The Anonymous Widower

Ilkeston Station Opens

I went to the new Ilkeston station this morning and took these pictures.

It is not the most sophisticated of stations and it is worth comparing the design with Lea Bridge station.

This picture is from A Look At Lea Bridge Station, which shows the station in detail.

 

Alongside Lea Bridge Station

 

Comparing Ilkeston and Lea Bridge stations, there are similarities and differences.

  • Both stations are built adjacent to existing road bridges.
  • Both road bridges have some good brickwork and a utilitarian span over the railway.
  • Both stations have two platforms on the outside of a double-track main line.
  • Both stations don’t have ticket barriers.
  • Lea Bridge has lifts and Ilkeston has long ramps for step-free access.
  • Lea Bridge is fitted with comprehensive CCTV for Driver Only Operation (DOO). Ilkeston is not!
  • Ilkeston has car parking and Lea Bridge has none.

Both stations cost around ten million pounds, with perhaps Lea Bridge slightly more because of the lifts and DOO cameras.

My Overall View

I think that Ilkeston station is a job well-done by the architect to keep costs to a minimum for a well-functioning station, that meets all current and future regulations.

These are more details on various features.

The Station Entrance

One of my gripes with Lea Bridge station, is that when I use that station, I take a bus to it, which drops me just before the road bridge over the station. I then have to walk past the station footbridge, with no possible access and in a great circle to get to the station entrance at the side.

At Ilkeston, those walking to the station by the side of the road that crosses the bridge, just walk over the station footbridge, from which they walk down to their chosen platform.

This is a much better arrangement and will surely suggest to passers-by, that using the train isn’t a hassle.

When I went to Ilkeston, some months ago, I remember that the area between the Town Centre had what developers call potential and perhaps could be turned into a green walking and cycling route.

This Google Map shows the relationship between the town and the station.

It certainly isn’t as desolate as the Town Centre was on my last visit. There’s even a Marks and Spencer’s Simply Food store in a retail park, just a couple of hundred metres from the station.

I made a mistake in not exploring that way today, as it looked not to be finished.

I shall return!

Car Parking

The car parks are on both sides of the tracks, which is good for the able-bodied passengers, as if space allows they can park where is best for their personal circumstances.

My one worry about the car parking, is that 150 spaces might not be enough.

On the other hand car ownership is low in the Erewash Valley! So perhaps they expect a lot of passengers to walk to the station.

Access To The Platforms

At present, the landscaping is not finished on the Nottingham-bound side (Platformk 2) of the station and I suspect the walking route to the platform will be improved.

But supposing you are a passenger with a touch of arthritis and failing eyesight. Whatever side you park your car, you will have to negotiate both  long ramps to cross the tracks, when you catch a train out of Ilkeston or on your return.

But saying that several London Overground stations near me use long ramps and there doesn’t appear to be too many protests.

Lifts would of course be better. But a lot more costly!

Picking Up And Dropping Off Passengers

The drop-off/pick-up point is by the Chesterfield-bound Platform 1, but I suspect that when the station is completed, drivers will be able to do the drop-off/pick-up in the car park by Platform 2.

Taxi Rank

The taxi rank is  by the Chesterfield-bound Platform 1, so passengers arriving on Platform 2 will have to cross the tracks on the footbridge.

I did talk to a taxi driver called Paul Kitchener,  who is one half of a taxi company called Paul and Jackie Taxi. I was able to find them on Fscebook, so if you have special needs for a taxi and you don’t live in Ilkeston, you could always contact them first.

Shelters and Ticket Machines

As expected a shelter is provided on both platforms, but perhaps more surprisingly, there is a ticket machine on both platforms as well.

Thjs duplication of ticket machines is to be welcomed, as is placing them in an obvious place on the platform.

The Germans make their ticket machines very easy to find, which is not often the policy of some of our train operators.

Two ticket machines by stairs to the footbridge, which pedestrians will use as access to the station, is an idea, that might result in more revenue for the train operator.

