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Kirkby-in-Ashfield East Railway Station 1965
Kirkby-in-Ashfield East railway station just after closure in 1965. Photo Source: David K Dykes
Stage 6

Midland Station

The Midland Railway line from Nottingham arrived at East Kirkby in October 1848, the first trains started running on Goose Fair weekend that year. The station remained open for regular passenger trains until 10th October 1964 when the Nottingham to Worksop trains finished running following the Government’s 1963 Beeching Report which led to the closure of many railway stations throughout the country.

 

Midland Station

Nottingham bound train about to leave Kirkby-in-Ashfield station at Station Street in the early 1960s

Steam trains pulled passenger carriages throughout the station’s 116-year history, until 1964 when the first main-line diesel trains arrived at Kirkby Loco Sheds. By the mid-sixties, cars were becoming more affordable which contributed to the demise of local rail travel. After the closure of Midland Station in 1964, an unadvertised Chilwell Depot worker’s train continued to carry passengers until September 1965.

Kirkby Railway Crossing

Level crossing on Station Street at Kirkby Station Junction in the early 1970s.

Coal trains from local collieries continued to use the line through Station Street for a few years after passenger trains finished in 1964. As road traffic congestion started to increase at the level crossing gates on Station Street, in 1972 it was decided to reroute the Kirkby railway line to its present location near the former Kirkby police station, where it goes under a road bridge instead of requiring a level crossing.

Footbridge

People crossing the Station Street footbridge in the early 1970’s after passenger services to the station had ended. A colliery diesel train can be seen approaching. Photo Source: Arthur Upchurch Jnr.

In the 1950s and 60s, when the level crossing gates started closing to allow a train through, pedestrians would use a footbridge, allowing them to cross the railway line and get to work on time. Cars other vehicles would wait for trains to pass until the level crossing gates opened again. Sometimes it would be a long wait if two trains passed in both directions. This gave youngsters a chance to stand on the footbridge directly over passing trains. As these were steam trains, the spectators would be engulfed in plumes of smoke as they passed by.

In November 1995, Stage 2 of the Robin Hood Line linked Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse. And a year later, on 18th November 1996, Kirkby-in-Ashfield station opened and restoring regular rail passenger services to the town after a gap of thirty-two years. The reinstated railway lines helped people find work further afield after the decline of local industries such as coalmining and textiles.

Robin Hood Line

Robin Hood Line opens at Kirkby-in-Ashfield Station in November 1996.

Trail complete