The wait is almost over and just weeks remain until work will start on providing Ilkeston with its own train station for the first time in 40 years.
Preparations at the site will begin in early June with work scheduled to be complete and the station officially opened in December.
Government cash will pay for most of the £6.5 million bill for the station and car park - sited between Coronation Road and Millership Way - after a campaign by the Advertiser and Erewash MP Jessica Lee, which saw more than 1,500 readers back our fight to get the town ‘back on track’.
Advertiser editor Martin Hutton said: “We are delighted to hear that work is going to start at the train station site.
“We campaigned tirelessly to get this station so we are thrilled that it is finally happening. We’ll be there as the work begins and keep you, our readers, up to date with the progress from start to finish of this exciting project.”
The new station means passengers will be able to travel to and from Ilkeston directly between Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield, then link to other destinations further afield.
Residents have been warned some of the work will take place at night and there could be noise disruption. Temporary traffic lights will be installed on certain roads to allow access and for machinery to get in and out of the site.
Initial work on the site will include putting up safety fencing, putting ramps across the existing track to allow machinery to move on site and demolishing buildings.
The new two-platform station will be linked by a new footbridge and there will also be a car park with around 150 spaces for cars, disabled drivers, cyclists and motorcyclists.
A passenger drop off point and taxi rank will also be built while buses will be able to run to the station and a new bus stop will be set up.
Other facilities will include waiting shelters, ticket machines, customer information screens, passenger help points and CCTV.
Cllr Andy Botham, deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport at Derbyshire County Council, said: “This station has been on the cards for a long-time and is nothing less than the town deserves. The good news is that the preparation work to start developing the station site can now really begin.
“There will be some inconvenience to motorists and people living nearby while the site is prepared, and during construction, but we will try and keep disruption to a minimum and keep local residents properly informed.
“The station will help boost the local economy and importantly, in the long-term, it will play a part in helping to ease congestion on the roads.”
Derbyshire County Council is leading on the project, putting in more than £1 million towards building costs. Nottingham Housing Market Area is contributing £1 million, plus there’s funding of £4.574 million from the Department for Transport’s New Station Fund (NSF).
Network Rail is managing the scheme on behalf of the council.