Bike And Motor-Cycle Parking

I didn’t see much, although there were a few hoops outside Platform 1

Coffee Kiosks

A guy from London Overground, told me that if you have a coffee kiosk on the platform, it may attract more passengers.

The platforms at Ilkeston might not be quite big enough for a kiosk, but I’m certain the architect has ideas.

Future Proofing

There have been troubles recently, where stations have been built without enough clearance for future electrification.

Without getting out a measure, it appears that the two existing road bridges and the new foot-bridge at Ilkeston, may have enough clearance to satisfy the most nit-picking of inspectors. The bridge that could be dodgy is the rusty road bridge and that would not be the most difficult bridge to replace with a new one.

Perhaps, as it has not been given a coat of paint, the new bridges are being constructed, as I write.

The design of the station, would also allow the following.

  • Two fast lines through the station, between Platform 2 and the boundary fence, where there is already an avoiding line.
  • The possibility of putting a second face on Platform 2, so that a bay platform or a platform on a fast line could be created.
  • The addition of lifts.

I also suspect that the platforms are long enough for a Class 222 train to call.

A Good Local Reaction

One of the staff told me that he reckoned about five hundred people had come to have a look at the new station, which he felt was more than expected.

Several, that I spoke to seemed enthusiastic.

One couple, I spoke to, said forty-eight pounds each was a lot to get see their daughter and her family. But yet again, they hadn’t heard of the Two Together Railcard. They felt thirty-two pounds was a lot more reasonable.

Services

Current services through the station are an hourly train between Leeds and Nottingham via Sheffield and a two-hourly service between Liverpool and Nottingham via Manchester.

This gives an impressive list of destinations from Ilkeston, that includes Barnsley, Chesterfield, Ely (for Cambridge), Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham and Sheffield.

But what is missing are connections to Birmingham, Derby, London and Mansfield.

London will be solved in the future, when passengers by their journey hsbits put sufficient pressure on the train operator.

A solution for Derby and Mansfield was proposed in this article in the Nottingham Post which is entitled Hopes HS2 could see ‘Maid Marian Line’ opened to passengers.

There is a freight-only line between Kirkby-in-Ashfield station on the Robin Hood Line and Pye Bridge on the Erewash Valley Line, on which Ilkeston is situated.

The proposal would allow trains to go between Kirkby-in-Ashfield via Pinxton and Selston to Langley Mill and Ilkeston and then on to Toton for HS2.

From there services could go on to Nottingham or Derby and also give access to the Nottingham Express Transit at Toton.

In my view, the ideal service would be Mansfield to Derby via Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Langley Mill, Ilkeston, Toton (when built), Long Eaton and Spondon.

At Derby, there is also up to four trains per hour to Birmingham.

Conclusion

This is a fine station, which has been built at a keen price, which with more services will be a big asset to Ilkeston.

 

April 2, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Is Ilkeston Station Going To Open Early?

National Rail’s journey planner doesn’t get it wrong often.

So look at the screen-shot for Monday 27th of March.

Ilkeston station isn’t supposed to open until the 2nd of April.

Searching the on-line timetable shows it is just Northern Rail’s Nottingham-Leeds services that seem to call both ways.

Is it the truth, finger trouble or even Fake News?

March 12, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Robin Hood Line In Nottingham

This Google Map shows the Southern end of the Robin Hood Line as it connects to Nottingham station.

southrobinhood

Note the triangular junction towards the bottom of the map.

  • The line to the East goes into Nottingham station.
  • The line to the West goes to Beeston and eventually to London. In a few years time, it will go to the East Midland Hub station for HS2.
  • The line to the North is the Robin Hood Line and the Erewash Valley Line.

The \Erewash Valley Line splits to the West, from the Robin Hood Line just off the top of the map to the North of Nottingham University’s Jubilee Campus.

It is worth looking at services that go between these two branches and Nottingham station.

Langley Mill station on the Erewash Valley Line has the following services.

  • One train per hour (tph) between Nottingham and Leeds.
  • A few trains per day between Liverpool and Nottingham.
  • Some trains between Sheffield and London stop.

