Train line connecting Kirkby to Toton could reopen as part of HS2 plans

Train line connecting Kirkby to Toton could reopen as part of HS2 plans
Train line connecting Kirkby to Toton could reopen as part of HS2 plans

Plans are being put together to reopen a train line which could connect Kirkby with the yet-to-be-built high speed 2, which will stop at Toton.

Initial costings have suggested the project would cost around £10 million, and would give more than 100,000 people fast access to the new high-speed line.

Now, funding has been approved to undertake a more in-depth study.

The train line, which is a branch off the Robin Hood Line, goes from Kirkby to Toton.

There have been many calls for it to be reopened over the years, but HS2 coming to Toton has made the plan more essential, according to the leader of Ashfield District Council.

The line is currently in use and maintained but is only open to freight trains, and used for driver training.

But a scheme supported today by Ashfield District Council would see the line reopen to passenger trains for the first time in decades.

Jason Zadrozny is the leader of Ashfield District Council, and also sits on the HS2 mitigation Board.

He said: “If this (HS2) is going to happen, I think we need to make the best fist of it we can, and there’s no point having a massive infrastructure project coming through Ashfield and the residents having their faces pressed up against it but unable to use it.

“We don’t want loads of cars going down to Broxtowe for Toton and creating huge amounts of traffic down there, what we want is for local people to be able to get onto it (HS2).

“Our proposal, working with the HS2 board, is that the Kirkby line which is already open as a mineral line from Kirkby to Pinkton to Toton would be the least impact in terms of work, with the maximum benefit.

“There wouldn’t be that much work needed to it, but it would free up 115,000 of my residents who would be able to hop on.”

“In terms of connectivity we think it would be a massive boon for local people.”

Councillor Zadrozny said the £10 million estimated cost would include electrification, and some upgrades which needed to be done to platforms and bridges.

He said they would be able to reach Toton in 15 minutes. The high speed trains are expected to be able to travel to London in 52 minutes.

A spokesman for HS2 Ltd said: “HS2 will deliver major benefits to the East Midlands.

“It is becoming integral to local plans to drive business growth, create jobs and secure investment in the area years before it arrives, particularly with the regeneration opportunities provided by the new station at Toton.

“We’re currently consulting on our Working Draft Environmental Statement which sets out our commitment to minimising the impacts of the railway during construction and operation.

“We actively encourage communities to get involved in the consultation and have their say in shaping plans for the new railway.”