Nottingham railway station reopens after huge fire

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Media captionThe building has been evacuated and trains were cancelled on Friday

Nottingham railway station has reopened following a huge fire that police say is being treated as arson.

At its peak 10 fire crews were tackling the blaze, which began at about 06:30 GMT on Friday.

Flames were seen coming from the station roof and smoke filled the foyer, prompting the building's evacuation.

The station reopened at 04:45 on Saturday and East Midlands Trains said many services would run as normal.

In a tweet, National Rail confirmed it had been deemed safe to reopen five of the seven platforms.

Jake Kelly, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said the fire had "clearly resulted in significant damage to the station", although emergency services and structural engineers approved the reopening.

"While we will be able to run many of our normal timetabled services, there will continue to be some disruption in the next few days," he added.

Deputy managing director of East Midlands Trains, Kirsty Derry, said because of the fire damage traveller services at the station are limited.

"Obviously it is safe but there are no toilet facilities, no catering facilities and people will not be able to have step-free access.

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Image caption Repairs are expected to take "months"

"The main ticket hall, because of the impact on our IT, is not opening. We are happy to accept people who are taking reference booking details with them."

Anyone requiring step-free access is advised to travel from Derby.

Image copyright Nottingham Fire and Rescue
Image caption Nottingham Fire and Rescue tweeted a picture from inside the station

Part of Nottingham railway station built at the start of the last century is listed but that section escaped the worst of the damage, for which Ms Derry is thankful.

"I can't praise their efforts enough really. The historic part, the listed part, is in really good condition. It is the newer part that opened in 2014 that has caught the brunt of the damage really," she said.

She added it is not yet known how long it will take to repair but "we are talking months rather than days and weeks".

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Image caption Parts of Nottingham railway station have been boarded up following Friday's fire

Passengers are being advised to check the latest travel information before travelling to the station.

The fire, which damaged the main concourse roof and toilets, caused major disruption to services on Friday.

It took 60 firefighters to bring the blaze under control and the station remained closed for the rest of the day.

Supt Sandra England, from the British Transport Police, said there were no reports of injuries as a result of the fire.

"We now have reason to believe the fire may have been started deliberately," she said.

Incident commander Bryn Coleman, from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue, described the operation as "difficult and protracted" and said the fire was believed to have started in a toilet.

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Image caption Nottingham railway station was evacuated on Friday morning
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Image caption Parts of Nottingham station remained cordoned off on Saturday

East Midlands Trains said it had put alternative travel plans in place for several services on Saturday, including queuing arrangements at the station for safety.

Thousands of football fans are expected to travel to and from the city with Nottingham Forest due to play Aston Villa at home at the City Ground on Saturday evening, while Notts County face Lincoln City away.

The station has recently undergone a £50m redevelopment, incorporating a new tram bridge, including the restoration and upgrade of its Edwardian Grade II-listed front building.

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