Nottingham railway station: Final tests after five-week closure

Buses outside Nottingham railway station Buses replaced trains in Nottingham over the five-week project as major engineering work was carried out
Workers outside Nottingham station More than 750 workers installed new tracks and signals during the project
Nottingham station concourse All work on the station is expected to be completed by winter 2014

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Network Rail is running test trains into Nottingham Station at the weekend to monitor new signals and other equipment installed as part of a £100m upgrade.

The railway station has been closed to most services for the past five weeks during the work.

Network Rail said the station will reopen as planned on Monday.

Six miles (9.7km) of track, 143 signals and an extra platform were fitted by 750 workers during the project.

'Lost' bus driver

A replacement bus service took passengers to East Midlands Parkway and other locations during the disruption.

Network Rail spokesman Chris Denham said: "Saturday and Sunday are commissioning days when we run a test train along all of the layout and make sure all the safety systems are working as they should.

"The whole set-up and system will be tested to make sure it all works as a unit.

Five weeks of work in numbers

A train at Nottingham Station
  • One new platform
  • 143 new signals
  • Six miles of new track
  • Four signal boxes closed and replaced with two new workstations at Derby signalling centre
  • Two level crossings renewed
  • Two level crossings closed and replaced with footbridges
  • All signalling is designed with electrification in mind so disruption will be reduced when the wires come to Nottingham

"We are making sure everything is working as it should."

He said the upgrade was necessary to bring signals up to standard and to cope with increasing demand for rail travel.

Some passengers complained about replacement bus drivers getting lost during the first day of the closure, but train managers said "99% of these bus services have run without any incident".

East Midlands Trains spokesman Neil Micklethwaite said: "Our staff have fully embraced the challenge of running buses instead of trains, and we've had some great endorsements from our customers that have proved the worth of our years of planning."

A new £15m rail operating centre based in Derby will take over the signalling at Nottingham for the first time on Monday.

Three signal boxes in the Nottingham area have been closed and their operations transferred to the centre.

"It's the most modern centre we have at the moment. Eventually we hope to roll these out everywhere in the country," Mr Denham said.

Services between Nottingham and Skegness were also affected during the work, with trains starting and terminating at Grantham.

Other redesign work will continue at the station with the completion date set for winter 2014.

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