Nottingham Station: Re-opened and reaping the benefits
You may remember that several weeks ago I paid a visit to Nottingham Station when the closure was into its third week. Much has changed in the final three weeks of the work and now Nottingham’s historic site has re-opened to the public, with all services resuming. So with the re-signalling works and platform extension works completed for the foreseeable future, I headed over for an update from Darren Field-Thomas and Donna Adams from East Midlands Trains to see the six weeks of hard work finally being put into practice.
Much has been made of the disruption caused by the six week closure. However in the grand scheme of things, six weeks is a short space of time when you consider the long term benefits gained from the work and the improvements that commuters will experience day in, day out from this point on-wards.
£100m has been spent on re-building the railway around Nottingham. Engineers have laid six miles of new track, installed 143 new signals, renewed two level crossings and replaced two level crossings with footbridges. In short, the new, improved signalling system and track will make for fewer delays. Services will see significant improvements heading in and out of Nottingham.
To stand on the new platform, and see it in its entirety with a train waiting to leave for London St Pancras, started to provide the understanding of what all these works will mean for Nottingham in the end. There was an efficient feel to everything with all staff now trained on the new system and the procedures that come with it. The length of Nottingham Station and the capacity each platform now boasts means more people can travel and potentially more services can run from one platform at any given time. Everything had a fresh look and feel to it, making for a much more commuter friendly environment. Coupled with the work still taking place until early next year, it will make for an exciting development project to look at upon its completion.
The improvement work on the aesthetics of the station will continue until April 2014, when Nottingham will have a very reminiscent St Pancras look and feel to it with glass frontage, modern concourses and an open plan style seating and eating area with shops a-plenty.
However, the signalling and major construction work carried out in the weeks of July and August 2013 now mean that Nottingham Station can begin to rival most major stations across the UK and begin to provide the centre of the transport hub we will inevitably end up with within a city that is rapidly developing for the better.
We plan to bring you further updates on the work being carried out as and when more major milestones are reached, so keep checking in for more behind the scenes glimpses at the future of Nottingham Station!