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Campaign launched for £200m Midland Main Line resignalling project

Derby station’s improvement project has taken a major step forward with the launch of a joint venture campaign this week.

The £200m programme to improve Midland Main Line signalling is run by a partnership between Network Rail and East Midlands Trains, supported by CrossCountry.

It involves the replacement of 17km of track, which will be re-laid in a different configuration, as well as 55 new straight post signals, nine new signal gantries and 79 sets of points.

While the station was modernised in 2013, the surrounding network has needed upgrades for a number of years, having not been improved since its installation nearly 50 years ago.

Today, the partnership behind the plans has launched its official campaign to inform local businesses, passengers, and the wider community of the upcoming changes.

Between 27 July and 7 October works are expected to affect travel on the Crewe, London and Matlock lines, on certain CrossCountry services, as well as the route between Derby and Nottingham.

Commenting on the launch of today’s campaign, new rail minister Jo Johnson said the programme would “improve reliability and punctuality, and ensure the line is fit for future growth.”

Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, added: “This work will improve journeys in Derby and across the wider region by providing passengers with a more modern, reliable and resilient railway.

“This investment is vital and we have worked extremely closely with train operators, stakeholders and local businesses to keep disruption to a minimum whilst the upgrade takes place. Today marks the launch of a new website which will give passengers detailed information on how their journey is affected and allow them to plan ahead.”

As part of the scheme, Network Rail will have to lay around 150,000 tonnes of ballast, involving the use of 240 engineering trains to provide and remove materials.

CrossCountry’s managing director, Andy Cooper, who wrote for the latest edition of RTM, apologised for the disruption the work would cause to passengers.

He said: “We fully understand the disruption customers can experience when engineering work takes place, so we have worked closely with East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to ensure they have access to all the information possible about how the upgrades at Derby this summer could affect their journeys.

“However, as well as being a source of useful travel advice, the dedicated customer website provides extensive information about why these works are taking place and the benefits customers will see when this investment in the region’s railways is complete.”

Top image: Simon Galloway EMPICS Sport

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Mike Guerra   26/01/2018 at 19:24

I wonder if it is not time to bite the bullet on ERTMS when major re-signalling projects are required. Yes, it would mean doing the entire line, but at some point it will be necessary to transition to a modern signalling system that will actually stop a train passing at danger, rather than hope it passes the signal at less than 30mph. The Swiss have done the entire country in less than 5 years, and while NR has a great deal more track to deal with I think it is about time that they and HM Gov have a grown-up discussion about ways of increasing capacity and safety at the same time. It seems to be working on the Thameslink Core, and if they are sensible about the compatibility issues it should be reasonably straightforward, though expensive.

GW   26/01/2018 at 19:34

Absolute disgrace to close Derby for so long. Just another example of 'Lazy Engineering' that is becoming so prevalent on the network. The impact on people's lives doesn't seem to be taken into account. It is bad enough when there is a closure for a week, let alone this long. Feel sorry for the poor people of Blackpool who have had to put up with so much disruption for so long.

David Faircloth   26/01/2018 at 21:49

As Derby Midland is going to be closed for so long to XC services, I wonder if they ever considered a temporary Derby South station on the Stenson Junction - Sheet Stores Junction line near Junction 2 of the A50?

Adrian N   28/01/2018 at 18:58

I've read this article several times and although it talks about disruption between 27 July and 7 October nowhere can I see it say that Derby station is closing during these works.

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