The call for Ripley to re-establish a link to the national rail network as discussed in the Ripley & Heanor News September 17th is not a new one.
For those of us with not so long memories this was proposed at the beginning of 2011 by CES Group Partnership who were going to obtain funding from the European Union,
Their vision to reopen the line was in three stages with stage two leading to the reinstatement of Ripley station.
However the plan failed after the project leader was summoned to court in Ireland and the existing line between Little Eaton and Street Lane was lifted during July/August 2011. Local comments made at the time stated that the railway was not needed as there was a perfectly satisfactory bus service, but this is not much good when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic and you’re trying to get to work in/or home from Derby.
Also a member of the local council considered the plans to be not much better than a toy train as the majority of the line would be single track however most of the small branchlines in the UK are single track but with electronic token signalling to prevent accidents, e.g. Looe in Cornwall. The new 35 mile Scottish Borders Railway has a significant proportion of single track in its length but with passing loops to allow bidirectional running.
My own opinion is that at the least the option of reinstatement of the railway should be considered and study completed not only for passenger transport but for freight.
Sidings could be planned around the Denby Hall industrial estate to pick up potential freight traffic in the local area. And just think for passengers wishing to travel to the continent all it would need we be two train changes, one in Derby and the second at St Pancras International. Next stop Paris etc. Definitely food for thought!