79 days, 150,00 tonnes of ballast, 240 engineering trains, 17km of new track, 10 signal gantries, 65 new signals, 21,177 sleepers, 79 sets of points and 1,340-metre station platform. This is the content of a £200m upgrade project to Derby train station, the biggest investment in Derby’s railway since the Victorian era and was finished on budget and on time.
In the early hours of Monday morning, the final pieces of equipment and machinery were removed and the lines to the north of Derby station were handed back to East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry to allow the full train service to resume for the first time since Sunday, 22 July – 3 hours ahead of schedule.
Over 600,000 hours of work went into the project, which saw huge improvements to the track and signalling.
The speed which trains can travel through the station has now increased and a key bottleneck has been removed, meaning passengers will no longer endure a lengthy wait to enter the platforms. Control of the signalling has also moved from old style, lineside signal boxes to the state-of-the-art control centre. Passengers will benefit from a more modern and reliable railway with reduced delays.
The project has been delivered in partnership between Network Rail, East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry who have worked together to keep passengers moving throughout the last 79 days. The partnership has put passengers first. Trains have been running for 78 of the 79 days of the work; a huge and a carefully planned rail replacement bus operation has been in place, with 5,494 services provided.
Jake Kelly, Managing Director, East Midlands Trains, added: “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 Monday morning, as planned.
“This investment will improve journeys across the East Midlands and beyond, but we understand it has meant an extended period of change and disruption too. I am very grateful and appreciative for the patience and understanding shown by our passengers and we hope they will enjoy the benefits of the investment from now on.”
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “This is a once in a generation investment to improve the railway in Derby and the benefits will be felt across the whole of the East Midlands.
“We’re delighted that this work is now complete, and we look forward to passengers reaping the benefits. We appreciate that this work has impacted on people and we would like to thank all those affected whilst this vital investment took place.
“We’ve worked incredibly closely with both East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry to keep people moving and this project is a great example of the rail industry working collaboratively to improve services for passengers.
“Passenger numbers are ever increasing, and this upgrade means we can continue to provide a service which meet the needs of the communities and economies which our railway serves.”
Rail Minister Jo Johnson said: “This is a key milestone in the Government’s rail upgrade programme and is part of the £1.5 billion modernisation of the Midland Mainline.
“Passengers have been incredibly patient during the summer while the huge engineering work has taken place and they will now start to take advantage of the improvements which will deliver more reliable, faster services, with more seats.”