Posted 3rd April 2017 | 2 Comments

Hundreds celebrate reopening of Ilkeston station

MORE than 300 people have welcomed the first train to call at Ilkeston in Derbyshire since January 1967, when the former Ilkeston Junction & Cossall station closed.
Restoring the station on the Erewash Valley line was proposed in 2009 in ATOC’s Connecting Communities report, and the project was given the go-ahead in 2013. The opening has come almost three years later than originally planned, and the cost has risen from the first estimate of £6.5 million to around £10 million now.
Ilkeston couple Rebecca and Dylan Thorley and their children Fred, 9, and Stan, 7, were at the front of the queue to board the first train on Sunday morning – the 09.45 Northern Trains service to Nottingham.
Rebecca said: “It’s great to have a station in Ilkeston again. We’ll definitely use it to get to Nottingham. We can walk to the station from home and it beats sitting in traffic and trying to find a parking space in the city. The kids were so excited to ride on the first train.”
The station is managed by East Midlands Trains, but some Northern services also call. The timetable now provides an hourly service north to Chesterfield, Sheffield and Leeds and south to Nottingham, with some trains continuing to Liverpool or Norwich.
East Midlands Trains commercial director Lawrence Bowman said: "It's great news that the new station is open and offering regular train services. This is a landmark day for this town and we would like to thank our partners and the local communities for their support."
Paul Barnfield, regional director at Northern, added: “The re-opening of Ilkeston station is a significant milestone for the rail industry and, more importantly, for the local community. We are delighted to be able to offer services to Nottingham and Sheffield from the new station and look forward to welcoming customers from Ilkeston and the surrounding area.” 
Derbyshire County Council contributed more than £2.83 million to the project and, following a successful bid from the council, the Department for Transport contributed a further £6.674 million. £1 million was also contributed by Nottingham Housing Market Area. 
The county council’s strategic director for transport Mike Ashworth said: “It’s great to see the first train pulling into Ilkeston after so many years without a station.
“The county council decided to push for the £10 million station to make commuting to Nottingham, Chesterfield and other towns along the line quicker for local people, opening up more opportunities for education, jobs and leisure. We hope it will mean more people travelling into Ilkeston too and encourage more businesses to set up in the town to boost the local economy.”
Network Rail’s Rob McIntosh, route managing director for the London North Eastern and East Midlands, said: “We have worked closer than ever with our partners to achieve this significant upgrade to the line which will connect Ilkeston to key towns and cities across the full breadth of country by rail for the first time in a generation. These greater transport links will bring significant economic benefits to the whole region and demonstrate the vital role rail plays in generating growth, creating jobs and developing housing. I’m delighted that after so long, Ilkeston can once again celebrate having a main line station which will meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.”
Around 160,000 people are expected to use the station during the next 12 months.

Reader Comments:

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  • John Gilbert, Cradley

    Excellent news. Now all we need are some canopies for the passengers to wait under for their trains on rainy days! (And I really don't mean little bus shelters!)

  • James Dawkins, Sheffield

    Makes good sense, since Ilkeston is quite a substantial town along the Nottingham - Sheffield line. I think Doctor Beeching made the right decision at the time with all his recommended closures (who back then really thought that in 50 years' time rail would be such a dominant transport mode?), but it's great to see the powers be recognising the changing times.