Talks begin to extend Robin Hood rail line and build new stations

train, network rail, railway, Thoresby Colliery Junction,
Photo: Nottsexminer

High-level talks have begun on extending the Robin Hood rail line across north Nottinghamshire to Ollerton.

Nottinghamshire County Council wants to expand the route and met Government representatives on Monday.

Besides the six mile-plus extension from Warsop to Ollerton, the plan would involve re-opening existing stations in Warsop, and Edwinstowe and building a new station in Ollerton.

The Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Alan Rhodes, met Rail Minster Claire Perry to discuss the plan.

David Ralph, the Chief Executive D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, also attended the meeting.

Cllr Rhodes said: “It was a very positive meeting and we were well received by the minister.

“She was very interested in the potential that an extended Robin Hood Line would bring to the area – especially the economic benefits.”

A test railway track that already runs between the two points could be used for the extension.

The route is currently used by Network Rail to test trains and equipment and if the council’s bid is accepted they would likely have to replace two miles of track.

But as the line is well-maintained extensive building work would not be needed.

The plans could also lead to a re-opening of existing stations in Warsop and Edwinstowe which have been closed to passengers for decades, and the building of a new station in Ollerton.

David Thornhill,  Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Campaign for Better Transport, said: “I would like to congratulate the County Council and Mark Spencer in pushing this scheme forward and trying to improve transport.

“However we would question whether this scheme should be top priority or ought there be other services that we should consider improving first such as the Nottingham-Bingham-Grantham line.”

Interactive map: How the proposed extension could extend through Notts

The Council has been working since 2009 to reopen the track to passenger trains but has struggled to attract funding for the project.

The authority has already spent £200,000 trying to demonstrate that extending the line is feasible and Sherwood’s Conservative MP Mark Spencer has helped to arrange talks.

Robin Hood Line, train, network rail, railway, Thoresby Colliery Junction,
Robin Hood Line Stations

Cllr Rhodes said: “We have been campaigning hard to make an extension to the Robin Hood Line a reality as it is a fantastic opportunity for jobs, the economy and tourism in this area of Nottinghamshire.

“It is an exciting and ambitious plan that brings a lot of opportunity for this area of the county.”

The Robin Hood Line is a rail service currently running from Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield. Passenger services are run by East Midlands Trains.

It opened in stages between 1993 and 1998, giving Mansfield a station for the first time in forty years after it was left without one by cuts in the 1960s.

Cllr Rhodes added: “What we need now is for the Government invest in this project. With its support and by working together with all our partners we can bring this project to fruition.

“I am hopeful that today’s meeting with the rail minster is another step towards seeing our vision becoming a reality.”

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “We are committed to making journeys better for passengers, which is why we are investing record amounts in improving the rail network across the UK.

“I recognise the significant benefits that an extended Robin Hood Line could bring to the area, and we are working positively with Nottinghamshire County Council to look at how this scheme could be taken forward.”

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