Work to reduce flooding and restore historic waterway begins.

Network Rail invests £350,000 to prevent flooding on Derbyshire line

Network Rail are working alongside Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust by investing £350,000 to help restore a section of the historic Draycott canal route in Derbyshire to help lessen flooding on the railway, rebuild heritage and create new recreational facilities for locals and tourists alike.

Efforts to prevent the railway from flooding go back to the 1960’s where this section was infilled after freight trade stopped using the waterway. Then in 1999, a drainage ditch was installed along the canal route to help to prevent flooding on the nearby Midland Main Line, which connects Derby and London.

These efforts did help for a period of time but an increase in rainfall has seen the railway flood 19 times in the past eight years, costing around £2 million and causing 357 hours, a massive 14 days, of delays for passengers.

Work on the scheme has now started and will see a 1.1km stretch of canal restored, as well as low points of the canal bank raised by 1 metre to reduce the chances of water overflowing onto the nearby rail route.

This will help to create a more reliable railway and reduce train service disruption for passengers. This is a key step in reducing flooding in the area, but further work will be also be required.

Network Rail’s contribution joins a £100,000 investment, which has been fundraised by the Canal Trust over the last three years. As well as reducing flooding, the project will create a new section of canal which can be used by boaters and will ultimately form part of the restored canal to Derby.

The scheme will also bring major environmental benefits. The reopening of the canal will improve biodiversity in the area through work such as planting native plants to support insects and amphibians, which will encourage birds into hawthorn hedges, which the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust have already created.

The scheme is expected to complete in summer 2021. 

Railway flooding in Draycott 2019

Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands Route, said: “This is a fantastic project and we are proud to be a part of it.

“We have seen issues with flooding at Draycott over the past few years and this work will help to reduce this. Whilst further work will be needed to solve the problem, this is an important step in reducing delays for passengers.

“We’re really proud to be working with the community on this and it’s great that we can play a part in a wider scheme, which will benefit both residents and visitors in Derbyshire, help to boost the economy and restore this section of the canal to its former glory, preserving vital heritage.”

Chris Madge, Chairman for Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust, said: “We’ve been working for many years to bring this project to fruition and we are delighted that work has been able to begin.

“We are very grateful to Network Rail for working with us and providing the final piece of funding which will mean we can prevent flooding on the railway, as well as bring about change which will have a lasting impact on the community.

“The fact that local supporters have donated over £100,000 demonstrates the groundswell to preserve heritage in the area. Our redevelopment of an old mill building adjacent to the canal section to provide a café, museum and housing, will attract many more people out to enjoy the wonderful countryside, wildlife and activities on offer.”

Images: Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trus



Delivering High Speed Two

Our October/November 2021 edition of RTM is packed with insights and visions for a future UK railway which is safe, efficient, and resilient. We delve into the restoration works at Bristol Temple Meads station with Maxine Prydderch, learn from Orlando De Leon about an innovative new piece of technology, and explore with HS2 Ltd’s Director of Stations & Systems, Chris Rayner, some of the successes already seen on HS2. That and so much more is available within the digital pages of our latest edition, so jump in and explore…




View all videos
Regional Investment

RTM365 Online Festival

Regional Investment
9 December 21

The rail industry is undergoing a once-in-a-generation transformation with railways about to undergo the most significant transformation in 25 years.

We will be able to provide a more dependable and well-connected passenger first railway as a result of the network improvement. But what does this entail for individual locations in terms of investment?

On the 9th December, RTM365 will bring together leaders from each of the UK regions at our next instalment of virtual events to get the answer to these questions and learn more about regional rail investment, major projects and the effect of the upcoming Great British Rail transition.


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all