August upgrades: spotlight on Derby

The Derby area is undergoing its biggest railway improvements in decades.

Journeys to and through Derby station will improve thanks to reduced bottlenecks. This will enable faster and more efficient passage of rail traffic.

What are we doing?

We’re delivering the improvements via the Derby Resignalling programme - a £200m project to upgrade the track and signalling system at Derby railway station. It forms part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade on the broader Midland Mainline, which runs from Sheffield to London St Pancras.

The works, which are scheduled to run for 79 days until Sunday 7 October, will coincide with significant upgrades across the network over the August bank holiday weekend.

How are we improving Derby?

Derby station itself was modernised in 2013 but the existing track layout has not been improved since it was installed nearly 50 years ago and is nearing the end of its operational life.

Regular maintenance has kept the station performing well since the 1960s, but with passenger numbers doubling over the past 20 years, the Derby Resignalling programme represents a once in a generation opportunity to replace and upgrade infrastructure.

Replacing the signalling alone was not an option, since having new signals on a track layout that is nearly 50 years old would not enable the full potential of the new equipment to be realised.

Work well underway - south of Derby station in July

The upgrade includes:

  • 17km of new track, laid in a new configuration
  • 55 of new straight post signals, nine new signal gantries and 79 sets of points
  • 150,000 tonnes of new ballast
  • 240 engineering trains that will bring new materials and remove waste materials from the site

Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “This major engineering project… will bring a more efficient, reliable and modern network fit to meet the needs of the economies and communities our railway serves.”

Watch the animation below to find out more about the project.