Passengers though are expected to take the infrequent service to Nottingham for onward trains.

On the 2nd of April, Ilkeston station will open on the Erewash Valley Line between Nottingham and Langley Mill.

Hucknall station on the Robin Hood Line has two hourly services.

Plans also exist for a branch to Ollerton, so this might change the service pattern. But there is no more than a total of four or five trains per hour in both directions.

All of these services go round the North-East chord of the junction and thus connect Nottingham University’s Jubilee Campus and  Nottingham station

But there are no stations along this line, although there used to be one at Radford.

In A Look At New Station Projects, I came across references to stations at Faraday Road and Lenton.

Both locations are on this section of line and it would seem logical that the more Northerly location would be ideal to serve the Jubilee Campus.

If only the local trains stopped, it would have the following services.

  • 1-2 tph to Ilkeston, Langley Mill and Alfreton
  • 2 tph to Hucknall, Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Mansfield
  • 3-4 tph to Nottingham.

Other questions and issues are raised.

  • Would a second station to the South nearer to the triangular junction be worthwhile?
  • Could the Nottingham Express Transit. have an interchange with the trains the Robin Hood Line?
  • Could the Nottingham Express Transit call both campuses of the University of Nottingham?
  • In future could 1-2 tph go to the HS2 station at East Midland Hub?

It does appear that there is scope for improving connectivity in the Western Part of the City Centre.

 

February 7, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

After The Robin Hood Line Will Nottingham See The Maid Marian Line?

This article in the Nottingham Post is entitled Hopes HS2 could see ‘Maid Marian Line’ opened to passengers.

There is a freight only line between Kirkby-in-Ashfield station on the Robin Hood Line and Pye Bridge on the Erewash Valley Line.

The proposal would allow trains to go between Kirkby-in-Ashfield via Pinxton and Selston to Langley Mill and Ilkeston and then on to Nottingham.

I’ve been here before in September 2015 in a post called Expanding The Robin Hood Line.

But the new baby elephant in the room is the new Ilkeston station, which hopefully opens on the 2nd of April 2017.

Given Chris Grayling’s thoughts, that I wrote about in Government Focuses On New Stations And Trains, could it be that if extra trains can be found, that to provide a second train per hour  between Nottingham and Ilkeston, a second route to Kirkby-in-Ashfield and on to to Mansfield and Worksop, is opened up the Erewash Valley Line.

The route could even terminate on the proposed extension of the Robin Hood Line to Ollerton.

The route from Nottingham to Ollerton would be.

  • Nottingham
  • Toton for HS2
  • Ilkeston
  • Langley Mill
  • Selston – New station
  • Pinxton- New station
  • Kirkby-in-Ashfield
  • Sutton Parkway
  • Mansfield
  • Mansfield Woodhouse
  • Shirebrook
  • Warsop- New station
  • Edwinstowe – New station
  • Ollerton – New station

I think it is likely that this route could be developed.

  • The track is all there and is used by freight trains and/or for driver training.
  • An hourly service on this route would mean additional services for many of the stations on the route.
  • The only problem would be finding some suitable diesel trains for the route.
  • It could probably be trialled to Mansfield or with a simple station at Ollerton.
  • The track from Ollerton appears to be intact all the way to Lincoln.

But the clincher is that it would provide connectivity for HS2 all the way from Worksop and Mansfield to Lincoln and Grimsby.

HS2 is needed, but we must make sure that the benefits of the line are spread to all parts of the country.

If this route to Lincoln could be developed as a 100 mph line, the time from Lincoln to London with a change to HS2 at Toton could be likely to be under two hours.

In Government Focuses On New Stations And Trains, Chris Grayling mentioned the route from Grimsby to Sheffield. Surely creating this route from Lincoln to Toton via Ollerton for HS2, is what really improves train transport in North Lincolnshire.

 

 

 

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Is Ilkeston Station A Typical Infrastructure Project In The UK?

