Ilkeston Station – Work starts on Derbyshire station
Work is currently underway to build a new station at Ilkeston in Derbyshire.
With a total budget of approximately £10m, Derbyshire County Council’s new Ilkeston Station, together with access and parking, will be on the site of the original Ilkeston Junction and Cossall Station.
Galliford Try – the main contractor on the project – have been contracted by Network Rail to build the station.
Due to open in October 2016, the station has already undergone its first phase of preliminary works, including site establishment, ground investigation and stabilisation of old mine workings. This took place from mid-October 2015 and finished just before Christmas of 2015.
The second phase started at the beginning of April 2016. These developments encompassed erecting boundary fencing, improving site access and site clearance. Foundation works were prepared for piling which commenced at the end of May.
Geoff Pickford, Service Director for Highways at Derbyshire County Council, told Rail Construction News:
“When we started out with our station plans we carried out a transport analysis so we expect there will be around 160,000 passenger journeys in the first year and that will rapidly climb to about a quarter of a million in a few years.
“We’ve had some work done fairly recently, which we’re still validating, that seems to suggests the presence of the station may create a small increase in property values in the area and that any housing developments or business developments close to the station will probably be accelerated.
“It’s likely that people coming in to develop land will favour the sites closer to the station rather than those further away, so it should certainly bring in more money to the town.
“The vast majority of local people are very positive about the new station. Most see the value of connecting Ilkeston – particularly to Nottingham – and that’s where we anticipate the major area of travel taking place with around 50% of passengers travelling from the town to Nottingham. The new station will also open up travel opportunities to the north to Chesterfield, Sheffield and Leeds with an hourly service.”
Ilkeston’s original station opened in 1847 by the Midland Railway on the Erewash Valley line, subsequently renamed Ilkeston Junction. Originally in open countryside, the station was a junction for a short branch line to Ilkeston Town – this site is now part of a Tesco store.
Historically Ilkeston had three railway stations: Junction, Town and Ilkeston North. The latter was on a different route to the others – this site is now part of Ilkeston Police Station.
Ilkeston town grew and expanded in the Victorian era and first access was given to Junction station in 1870 when Station Road was built. The branch from Junction to Town station was closed to passengers in the 1940s when bus services commenced.
Ilkeston Junction closed on 2nd January 1967 along with all intermediate stations on the Erewash Valley route between Nottingham and Chesterfield, including Alfreton and Langley Mill. Alfreton reopened in 1973 and Langley Mill in 1986 respectively.
The proposal to reopen Ilkeston came in 1999 on the back of the successful Derbyshire County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council led Robin Hood line reopening in 1998. Initial study work was done then but the proposal had to be shelved due to inability of any trains to stop there until the Nottingham-Leeds service was established in December 2008.
On reopening, Ilkeston will lose the cachet “largest town in Britain on a passenger railway line without a station.”
“It’s great for me as a Civil Engineer to be a part of the new station project. I’ve been involved with the project for five or six years from the early development stage so it’s been great to see the whole thing come to fruition.
“This is a significant project for Derbyshire County Council because of the impact it will have on Ilkeston – that’s really the reason we’re involved. It isn’t just a transport piece of infrastructure, it’s also a socioeconomic boost for the town.”
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “Ilkeston station is set to transform the lives of thousands of people by giving easier access to rail services, to give access to work and leisure opportunities around the network. I am delighted that this project is progressing and I look forward to welcoming the first train in the coming months.”