The Anonymous Widower

£2.7bn East Midlands Plan Unveiled For HS2 Links

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

A bold plan costed at £2.7 billion for the area around the HS2 hub in the East Midlands has been published by a group of councils, transport bodies and East Midlands Airport.

The core of the scheme is the future East Midlands Hub at Toton, and the plan proposes direct access to the Hub from more than 20 cities, towns and villages in the East Midlands.

If you want to read the original report by Midlands Connect, there’s a download link on this page of their web site.

The project is in three phases.

Phase One

Phase One is to be operational within ten years.

  • Scheme 1 – The extension of the Nottingham tram system (Nottingham Express Transit or NET light rail system) from the Toton Lane Park and Ride site to Long Eaton via two new stops at the planned Innovation Campus development and HS2 East Midlands Hub station.
  • Scheme 2 – New bus services between the HS2 East Midlands Hub and Amber Valley, West Bridgford and Clifton.
  • Scheme 3 – Bus Rapid Transit between the HS2 East Midlands Hub and Derby city centre via Pride Park and Derby railway station.
  • Scheme 4 – Extension of the HS2 East Midlands Hub A52 highway access route to the A6005 Derby Road in Long Eaton.
  • Scheme 5 – Capacity enhancements to M1 Junction 25, increasing road capacity and improving access to the HS2 East Midlands Hub station and Innovation Campus site.
  • Scheme 6 – The implementation of a minimum of four direct rail services per hour linking the HS2 East Midlands Hub station to Derby, Nottingham and Leicester stations, as well as Loughborough, Matlock, Mansfield, Newark, Alfreton and Grantham, made possible by the building of a new piece of infrastructure, the Trowell Curve, which will link to the Midland Mainline.
  • Scheme 7 – New rail service between Mansfield, Derby and Leicester with stops at Ilkeston, Langley Mill, Kirkby in Ashfield, Sutton Parkway and HS2 East Midlands Hub via the Kirkby Freight Line (Maid Marian line).

Note.

  1. These schemes will be built before the HS2 East Midlands Hub station opens.
  2. I discussed Scheme 7 – The Maid Marian Line in After The Robin Hood Line Will Nottingham See The Maid Marian Line?.

The most important part of Phase One is that all these seven schemes will be built before High Speed Two reaches the East Midlands. So hopefully, there will be a continuous stream of improvements in the East Midlands.

Phase Two

Phase Two will be operational within twenty years.

  • Scheme 8 – Extension of the NET light rail system or enhanced Bus Rapid Transit from the HS2 East Midlands Hub station to Derby.
  • Scheme 9 – The construction of a railway station at East Midlands Airport, connected to the Midland Mainline via a spur to the south of Kegworth village, allowing new direct rail services to the airport from Derby, Nottingham, Leicester and Mansfield as well as some intermediate stations including HS2 East Midlands Hub and East Midlands Parkway. This intervention will vastly improve public transport access to East Midlands Airport for passengers and staff.

Phase Three

Phase Three will be operational within twenty-five years.

  • Scheme 10 – A new rail line between East Midlands Airport (opened during Phase 2) and Derby via the South Derby Growth Zone residential and employment developments and the Rolls Royce site, designed to support local housing and employment growth.
  • Scheme 11 – A tram-train service connecting into the NET light rail network (Phase 1) to a proposed development site (11,000 houses and other associated development) to the west of East Midlands Airport. This scheme would also serve stops within the Ratcliffeon-Soar power station development site and could also serve Kegworth village and the East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park.

It is comprehensive project and I will discuss the various schemes in separate posts.

 

 

May 28, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nottingham Targets Multimillion-Pound Tram Extensions

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in Issue 901 of Rail Magazine.

The Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is a quality tram system and seems to have been taken to the heart of the people of the city.

Three separate extensions are proposed.

Clifton Pastures

Clifton Pasures is a proposed development of 3,000 houses and 2,000 jobs to the South of the Clifton South Park and Ride stop on the NET.

This Google Map shows the area, bounded in the West by the A453.

Note.

  1. The red arrow marks the vehicle entrance to the Park-and-Ride from the A 453.
  2. A short extension of the NET will be built, which has been costed at £49 million.

It looks to be a well-thought out extension.

Toton Lane Park and Ride To East Midlands Hub Station

This extension from Toton Lane Park-and-Ride stop to the East Midlands Hub station for High Speed Two was first proposed in 2015.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Toton Lane Park-and-Ride is on the Eastern side of the map.
  2. East Midlands Hub station will be built on the Western side of the map on Toton sidings.
  3. It doesn’t look like there is any serious construction problems in between. There would probably be bridges or tunnels over the B6003 and the railway.
  4. Would the NET cross the East Midlands Hub station on a bridge at right-angles, as it does at Nottingham station?

This extension of the NET has been costed at £106 million.

The original plans discussed here in Wikipedia, envisaged continuing to Derby.

Nottingham Racecourse And Gedling

The Rail Magazine article describes this extension as follows.

The third (and the longest) proposed route would involve construction of a new route towards Nottingham’s eastern suburbs via Meadow Lane, the Cattle Market, Daleside Road and Nottingham Racecourse.

