Ilkeston’s new rail station welcomes first passenger train

Ilkeston’s new rail station has welcomed its first train last weekend, marking the start of rail passenger services in more than 50 years for the Derbyshire town. AECOM designed the station for Derbyshire County Council (DCC) and has delivered a range of multidisciplinary services over the past four years, including engineering support throughout construction. Derbyshire County were the project lead working in partnership with Network Rail. 

AECOM’s design for the new station includes platforms and facilities, a footbridge, car park, access ramps and stairs, lighting and power, as well as signalling alterations and telecoms infrastructure. The company delivered all design services for the project, including civil, structural and geotechnical engineering, track, power and electrical design, as well as road safety and environmental consultancy. AECOM also assisted DCC with the application process for the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund, helping to secure £4.5m for the scheme. A key part of the design process was to investigate how different construction methods could achieve programme savings, which resulted in a bespoke pre-fabricated design for both platforms. 

The station is located on an old mine, which created a number of design challenges. Its mining past meant the site was prone to flooding, so the design includes a complex pre-cast concrete beam and slab system that minimises the impact of floodwater on the station. Cast in-situ piles with bentonite slurry were used instead of driven steel piles to mitigate the risk of underground fires during construction as a result of any remaining coal in the area. In addition, an innovative foundation design to support the station’s footbridge resists earth pressures from two directions. 

Sustainability was a significant design focus for the project, with efficient LED lighting installed on all highway routes and street lighting in the vicinity of the station. AECOM’s ecology team also re-homed a rare species of great crested newt found at the site prior to construction.  

Derbyshire County Council’s strategic director for economy, transport and communities Mike Ashworth said: “It was great to see the first train stopping at Ilkeston after so many years without a station. The county council decided to push for the £10m station to make commuting into 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.” 

Elaine Warley, senior project manager at AECOM, said: “AECOM teams have worked on this project for a number of years and the start of train services marks a major milestone for everyone involved in its development. The new station at Ilkeston is a great boost for the town that will bring much quicker commuting times, help relieve congestion on local roads and improve connectivity to nearby cities and towns.”

Northern Rail and East Midlands Trains will run regular services to and from Ilkeston, which links to Nottingham in the south and Chesterfield in the north. The new station stands on the site of the original Ilkeston Junction and Cossall Station, which was opened in 1847 and closed in 1967. The town has a strong rail past, once serving several passenger stations, local industries and mineral extraction locally. Around 160,000 people are expected to use the station in its first year.

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