The construction of the much-delayed Ilkeston station, seems to finally be proceeding, as this article on the BBC, which is entitled Ilkeston bridge work on newt delay railway station, discuses. This the opening paragraphs.

Work has started on a footbridge at the site of a £10m railway station where construction efforts stalled due to concerns over rare great crested newts.

Ilkeston in Derbyshire is one of the largest towns in the UK without a rail station after its previous one closed in 1967, due to Dr Beeching’s cuts.

However, the project suffered several delays, notably because of newts that had to be trapped and relocated.

The station, off Millership Way, is due to open later this year.

I do hope that, one of our Universities is doing a serious study about the effects of the new railway station and the restored train services have on the town of Ilkeston and the surrounding area.

I will be very surprised, if there isn’t some positive effects.

I also hope they’ll come up with recommendations to avert the delays to important small infrastructure projects like this.

August 22, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Work Will Start On Ilkeston Railway Station This Month

This article in the Ilkeston Advertiser has announced that work on the station will start soon. This is said.

Works in the coming months will include building the platforms, removing and installing a new and wider footbridge – making it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to pass – and building two car parks.

 The station is due to take around seven months to build from the start of construction and is set to open in summer 2016.

I would think that this could be the start of better times for Ilkeston.

Although someone has commented that it is a waste of money!

September 11, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Ilkeston Station In A Few Years Time

I am not putting a time-scale on this, as there are so many possibilities in the mix.

I think we can assume that at some point, there will be a new station, that will look substantially like this visualisation.

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

The Wikipedia entry for Ilkeston station says that the station is expected to open in August 2016. I think this may be challenging, but there is one factor that makes building a station here easier. It would appear that there will not be any substantial new track, so other than the station, there should not be a great deal of work to do, before trains can provide a service at the station.

There was also a substantial amount of engineering work done to the line through Ilkeston and Langley Mill in Summer 2007.

The Initial Train Service

I had intended to check whether trains between Nottingham and Leeds that call at Langley Mill, actually pass through the Ilkeston station site, when I visited Ilkeston. But as the weather was so bad and I was sitting on the other side of the train, I didn’t see anything.

I shall certainly be going to Nottingham on October 24th, so if I don’t get the information by then, I can take a detour.

If the trains that go through Langley Mill can stop at Ilkeston, the station would not have to wait long before the timetables were adjusted, so that they called. According to Wikipedia, this is the services at Langley Mill.

Northern Rail run an hourly service between Nottingham and Leeds that stops at Langley Mill. This service started from the December 2008 timetable change.

East Midlands Trains operate a few services per day from Langley Mill southbound to Nottingham and beyond (usually Norwich) and northbound to Sheffield (usually continuing to Liverpool Lime Street).

Some East Midlands Trains Mainline services from London St Pancras to Sheffield / Leeds call here, but generally interchange with London services should be made at Nottingham.

 

Incidentally a typical Nottingham to Leeds service stops at Langley Mill, Alfreton, Chesterfield, Dronfield, Sheffield, Meadowhall, Barnsley and Wakefield Kirkgate.

So will the new station at Ilkeston get a similar service? I think that the service will be at least as good as that to Langley Mill.

After all the timetable change of 2008 was implemented, when it was quite likely that a station would be built at Ilkeston, so I would assume timings make allowance for a possible stop at Ilkeston

In fact of the two stations, if either gets preference for services, it is more likely to be Ilkeston, as unless Langley Mill is upgraded it is a very basic station according to Network Rail.

One of the usual problems, when starting a service is finding the trains to run it. This delayed the opening of the Todmorden Curve by several months.

But in the case of services at Ilkeston, it’s mainly a process adjusting schedules so that passing trains, stop at the station.

Problems On The Midland Main Line Through Derby

It’s an ill wind, that blows nobody any good!

Ilkeston station is actually on the Erewash Valley Line, which runs from Long Eaton to south of Chesterfield joining the Midland Main Line at both ends.

In the Future section for the Erewash Valley Line on Wikipedia, this is said.

