The Anonymous Widower

Could High Speed Two Have A Station At Ashby-de-la-Zouch?

This morning, I was listening to Andrew Bridgen, who is the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, giving the reasons for a strong opposition to High Speed Two.

  • High Speed Two will reduce the number of services between Leicester and London.
  • His constituency does not have a rail station.
  • His constituency would do better for the Ivanhoe Line to get a passenger service.
  • His constituents are badly affected by the building of the line.
  • His constituents will need to drive North to East Midlands Hub station to use High Speed Two.

Some points are valid, although I think no rail company would reduce the number of services between Leicester and London.

The Future Of Services Between Leicester And London

East Midlands Railway currently run four trains per hour (tph) between Leicester and London, with the fastest trains taking five minutes over the hour.

New 125 mph bi-mode Class 810 trains, will be running all main line services on the Midland Main Line from 2023, using electric power between London and Market Harborough.

It is also planned to increase the line speed between London and Market Harborough to 140 mph, so the trains can really use their design speed, by updating the electrification, signalling and track.

From these published plans, I would feel that East Midlands Railway are intending that all Leicester and London services are within the hour.

Reinstatement Of Services On The Ivanhoe Line

This has been promised off-and-on for some time and I wrote about it in Silent Hydrogen Trains On The Cards For New Line Linking Burton And Leicester, after one of my alerts picked up “hydrogen trains”.

The Association Of Train Operating Companies Plan For The Ivanhoe Line

This is taken from the Wikipedia entry for the Ivanhoe Line.

In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £49 million proposal (Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network) to restore passenger services to the line that would include reopening stations at Kirby Muxloe, Bagworth and Ellistown, Coalville Town, Ashby de la Zouch, Moira, and Gresley (for Swadlincote). There is also some support in the Leicester area for the line to have new stations to serve Leicester City F.C.’s stadium and the suburb of Braunstone.

Wikipedia also says, it could be developed as a no-frills line.

Given the government’s enthusiasm for reopening lines closed by Beeching, I suspect that this line will be reopened to passenger traffic in the next few years.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Station

This section of the route map for High Speed Two, shows where the Ivanhoe Line crosses it, just by a major road junction outside Ashby-de-la-Zouch.


  1. High Speed Two is shown in orange.
  2. The Ivanhoe Line runs West-East from the West edge of the map and after crossing the A42 and High Speed Two it curves South-East.

Where the two lines cross would it be sensible to build a simple interchange station?

  • Andrew Bridgen’s constituency has a electorate of over 72,000.
  • The station would be well-connected to the road network via the the M42, A42 and A51.
  • There would appear to be plenty of space for parking.
  • It would ease the problems of going by train between Leicester and Birmingham.
  • A bridge will have to be built at the location of the station to carry High Speed Two over the Ivanhoe Line, so why not design the bridge with simple platforms?
  • As High Speed Two’s trains will be designed with fast acceleration and deceleration, the stops would be very quick
  • Passengers would only be allowed on the High Speed Two platforms, when trains are in the station.

Perhaps given its location it could be called the Heart of England Parkway station?

The Station Site

This Google Map shows the station site.


  1. The Ivanhoe Line is at the bottom of the map.
  2. There is a spur from the line into the space.
  3. High Speed Two will run almost North-South parallel to the A42.

It looks like an abandoned open-cast coal-mine or quarry. Does anybody else know better?


There has already been speculation for the building of a similar station, which I wrote about in Should High Speed Two Have A Station At Calvert?, so perhaps it’s not a totally crazy idea,

Perhaps, there are other places, where High Speed Two crosses other main lines, where parkway stations could be built?



February 11, 2020 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,


  1. Just one correction, the Ivanhoe line crosses the proposed HS2b line and in our discussions with the consultation team the Burton to Leicester line will remain intact and will be used from the Northern end to convey construction material to their planned virtual quarry just outside Ashby. Your premise of an Ashby HS2 station is not entirely outlandish and could connect Derby-Burton-Coalville-Leicester with an “express” passenger service ensuring the benefits of HS2 are widened to include a larger segment of the population. Also not all HS2b trains to Leeds need to stop at Birmingham thus enhancing the journey time.

