Ilkeston Station rebuilt 50 years after Beeching cuts

Former Ilkeston Junction and Cossall station, 6 March 2015
Image caption The station is being built on the site of the former Ilkeston Junction and Cossall station

Work has begun to demolish and rebuild a railway station 50 years after it was axed in the Dr Beeching cuts.

Campaigners and the area's MP have argued Ilkeston in Derbyshire is one of the largest towns in the UK without a railway station.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visited the site on Friday and said trains will be running through there within 12 months.

Work had been delayed because of great crested newts and flooding concerns.

The station should have been open by last Christmas, and the Transport Secretary questioned whether newts should have delayed it so much.

"The truth of the matter is it seems that nearly every site we start work on, that's got any water or anything like that, we find the great crested newt," said Mr McLoughlin.

"I don't wish the newt any ill at all, but I don't think it should delay us to the length that it has delayed us on this site."

Image copyright Bought in perpetuity
Image caption Erewash MP Jessica Lee said the station will boost visitors to Ilkeston and increase employment

Ilkeston once had three railway stations, but the last one closed in 1967 as a result of the Beeching Report, published in 1963.

The new £9.6 million station has been part-funded from the government's New Station Fund.

It will provide direct, hourly connections to Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield.

The main building work is expected to start in the summer, once any remaining newts have been trapped and relocated.

Image caption Great crested newts are protected by law

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