Network Rail as part of a £250 million investment in the regions railways has proposed improvements to the junctions at each end, resignalling throughout, and a new East Midlands Control Centre.

As well as renewing the signalling, three junctions at Trowell, Ironville and Codnor Park will be redesigned and rebuilt. Since the existing Midland Main Line from Derby through the Derwent Valley has a number of tunnels and cuttings which are listed buildings and it is a World Heritage Area, it seems that the Erewash line is ripe for expansion.

So it looks like Ilkeston could be on a by-pass of the Midland Main Line.

Electrification

The Midland Main Line is scheduled to be electrified and the services on the line could be provided by Class 800 and Class 801 trains,

I just wonder if Class 800 electro-diesel trains were run through Derby and Class 801 electric trains were run on the Erewash Valley Line, this might get round the problem of the heritage lobby objecting to electrifying through the World Heritage Area of the Derwent Valley, with its Grade 2 Listed tunnels and cuttings.

Derby would still get new trains. It would just be that the faster electrified ones ran up the Erewash Valley Line.

Would these trains call selectively at Long Eaton, Alfreton and Ilkeston?

Services To Derby

Ilkeston is in Derbyshire, so I expect there will be pressure to have a direct service to Derby.

At present, if you want to go between Langley Mill and Derby, you have to change at either Nottingham or Chesterfield.

I suspect that when Ilkeston station opens the route between Ilkeston and Derby will be as tortuous as it is now from Langley Mill.

Look at this Google Map of the area.

Around Ilkeston

Around Ilkeston

Ilkeston is indicated by the red arrow.

There must be a better way, than changing trains in Nottingham or Chesterfield.

But what?

The Erewash Valley Line goes South to Long Eaton, which has several trains per hour direct to Derby, so this could be the key to getting to Derby.

In a Notes on Current Station section on the Wikipedia entry for Long Eaton station, this is said.

The usable length of the station platforms is shorter than the express trains which stop here, so passengers arriving from London, Derby or Sheffield will usually have to get off from the front four carriages. Elderly passengers or those with pushchairs, heavy luggage or bicycles wishing to alight at Loughborough should take particular care to board the correct portion of the train. Cycles may have to be stored in vestibules away from the cycle lockers depending on the orientation of the train.

It is planned that both platforms will be extended by up to 10 metres by no later than 2012.

It is anticipated that developments along the Erewash line will result in changes for Long Eaton station. A plan drawn up in 2011 recommended a new Derby to Mansfield service via new stations at Breaston & Draycott, Long Eaton West (renamed from Long Eaton), Long Eaton Central, Stapleford & Sandiacre, Ilkeston, Eastwood & Langley Mill (renamed from Langley Mill), Selston & Somercotes and then to Pinxton via new trackbed connecting with the Mansfield line from Nottingham at Kirkby in Ashfield.

It strikes me that work at Long Eaton, the several new stations and improvements north of Langley Mill would enable direct services from Ilkeston to both Derby and Mansfield. A trackbed from Langley Mill to Kirkby in Ashfield is shown on Google Maps.

Langley Mill to Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Langley Mill to Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Alfreton is the station at the top left and Kirkby-in-Ashfield is at the top right. The Erewash Valley Line from Langley Mill, enters at the bottom and splits with one branch going to Alfretonand the other going East to cross the M1 and join the Robin Hood Line south of Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

On an Ordnance Survey map, dated 2009, the railway is shown as a multiple track line, probably serving collieries and open cast coalfields.

It all sounds very feasible too! Especially, as the Erewash Valley is an area of high unemployment, low car ownership and a dependence on public transport.

IPEMU Trains For Ilkeston?

If the Erewash Valley Line is electrified, so that Class 801 can run fast from London to Chesterfield and Sheffield, one option for the local services is to use Aventra IPEMU trains, which will be built in Derby.

IPEMU stands for Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit. These trains have all the features of the standard four-car electric multiple unit, but they have an on-board battery that is charged when running from the overhead line and gives them a range of about sixty miles, when the wires run out.