    Comment by Geoff Bushell | February 11, 2020 | Reply

    • I wrote the piece to try to be provocative, as I’m very much a supporter of high speed rail and won’t be affected by HS2. So your reply was pleasantly surprising! There was speculation of a similar station at Calvert, which would bring HS2 benefits to everybody along and beyond East-West Rail. Think Ipswich and Manchester or Bristol and Hull.
      I think it could be possible for four tph to stop at Heart of England Parkway; perhaps two tph to Euston, Birmingham Curzon Street and Leeds and one tph to Newcastle and York!
      How long would it take a fast coach take to get from Hezrt of England Parkway to East Midlands Parkway?
      I very much agree that the benefits of HS2 must be spread.

      I have updated the post!

      Comment by AnonW | February 11, 2020 | Reply

  2. It seems Stephen Kinnock MP complained about HS2 not serving Wales .

    I reckon he should discover your suggestion for Calvert where the East West project could be linked to GWR and fully electrified with a connection at Calvert to allow through running onto HS2 for trains from Wales and the West Country.

    I also noticed that Michael Fabricant MP complained about HS2 not using New Street Station in Birmingham I reckon next time he goes to Birmingham he chooses Chiltern Line from Marylebone to Moor Street and discovers how it’s next to HS2 Station and only a short walk from New Street Station.!

    I wonder how many MPs have read HS2 Act and know of non HS2 works, upgrades to both road and railway that will accompany HS2 construction.

    Comment by Melvyn | February 11, 2020 | Reply

    • The Calvert suggestion was supposedly a leak from the Oakervee Review and as someone who lived in Suffolk for forty years, I very much like it. I used to drive regularly from Felixstowe to Liverpool before the Midland Link section of the M6 has opened in a 1954 Morris Minor.

      I can see a perhaps Swansea and Cambridge service using East-West Rail which would be electrified and allow 125 mph running.

      Comment by AnonW | February 11, 2020 | Reply

      • I have read through Oakervee Report and the Calvert suggestion is there with a suggestion that passive provision for a Station enabling interchange between East West Rail and HS2 be made .

        Given much of the opposition to HS2 comes from the Chilterns then a Station on HS2 could have helped generate support.

        The changes at Euston are important with HS2 being replaced by a new body to deliver a new fully integrated Euston Station see extract from Oakervee Report below –

        This single organisation should be responsible for delivering the three
        business cases relating to the development of Euston station: (i) the
        redevelopment of the Network Rail station – this is at present
        unfunded; (ii) the building of the HS2 station; and (iii) the works which
        will be used to support development above and alongside the HS2
        station and track approaches. This organisation should also consider
        the onward distribution of HS2 passengers arriving at Euston in
        collaboration with Transport for London. In light of the challenges
        presented by the development of Euston station, along with the
        complexity and scale of the HS2 project itself, the Review considers
        that this single organisation, which is responsible for the development
        of Euston station, should not be HS2 Ltd.

        Perhaps Boris Johnson short pause might have long term benefits?

        Comment by Melvyn | February 12, 2020

      • My specialism was allocation of resources. If a project is late, it’s generally resources. Euston is a station designed by that well-known architect; Topsy. Platforms are a resource and I can see that over the years that there may be movement between WCML and HS2,as HS2 runs more services.

        So it seems to me that the Oakervee idea is very valid.

        Comment by AnonW | February 12, 2020

  3. […] I heard an MP on the radio, who was very much against High Speed Two and that led me to write Could High Speed Two Have A Station At Ashby-de-la-Zouch?. […]

    Pingback by Reinstatement Of The Ivanhoe Line « The Anonymous Widower | May 25, 2020 | Reply

  4. It was for transhipment from lorries to rail for opencast coal taken from local sites. I think it only operated for a handful of years.

    Comment by C Dinsdale - Potter | November 16, 2020 | Reply

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