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Railhub Archive
1998-05-21 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Rail Regulator allows closure of Sinfin branch

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Office of the Rail Regulator

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Rail Regulator allows closure of Sinfin branch

21 May 1998
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Press release

note ORR/98/17

John Swift QC, the Rail Regulator, today gave his consent to proposals by the Franchising Director and Central Trains Limited to close two stations, Sinfin North and Sinfin Central, near Derby, and to discontinue all passenger services from those stations and on the line between Melbourne Junction and Sinfin.

The Regulator gave careful and detailed consideration to the proposal and to all the comments he received from members of the public and a report on the impact of the proposed closure from the Rail Users' Consultative Committee for the Midlands. He concluded on balance that he should give consent to the closure of the stations.

In doing so, he took account, in particular, of the current low level of usage of the service, the costs that would be involved in continuing to operate the railway service even at its present level, and other factors relating to physical access to the stations.

He noted the concerns of objectors and the RUCC for the Midlands about the future potential of the route as a public transport corridor. When passenger services were introduced on the Sinfin branch in 1976, the intention was that the line should be extended beyond the Sinfin industrial estate to Chellaston. The extension to Chellaston did not materialise but objectors argued that it remained a viable option in the longer term.

The Regulator believed it would be reasonable to take account of this possibility in the decision. The RUCC for the Midlands and objectors, including the City of Derby Council, expressed concern that future closure of the railway line could frustrate local transport developments and re-instatement of rail services. Railtrack had not proposed the closure of the line itself, which would continue to be used for freight services. Therefore, he judged it appropriate to attach a condition to his consent which was designed to ensure that the two station platforms cannot be demolished without his approval for a period of ten years from today. This would ensure that station infrastructure exists if any party wished to re-instate passenger rail services on the Sinfin branch within that period.

The Regulator's decision is also subject to the condition that Central Trains Ltd may not withdraw the present substitute taxi service, which has fewer than seven users on each day that it runs, without first giving four weeks' notice.


On 6 November 1997 the Rail Regulator received notice from the Franchising Director of a proposal to terminate the use of Sinfin North and Sinfin Central stations and to discontinue all passenger services from the stations and on the line from Melbourne Junction to Sinfin. The proposal was to take effect from or after 24 May 1998. The current service to Sinfin North and Sinfin Central stations as specified by the Franchising Director is just one round trip from Derby per day. This service has operated in the form of a taxi since September 1993 because the obsolete signalling system on the branch is not compatible with modern rolling stock. The Franchising Director considers that the cost of upgrading the signalling equipment and increasing the level of service does not represent good value for money.

The Regulator received 65 objections to the proposed closure by 6 January 1998, at the end of the objection period. He received ten further representations after that date.

The RUCC for the Midlands held a public hearing in Derby on 23 February to assist them in their assessment of the proposal. In their report to the Regulator the RUCC concluded that the reinstatement of the rail service did not represent good value for money. However, they recommended that the network should be preserved for ten years and the Regulator has used this recommendation as the basis for the condition attached to his consent.

Notice of the Regulator's decision is being placed at the following stations: Sinfin North, Sinfin Central, Peartree, Derby, Burton-on-Trent, Duffield, Belper, Ambergate, Whatstandwell, Cromford, Matlock Bath and Matlock. A copy of the Regulator's decision has been placed on his public register and can be inspected on any working day between 10.00 hrs and 16.00 hrs at the Office of the Rail Regulator, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London EC1N 2ST. Requests for copies of the decision should be addressed to Sue MacSwan, Librarian, at the above address, tel: 0171 282 2001.

Any person aggrieved by the Regulator's decision may refer it to the Secretary of State by giving notice in writing, including a statement of the reasons why he or she is aggrieved. Any appeals should be made no later than 18 June (i.e. within four weeks of the date of the Regulator's decision) and should be addressed to: c/o Paul Hogg, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Zone 3/33, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR, facsimile no. 0171 676 2156.

Operators must obtain the Regulator's consent to any proposals to close stations or if they wish to withdraw all the passenger services from any line or from any station. Any proposal to close a station is advertised in the press and there is an opportunity for any person to lodge an objection with the Regulator.

Railhub Archive ::: 1998-05-21 ORR-001


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