NR completes £200m remodelling of Derby station, with a new platform and signalling, and track renewed.
FULL services through Derby station resumed for the first time since July 22 on October 8, after a 79-day blockade during which the station has been remodelled, a new platform built, new signalling commissioned, and track renewed at a cost of £200 million.
Speaking to RAIL, Network Rail’s London North Eastern and East Midlands Route Managing Director Rob McIntosh said: “The seamless relationship between NR, CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains [EMT] was a key part in the project’s success. And there was only a handful of complaints from passengers throughout the blockade - most passengers amended their travel plans without complaint.”
McIntosh is most proud of the logistics which enabled the remodelling to progress, describing the operation of 240 engineering trains during the blockade as a “huge achievement”.
He explained that extensive planning two years ago, when the network change for Derby was agreed, was also critical, freeing management time to deal with unplanned events as they occurred.
“Network Rail has achieved some great things in this Control Period - we are capable of doing these projects well. Getting the scope and access agreed early is the most important thing to do - that creates management time to deal with ‘unknowns’,” he said, suggesting that Derby’s remodelling could be the biggest since those at Crewe and York in the 1980s.
According to McIntosh, EMT drivers have described the new layout at Derby as a significant improvement on the old version.
The station now has capacity for an extra inter-city train from St Pancras, while journey times are expected to be cut with speed increases on the station approach and in the platforms.
Fewer conflicting movements will also be required, thanks to the remodelling.
The scale of the project involved the installation of 79 sets of points, ten signal gantries, 65 new signals, and 17km (10½ miles) of track with 150,000 tonnes of ballast. Some 95 tamping shifts were operated, and 14 Kirow cranes were used.
Although the station has been extensively remodelled, trains were able to run to and from some locations on 78 of the 79 days of the project, with 5,494 replacement buses operating during the work. Discounted fares and compensation were provided for passengers on some routes and dates.
East Midlands Trains Managing Director Jake Kelly said on October 8: “I am immensely proud of the hard work and skill shown by our people in planning and delivering this. The Derby Resignalling Project was a very challenging period for everyone, but we have come through that exceptionally well and also delivered the upgrade safely, efficiently, and reintroduced our full train service from first thing this morning, as planned.”
His counterpart at CrossCountry, Andy Cooper, described completion of the works at Derby as “a new high in how Britain’s railways are working together to invest in a railway to meet future needs, while ensuring that today’s rail users are still able to travel”.