Looking forward to 2017

2017 is set to be another positive year for proposed railway stations and lines. There are a number of developments that will add to the 2,560 railway stations already open on the rail network. Four railway stations are set to open during the year. The second round of the New Stations Fund is set to be announced early in 2017, providing an important injection of cash towards proposed schemes. City deals are expected to be agreed and formalised commencing work on further stations and lines.

Construction of major schemes will continue. Crossrail works will proceed ahead of opening in 2018 as will the Northern Line Extension to Battersea.

Heritage Railways are continuing to expand. Swanage to Wareham is expected to commence regular operation during summer 2017. The GWSR is continuing its Broadway extension works with the hard work from volunteers driving towards a 2018 opening date. The GCR are anticipating that their Bridge to the Future project will commence during 2017.

Finally, the light rail network continues to expand. Works are expected to start on the Manchester Metrolink extension to the Trafford Centre. Work continues on the Tram Train route between Sheffield and Rotherham.

The four railway stations that are expected to open in 2017 are listed below:

Quarter 1 2017

  • Ilkeston

Spring 2017

  • Cambridge North
  • Low Moor

Summer 2017

  • Kenilworth

Review of 2016

When we began 2016, there were a number of proposed railway stations and lines that were set to be completed by the end of the year. Whilst the year has been reasonably successful with five railway stations, a number of projects have been postponed to 2017. 
Successful openings

Coventry Arena – Along with Bermuda Park, this railway station opened on 18 January 2016. Although it has been subject to controversy due to the lack of rolling stock to accomodate passengers after events at the arena, the station attracted nearly 12,000 passengers in its first few months of operation.
Bermuda Park – this railway station also opened on 18 January 2016. Just over 2,000 passengers used the railway station in the first few months of operation.
Lea Bridge – this railway station opened during the evening of 15 May 2016.
Kirkstall Forge – this railway station opened on 19 June 2016.
Edinburgh Gateway – this railway station and Edinburgh tram stop interchange opened on 11 December 2016

The year has also been successful for reaching major milestones for many proposed rail stations. This has been pushed in part by the New Stations Fund round 2 announcement, which has moved a number of projects to update the relevant documentation. Other funding options have triggered the start date for the construction of projects including Trafford Centre Metrolink extension. The short-medium term shows that the appetite for building new railway lines and stations has not abated. However, it is showing a worrying increase in costs and timescales that are affecting the delivery of proposed stations without central government support. 

Looking forward to 2016 – proposed railway stations and lines 1

Following on the heels of an exciting year for rail reopenings with twelve railway stations joining the national rail network, 2016 is set to see ten railway stations join the national rail network as well as infrastructure enhancements that will create new rail services. Five stations that were expected last year are expected to join the network during the first half of 2016.

Kirkstall Forge

Almost ready to open, Kirkstall Forge is expected to be opened in the first quarter of 2016. It will join the recently opened station at Apperley Bridge on the railway line between Leeds and Shipley. It has been constructed as part of a major development in the area. It will initially be served hourly by trains travelling between Leeds and Ilkley.

Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park

Understood to be ready to open, these railway stations are expected to be swift additions to the railway network during the first quarter of 2016 following a number of delays. The planning issue with regards to a mini roundabout at one of the railway stations has been resolved.

Low Moor

Located between Bradford Interchange and Halifax, Low Moor is expected to open during summer 2016. Construction commenced on site during autumn 2015. The station is expected to be served by at least one train per hour and it is understood that Grand Central has requested permission for it to stops its trains at Low Moor.

Cambridge North

Construction commenced on this three platform railway station during early 2015 and it is expected to be completed in late 2016.

Edinburgh Gateway

Construction commenced on this railway station during mid 2015 and it is expected to be completed in late 2016.


Following a number of false starts, construction has commenced on Ilkeston railway station. The station is expected to be completed in summer 2016.

Lea Bridge

Following a number of delays, construction commenced on this railway station during mid 2015. There were issues with the work raised by a number of operators but this has been resolved and the station is expected to open during spring 2016.

Marsh Barton

The contract for this railway station was awarded in September 2015 and work is expected to begin in early 2016.


The intention is to open Kenilworth railway station in December 2016. Clearance work has commenced.

Tram Train Tinsley Chord

Following the approval of the Transport and Works Act Order in November, work is expected to be completed in late 2016 to facilitate the operation of Tram Trains to Rotherham.

Swanage Railway link

The first trains are expected to use this link in June 2016.

Second City Crossing update

The expansion of Manchester Metrolink continues with the construction works to deliver a second city crossing. The new route will provide additional capacity for additional services on certain key routes. I walked the route to get a pictorical update on 2nd September 2015.

The route starts at Manchester Victoria where works have been undertaken to expand the station to handle more passengers and create the northern junction for the second city crossing.

Tram lines will dominate this area near Manchester Victoria as the lines separate.  
This photo shows the rapid progress being made on the northern section to the new tram stop at Exchange Street.
  This shows the site of the stop at St Peter’s Square where the stop is being fully rebuilt.
Fewer sections of track have been installed on the section south of Exchange Street.
  The new Exchange Street tram stop is making rapid progress ahead of its expected opening this Winter