So chargeing the battery on the Erewash Valley Line, they could reach Derby, Mansfield and Nottingham.

If Nottingham and Derby weren’t electrified until a later phase, then Class 800 electro-diesel trains could work the routes to London, until full electrification were to be completed.

Watch what happens about IPEMU trains.

Rumours have appeared in Modern Railways that orders for trains powered by the technology are imminent.

Tram-Trains For Ilkeston?

In my view the Nottingham Express Transit will get overcrowded in a few years and the capacity of the system will have to be increased.

One way to increase capacity would be to run tram-trains to destinations away from the city on the heavy rail lines. Once in the city centre they transfer to the tram lines and run as trams to suitable destinations, thus increasing the number of trams running on the various lines.

So tram-trains could say run between Ilkeston and say the Old Market Square or the Queens Medical Centre and then on to one of the terminals.

It all sounds rather fanciful, but go to Karlsruhe or Kassel and see the tram-trains in action.

Ilkeston To HS2

Tram-trains, IPEMU or standard trains from Ilkeston and other places to the North could link quite a few places to the proposed East Midlands Hub station at Toton.

Conclusion

The more I look at the future of Ilkeston station, the more I realise that constructing the new station is just petty cash in the big scheme of things around rail and tram expansion in the East Midlands.

A lot of money has been spent in sorting Nottingham station and expanding the Nottingham Express Transit and a lot more will be spent in improving and electrifying the Midland Main Line and the Erewash Valley Line. The latter will be equipped with several new stations and probably new trains of some sort.

 

 

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Walking To And From Ilkeston Station

I got off the bus on the roundabout in Ilkeston and walked along Millership Way to the construction site of Ilkeston station.

It took me about twenty minutes, so I would suspect that Ilkeston will need a shuttle bus to actually get between the town and the station.

Not much seemed to be happening, but then, it appears to my untrained eye, ythat the station is being built in the middle of a swamp. It’s certainly a challenging project. \Wikpedia saus this about construction delays.

During preliminary work at the site in June 2014, an ecological survey found protected great crested newts, delaying the start of construction until October 2014. This, together with additional flood protection work means that the station opening is deferred to spring 2015.

In October 2014, it was announced that the cost of proposed flood protection work exceeds the available budget, requiring a cheaper solution to be found. This further delays the start of construction until 2015, and the earliest opening date to ‘late 2015’..

In February 2015, it was announced that more great crested newts had been found, further delaying work on site. The opening is now expected to be by August 2016.

Hopefully, it will look like this when it is finished.

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

All of the pictures of the station site, were taken from the road on the left.

I walked back to Ilkeston and then had to climb the hill to where I was meeting local residents interested in their train station.

It was a challenging walk. As I said before, when they build the station there will be a need for a shuttle bus!

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Ilkeston Railway Station

Ilkeston wears the badge of the largest town in England without a railway station. This section in Wikipedia, details the history of railways in the town. This is an extract.

Following a long-running local campaign, in March 2013 Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that Ilkeston was one of three sites ‘most likely’ to get a new station as part of the ‘New Stations Fund’, costing £5 million and sited close to the old Ilkeston Junction station. On the 15 May 2013 it was announced this new station would be built. It will have two platforms, which can take six trains per hour with up to six passenger cars and will include waiting shelters. A 150 space car park, cycle storage, bus stop, drop off point and taxi rank will also be on the site. The station will be unmanned with automated ticket machines and was originally scheduled to open by the end of 2014. Due to the discovery of great crested newts and flood prevention work means the opening has been delayed by four months, and will not open until 2015.

So why is there so little apparent progress? Search Google News for the station and it’s all about flooding, newts and lack of progress.

I have found an unofficial web site for Ilkeston Railway station, where there are some interesting posts.

The biggest progress seems to be that you can find the station on Google Maps.

Ilkeston Station

Ilkeston Station

This is a picture that I found on this page of the Derbyshire County Council web site.

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

I feel that I should take another trip to Nottingham and make a detour to Ilkeston.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments