History will be made this Sunday as the first passenger train stops at Ilkeston for more than 50 years.
The £10 million project, which has been jointly funded by the Government and Derbyshire County Council, is the culmination of a decades long plan to get Ilkeston back on the rail network.
To celebrate the event, Erewash MP Maggie Throup is planning to be on the first train to arrive at the station, which is situated off Coronation Road, on Sunday morning, along with dignitaries and residents.
The train is scheduled to be the 9.44am Northern service from Sheffield to Nottingham, according to National Rail Enquiries.
When it arrives at Ilkeston, it will be met by a welcoming party of local schoolchildren, scouts and the Royal British Legion.
Mrs Throup spoke of her delight that Ilkeston’s new railway station is to finally open and is encouraging residents to be on the platform as the first train pulls in.
Sunday will be an historic day in the life of our town as Ilkeston finally reconnects with the rest of the rail network after an interval of over 50 years.Maggie Throup MP
She said: “9:44am on Sunday April 2, 2017, is an historic day in the life of our town as Ilkeston finally reconnects with the rest of the rail network after an interval of over 50 years.
“The new £10 million station project, which was made possible by a £6.6 million Government infrastructure grant administered through the New Stations Fund, will give a significant boost to the local economy and attract new people to our town.
“While the official opening of the new station will take place at a later stage, I believe that we must not let this landmark occasion go unmarked.
“I would therefore encourage local residents to join a welcoming party on the platforms as the first passenger train pulls into Ilkeston Junction for the first time in over half a century.”
Derbyshire County Council’s strategic director for economy, transport and communities, Mike Ashworth, said: “The county council recognised the benefits a station could bring to Ilkeston – which is why we led the march to get the funding in place and make it happen.
“Local people can now use the train to get to Nottingham and further afield to Sheffield, Chesterfield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Norwich, cutting journey times, opening up job opportunities and reducing congestion.
“We know having a train station makes a town a more desirable place to live and set up business and so we’re looking forward to seeing the economic benefits the station will bring to Ilkeston and the surrounding area.”
The Advertiser has been pushing for the re-opening of the train station in Ilkeston since 2010.
As a result of our ‘Get Ilkeston Back on Track’ campaign, more than 1,500 residents signed a petition which was presented to the House of Commons.