It is hoped this route could one day stretch as far as a new Park & Ride site planned near Gedling Country Park, although this is not included in the current plans.

This Google Map shows Central Nottingham.

Note.

  1. The red arrow shows Nottingham station.
  2. Nottingham Racecourse is at the Eastern side of the map.
  3. The A6011 is Meadow Lane, which passes Notts County football ground.
  4. Daleside Road connects Meadow Lane to Nottingham Racecourse.
  5. The estimated cost of this extension is quoted at between £96 million and £116 million.

 

 

It appears to me, that the branch will break East from the main route going South to Clifton South and Toton Lane tram stops and then on the streets along Meadow Lane and Daleside Road to Nottingham Racecourse.

Points And Questions

I have some points and questions on the route.

Access To The Football And Cricket Grounds

Will the Nottingham Racecourse extension improve access to the two football grounds and Trent Bridge cricket ground?

It  would be much closer to the sports grounds, than any current tram stop.

Access To Holme Pierrepoint

Will the Nottingham Racecourse extension have a stop at the Holme Pierrepoint National Watersports Centre?

Will There Be A Park-and-Ride At Nottingham Racecourse?

I think there already is one, so will the NET connect it to the City Centre?

Would it be useful to connect this Park-and-Ride to the Queen’s Medical Centre on the Toton Lane branch?

Will There Be Opposition To All The Street-Running?

Every time, I’ve driven near Meadow Lane, Daleside Road and Nottingham Racecourse in the past, it’s been very congested.

Will voters allow these roads to have street-running trams?

Will Trams Be Able To Go Between All Branches?

After the completion of these three new branches, there will be five branches; Clifton Pastures, East Midlands Hub, Hucknall, Nottingham Racecourse and Phoenix Park. All branches will have one or more Park-and-Ride sites.

I can see that there are arguments for these connections.

  • Between the Nottingham Racecourse extension with all its major sporting venues and the other branches.
  • Between the Queen’s Medical Centre on the Toton Lane branch and the Nottingham Racecourse extension.

I can see that the junction between the Nottingham Racecourse extension and the current NET network being rather complicated, as it must allow these connections.

  • East to North
  • East to South
  • South to East
  • North to East

This junction will need a lot of space and get increasingly expensive.

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

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

A New Route To The City Ground, Nottingham

Ipswich Town went to play Nottingham Forest at the City Ground today.

Usually, I walk from Nottingham station using Trent Bridge to cross the Trent.

But today, I decided to use the extended tram route to go to the stop at Meadows Embankment, from where I walked along the river to the ground.

I did cross the Trent once on the Wilford Suspension Bridge that carries utilities over the river, but it is a much more pleasant route, that is less crowded and away from the traffic.

This Google Map allows a comparison of the distances.

Walking To The City Ground

Walking To The City Ground

The Wilford Toll Bridge, where the trams cross the Trent, is the westernmost bridge on this map, whilst the Wilford Suspension Bridge is just South of the Nottingham War Memorial.

As an aside the Wilford Toll Bridge, is the only bridge which says it is a toll one, but doesn’t even allow vehicles to cross, let alone charge them for it?

If you are driving to a match at any of the three grounds by Trent Bridge, you can go to the Park and Ride at Clifton South and then get a tram to Meadows Embankment and walk. I think that the Park and Rid could be free if you use the tram.

I walked the obvious route from the tram to the ground, but there may be a shorter route that cuts out the bend in the river or cuts through the houses after crossing the suspension bridge.

Perhaps, Nottingham City Council should signpost the best route!

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hucknall On The Nottingham Express Transit

I took these pictures as I rode to Hucknall on the Nottingham Express Transit.

They show how the Robin Hood Line runs alongside the tram and it is just a simple walk-across to exchange between the tram and the train. This Google Map shows the layout.

Hucknall Station

Hucknall Station

Hucknall station appears to be a remarkably simple interchange between tram, train and car. It is also surrounded by bus stops.

Passengers just walk between the trams and the single train platform on the level. So it is a truly step-free interchange!

The tram stop opened in 2004, which probably means that it was designed too early to have used tram-train technology.

But of all the places in the UK, this would probably have been the easiest to have built a tram-train interface, where trams could continue running on an electrified Robin Hood Line.

But that is all in the past and it’s too late now to build the line for tram-trains.

September 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Queen’s Medical Centre On The Nottingham Express Transit

The Queen’s Medical Centre is Nottingham’s big hospital.

The tram climbs onto a viaduct to pass through the hospital and although the walkways into the hospital aren’t fully completed, it is surely the way to provide transport to a hospital.

The guy manning the station, as surely it is too grand just be a stop, was proud of his charge, saying it is the only hospital with a tram stop in the UK. I think he could be right, although University station in Birmingham serves the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and my three local hospitals are all served by the Overground or Underground.

Having seen this station, there is no doubt in my mind, that to serve a hospital with its large number of people with mobility problems is the best way to do it, if it is possible.

Nottingham’s solution at the Queen’s Medical Centre is definitely world class.

