are now in place, so it’s starting to look like a station now. For a long time it just looked like a building site. 

“There’s also work going on with the embankment widening, which will take a slightly widened highway alignment on the Nottinghamshire side – the east side of the station. We’ll be waiting for the footbridge to start being delivered and installed next month.” 

Key features 

The footbridge, which will be wider than usual, will be the “next big thing” to happen on the site. “There was an old footbridge running alongside the road bridge, which gave the access to the original station that was there,” said Pickford. “That’s since gone, and we have some temporary traffic lights working over the road bridge to allow pedestrians to continue to cross over. 

“The next big thing that will really make a visual impact will be the arrival and the erection of the footbridge. Bits and pieces will be arriving from the fabricators within the next couple of weeks, and we anticipate that the footbridge will be installed in November.” 

As well as the footbridge, the key features of the Aecom-designed station include two platforms, each of them of a four-car length; stairs and ramps down to the platforms as well as improved connectivity across the rail tracks; a 90-space car park on the east side of the station; and smaller facilities on the western side, which will cater for disabled passengers, motorbikes, taxis and bicycles. 

The £10.5m station will be operated by East Midlands Trains and will include a handful of its Liverpool-Norwich services – but the main service will be Northern’s Leeds-Nottingham trains. 

Delays and setbacks 

As was widely reported by regional press, the station suffered a series of setbacks since receiving government backing three years ago. Originally meant to open in 2014, the project was delayed by major issues with the floodplain and a long trapping period of the great crested newts found at the site. 

Pickford admitted that the contractor, Galliford Try, has now also hit difficulties with the piling works, meaning Network Rail can’t yet commit to a firm opening date. It was expected for late autumn this year, but the project is expected to slip from that. 

But, once up and running, the station will be great news for passengers who have otherwise been forced to travel via bus or car to nearby towns. Travelling time to Nottingham will be slashed from 40 to 15 minutes, for example, and the Ilkeston community will be much better connected to their Sheffield and Chesterfield neighbours. 

“We believe that will help make Ilkeston a majorly attractive place for people to do business,” Pickford said. “That’s really borne out by the fact that Nottingham Housing Market area has contributed £1m towards the cost of the station, so they recognise that by making Ilkeston better connected, that will make it a much more attractive place for people to live.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

W: www.ilkestonrailwaystation.co.uk

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

 

Comments

Andrew Gwilt   18/11/2016 at 12:45

Once it opens it will be managed by East Midlands Trains and to provide a handful of services including Liverpool Lime Street-Norwich and possibly other EMT services and Northern Trains services that provides services across the Midlands, Northern England and the whole of the Yorkshire region. Beaulieu railway station in Chelmsford, Essex could also get the go ahead to be built and should be completed in 2020 if the agreement by Chelmsford City Council, Essex County Council, Network Rail and the train operator Greater Anglia does allow the new Beaulieu station to be built and to be completed on time,

Nathan   20/11/2016 at 19:10

Why not build a new station a few miles further south at Stapleford & Sandiacre. LDS-NOT trains would have to run via the Meadow Lane curve and Beeston to serve it, but I wouldn't have thought that would be a major issue. They ran that way in the 1980s!

Andrew   13/12/2016 at 15:26

Nathan - excellent idea! If local trains from Nottingham and Derby could stop at the HS2 station scheduled to be built at Toton (immediately south of the original Stapleford & Sandiacre station) this would provide a more realistic connecting service to existing city centre stations than the NET service to Nottingham which takes far too long to be considered a credible option to driving.

David   02/01/2017 at 13:31

Great to see this rail station reopen one thing gets me Liverpool to Norwich trains will serve this station as well as Nottingham to Leeds services looks to be a good service the area will have, talk about services it's about time EMT served Spalding as it impossible to get to from Lincoln and Sleaford as Spalding is left out on rail services except local evening trains from Peterborough.

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