First glimpse of the station that could put town on track in 2014
THE first image showing how a new train station at Ilkeston could look has been released – and trains could call there from next year.
The image has been released by Derbyshire County Council after the authority submitted a bid for £4.58 million of Government money to kick-start the project.
And the council's latest report on the station states Northern Rail has made a "clear statement" of its "willingness to add Ilkeston to its stopping pattern".
Councillor Chris Corbett, leader of Erewash Borough Council, said it was likely that Ilkeston would soon get the station.
He said: "We are quite optimistic that it will happen because we have had support in Parliament as well as from the county council. It would be a wonderful thing if it happened.
"We are the largest town in England that has a railway line but nobody gets off. We are hoping that we are successful. We are confident as much as we can be."
In total, the project will cost £6.33 million. Derbyshire County Council has earmarked £754,000, while the Nottingham Housing Market Area has vowed to provide £1 million and Erewash Borough Council says it can contribute £100,000.
If the bid to the Government's New Station Fund is successful and planning permission is won, the station could be up and running before the end of 2014.
The site is off Coronation Road, on the existing Erewash Valley railway line, near the site of the former Ilkeston Junction station, with links to Millership Way.
The total amount promised locally for the station is now more than £2.75 million – comfortably above the 25 per cent the Government has said needs to be allocated before it will consider paying for the rest of the project.
Ilkeston's bid appears to fulfil the rest of the criteria laid out by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, including having the support of local rail operators.
In 2009, a county council feasibility study said the station would generate about 120,000 passengers a year, as well as revenue of £18.7 million over 60 years – more than enough to offset operating costs.
The station is a long-standing aspiration in the Local Transport Plan. It was also identified as having promise in the 1999 Greater Nottingham Rail Network study but at the time there was no service that could reasonably call there. But the introduction of the new Nottingham-Leeds service in 2008 removed this stumbling block.
Erewash MP Jessica Lee has been fighting for the station for three years and has lobbied ministers. She said: "Since being elected in 2010, I have campaigned extremely hard to reopen a station in Ilkeston."