Nottingham certainly passes the Two Elderly Siblings test with a score of at least nine out of ten.

One sibling is in the hospital and the other lives some distance away but can get to the nearest station to the hospital reasonably easy. Can they then get from the nearest station to the hospital using local transport? Even if they are being pushed in a wheelchair.

In Nottingham, you would use a lift at the station to get to the tram and then it’s a simple ride on a step-free low-floor tram to the station. The hospital is actually on the other side of the tram tracks on arrival from Nottingham station, but as it’s a tram, you just walk or be pushed across, to enter the hospital.

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

NG2 On The Nottingham Express Transit

I took these pictures at the NG2 tram stop.

It’s just a pretty normal tram stop by Nottingham’s standard, but the reason I stopped off here to take pictures, was that it is close to the triangular junction to the west of Nottingham station, where trains for Nottingham turn off the main Midland Main Line to access the station. This Google Map shows the area.

NG2 Nottingham

NG2 Nottingham

The NG2 tram stop is just South of the place where the road crosses the railway at the Western point of the junction, which goes in the direction of Beeston and the South. The line to the East leads to Nottingham station, and that to the North leads to Chesterfield, Sheffield and the North, as well as the Robin Hood Line.

The tram route curves away to the West to go to the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham University.

In some ways it illustrates how Nottingham’s railways and the new trams weave a pattern around the  city, with very large numbers of possible routes.

As tram-trains are now on the menu and tram-trains were first employed in Nottingham’s twin city of Karlsruhe, I doubt that anybody can predict the next line to be developed in Nottingham.

The only certain thing, is that in my two trips to the city recently, is that the people of Nottingham are proud of their trams and are using the system in large numbers.

As I said in Conclusions On Phase 2 Of The Nottingham Express Transit, the system may suffer from London Overground syndrome, of being built without enough capacity and new trams, tram-trains or extensions will soon be in the pipeline.

 

 

 

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

Toton Lane On The Nottingham Express Transit

Toton Lane tram stop is the Southern Terminal of Line 1 of the Nottingham Express Transit.

It opened on the 25th August 2015 as part of Phase 2 of the NET. These are pictures. I took on a visit a week later.

The stop and the associated Park-and-Ride are very similar to the similar facility at Clifton South.

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

Walking Around Nottingham Station

When I arrived in Nottingham, the weather was still good, despite rain being forecast, so I went for a walk right around the train station to see if there was space for the junctions to connect tram-trains coming in as trains from points East and West to access the tram line that crosses the station in a North South direction with a tram stop above the station. This Google Map shows the area, where I walked.

Around Nottingham Station

Around Nottingham Station

Note that this map was created before the tram line over the station and the multi-coloured multi-story car park were built, but the old tram-stop on Station Street is clearly marked. The foot bridge over the station, which is a public footpath that also allows pedestrians to access the trains is the only bridge across the station.

These are pictures I took as I walked around the station

I started by walking East along Station Street that runs along the North side of the station, then crossed the rail lines on the road bridge before walking back to the station along Queen’s Road.

After a brief pit stop in the station, I crossed South and followed the tram route intending to pick it up at the next stop to go to Toton Lane. But it was a long walk, so I crossed back North across the railway and walked back to the station along the canal, from ewhere I caught the tram South.

Currently Wikipedia lists three possible tram-trains routes from Nottingham to expand the NET. Two are in the East; Gedling and Bingham and one is in the West; Ilkeston.

I think there is plenty of space around the station to accommodate these routes.

I suspect too, that as the routes have been discussed since the mid-2000s, any current or future development has been or is being built, so that it doesn’t compromise any possible tram-train connections.

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

Tram-Trains To East Midlands Airport

I have a Google Alert looking for tram-trains and it found this article on the Nottingham Post entitled Could tram-trains link Nottingham to East Midlands Airport?

It’s a thought!

The article talks about a proposal to create a link between East Midlands Airport and the Midland Main Line, that would allow tram-trains to connect the airport to cities like Nottingham, Derby and Leicester and the proposed HS2 station at Toton.

This is a Google Map of the area between the Airport and the Midland Main Line.

East Midlands Airport, the M1 And The Midland Main Line

East Midlands Airport, the M1 And The Midland Main Line

East Midlands Parkway station is at the top right of the map.

I think that properly designed this idea could have legs.

A few points.

  1. Some doubt the South East will ever get a new runway, so improving connections to East Midlands Airport would surely mean more passengers flew from their local airport, rather than a congested Heathrow.
  2. It would improve links between the major cities and population centres of the East Midlands and they probably need an improved turn-up-and-go four trains per hour service between each.
  3. There are a number of intermediate stations to the various destinations, which probably need better connections.
  4. The tram-line would also cross the M1. So would a pick-up/drop-off tram stop ease travel in the area?
  5. Once the tram-train technology is proven and approved and the Midland Main Line is electrified, I doubt that creating the link would be a difficult planning or engineering project.

I will be very surprised if at some point in the future, some form of light or heavy rail line doesn’t reach East Midlands Airport.

But then I think tram-trains would be best.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment