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After five weeks of around-the-clock effort, six miles of new track, 143 new signals, a new platform, the work of 2,000 people and over 30,000 bus movements, a full train service has begun again at Nottingham station.
Network Rail’s £100m investment in the railway through the city has seen its 1960s-era signalling and track pulled up and replaced with modern equivalents to provide a new, more efficient and flexible design. This will improve the reliability of the train service in the East Midlands and complement the work going on to improve the station.
A revised bank holiday train service started again from at 0531 on Monday morning and today (Tuesday 27 August) marks the start of the first full working day timetable for the new systems and infrastructure.
Network Rail’s area director for the East Midlands, Justin Page, said: “We really appreciate the patience of the people of the East Midlands over the past five weeks – they have been fantastic during the disruption and it’s fantastic to see trains running through Nottingham station again. We’ve built a new layout with a modern signalling system that represents a leap forward for the railway and will improve people’s journeys.
“The next big step for us will be the completion of work on the Hub and the refurbishment of the station, which will be the culmination of £150m of rail investment in the city.”
The new track and signalling layout at Nottingham allows for greater flexibility, uncorking the bottleneck on the approach to the station which has for many years resulted in trains at a stand waiting for platforms to become available. With the number of trains and passengers using Nottingham station predicted to grow, this flexibility will enable Network Rail and East Midlands Trains to run a more reliable service.
David Horne, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “This is the biggest ever project that East Midlands Trains has been involved in and the positive feedback received from our customers demonstrates the real value of our years of planning with our partners Network Rail.
“We would like to thank all of our customers for their patience over the last five weeks, as well as our staff and all of the bus and coach drivers who helped us to run over 30,000 buses over the last five weeks. Our thanks also go to Network Rail and its contractors for delivering a successful project which has been completed right on time.
“Work continues on the Nottingham Hub project which will create a station that we can all be proud of and Nottingham will have transport links that will be the envy of the UK. With line speed improvements delivering faster journeys to London coming in December and electrification around the corner, this is a great step forward for our region.
During the work East Midlands Trains kept passengers moving with a service of more than 700 bus movements a day linking Nottingham with East Midlands Parkway, Derby, Beeston, Alfreton, Grantham and Newark.
The project in detail:
One new platform created in the station and ‘passive provision’ left for a future platform 8.
Platforms resurfaced and canopy built on platform 7 (formerly platform 6)
143 new signals.
Six miles of new track.
Three signal boxes and Trent power signalbox closed and replaced with 2 new workstations at Derby signalling centre.
Two level crossings renewed (Carlton and Colwick)
Two level crossings closed and replaced with footbridges (Sneinton and Trent Lane)
Three major junctions redesigned at Mansfield Junction, Nottingham East and Nottingham West.
All signalling designed with electrification in mind so disruption will be reduced when the wires come to Nottingham (in 5 years).
Funding for the scheme comes from Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation.
The resignalling is part of the wider Nottingham Hub scheme, which will see the station’s historic porte cochere turned into a new entrance hall, and a southern entrance constructed. This will link to the Nottingham tram station, being built on a bridge over the railway.
Network Rail is working in partnership with Nottingham City Council and East Midlands Trains on the Hub station project itself. Construction will conclude in 2014. Nottingham’s tram project is due for completion later that year.