Nottingham Tram - phase 1 route

Status
Not open for further replies.

bluenoxid

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2008
Messages
2,275
Has anyone got any background into why the route for phase 1 of Nottingham tram was chosen particularly the route south of Wilkinson Street. Do any parts of this section follow any former railway lines?

How many redevelopment/property demolitions and road layout changes were required?

Most modern light rail UK systems tend to follow former/existing rail formations, which NET phase 1 does north of Wilkinson Street.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

geoffk

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2010
Messages
2,057
I'm not local to Nottingham, but I assume to serve a Park & Ride site at the Forest and Nottingham Trent University, and better penetration of the city centre than the train offers.
 

Robertj21a

On Moderation
Joined
22 Sep 2013
Messages
7,188
Has anyone got any background into why the route for phase 1 of Nottingham tram was chosen particularly the route south of Wilkinson Street. Do any parts of this section follow any former railway lines?

How many redevelopment/property demolitions and road layout changes were required?

Most modern light rail UK systems tend to follow former/existing rail formations, which NET phase 1 does north of Wilkinson Street.
I don't recall many changes to the roads were necessary and little demolition (can't recall any offhand). It was designed to serve a number of key places on the way to the city centre, using existing roads.
 

Master Cutler

Member
Joined
23 Jan 2021
Messages
139
Location
Mansfield
Radford Road through to Hockley Lace Market doesn't follow any previous rail routes, but the line picks up the old GCR south of Weekday Cross and crosses the Midland Station on a reinstated GCR overbridge.
The old GCR city centre lines being taken over by the Victoria Centre car parks and shops.
Part of the city centre tram route may follow older tram lines.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
There was an idea of using the old GCR tunnels under the city, with a tram stop somewhere underneath the Victoria Centre. But it was rightly decided this was a solution in need of a problem. As well as all the difficulties of running in tunnel, the tram would miss most of the places in the city centre where people wanted to go.
 
Joined
11 Sep 2020
Messages
26
Location
Derby
There was an idea of using the old GCR tunnels under the city, with a tram stop somewhere underneath the Victoria Centre. But it was rightly decided this was a solution in need of a problem. As well as all the difficulties of running in tunnel, the tram would miss most of the places in the city centre where people wanted to go.
I always thought they missed a trick here, not having at least a branch to the Vic centre. But I suspect costing and demand had a major influence on this. I mean, a station could be placed somewhere near the current Lace Market stop for city centre but you are quite right, it would have meant a walk of a quarter to mile to Old Market Square and missing off Trent uni entirely. Perhaps one day a branch will be added to Victoria centre but I suspect the cost of restoring the tunnels would take some justification!!
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
I always thought they missed a trick here, not having at least a branch to the Vic centre. But I suspect costing and demand had a major influence on this. I mean, a station could be placed somewhere near the current Lace Market stop for city centre but you are quite right, it would have meant a walk of a quarter to mile to Old Market Square and missing off Trent uni entirely. Perhaps one day a branch will be added to Victoria centre but I suspect the cost of restoring the tunnels would take some justification!!
I'm not sure if the trams could have made the route the buses take - the turn right then left to get into George Street are probably too tight and George Street itself may be too narrow for double track (currently one way with frequent parking by delivery vehicles). Having got there they could probably have run along Parliament Street then turned right after the Theatre Royal to join the actual route.

I think the more recent expansion of Royal Centre parking and the "new" bus station (now 10 years or so back) included a protected alignment for a tram ramp down the eastern side to go into the old railway tunnel northwards.
 
Joined
11 Sep 2020
Messages
26
Location
Derby
I'm not sure if the trams could have made the route the buses take - the turn right then left to get into George Street are probably too tight and George Street itself may be too narrow for double track (currently one way with frequent parking by delivery vehicles). Having got there they could probably have run along Parliament Street then turned right after the Theatre Royal to join the actual route.

I think the more recent expansion of Royal Centre parking and the "new" bus station (now 10 years or so back) included a protected alignment for a tram ramp down the eastern side to go into the old railway tunnel northwards.
Oh no, absolutely they couldn't. I was thinking of taking the tram under Lace Market to Victoria Centre and having an underground station with an entrance alongside the multi-storey carpark on Fletcher Gate. I think the cost of re-commissioning the tunnels would be prohibitively expensive. Though it would be fantastic to be able to exit into Victoria Centre without having to walk through the crowd of smokers...

I couldn't help but think of this during a trip to Lille - when one exits the Lille Tramway at Lille Europe or Gare Lille Flandres it is from a submerged station. Amazingly, one can go straight from the tram to the metro and a direct entrance into the large Eurolille mall between the two stations! This type of interchange is rare in the UK but I was rather impressed by it in Lille!
 

WatcherZero

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2010
Messages
9,646
Doesnt seem to be much information online as to why Nottingham Council & Nottinghamshire Council chose this particular route as their first line, only that the scheme was aimed at tackling road congestion and urban decay along the route.
 

ChrisC

Member
Joined
7 Oct 2018
Messages
682
Location
Nottinghamshire
Doesnt seem to be much information online as to why Nottingham Council & Nottinghamshire Council chose this particular route as their first line, only that the scheme was aimed at tackling road congestion and urban decay along the route.
The fact that a large part of the Line 1 route, from Basford to Hucknall, is along the route of the then recently reopened Robin Hood Line made it a relatively easy and less expensive route to launch a tram system with. That was definitely a reason given when people questioned why this route competing with a newly reopened railway, when other large parts of the city were less connected. The small branch as part of Line 1 to Phoenix Park was also constructed along the route of a former rail track.
 
Joined
11 Sep 2020
Messages
26
Location
Derby
Has anyone got any background into why the route for phase 1 of Nottingham tram was chosen particularly the route south of Wilkinson Street. Do any parts of this section follow any former railway lines?

How many redevelopment/property demolitions and road layout changes were required?

Most modern light rail UK systems tend to follow former/existing rail formations, which NET phase 1 does north of Wilkinson Street.
I suspect it was taken on using roads that had capacity to accommodate the tram's route. Hence the splitting of the route through Hyson Green - the Victorian streets would not be able to accommodate a double tracked system should anything go wrong.

As for connectivity, I will speak speculatively here, NET passes from Wilkinson St. to Hyson Green which is a) an area of deprivation that needed investment so a tramlink would encourage more commuters to move here who work in the city, and also is an area where many students live who attend Trent uni so a big market. It then passes to one of the largest parks/public event spaces in the city - the Forest and then on to Trent uni and city centre. Connecting to the station is logical. I suspect that there was negotiation between the university and the city in terms of picking the route. I suspect also that a desire to encourage re-development of Hyson Green played a part. It is not the area of deprivation that it once was since the tram has connected it to the city. (This being said, it is still an area of substantial deprivation - I guess it will take many years to turn this tide).

As for South of the City (phase 2), the route to Clifton takes an approximate alignment with the old GC which is an effective re-use of an old trackbed. The Beeston extension really doesn't make a lot of sense to me aside from running the route down roads with large capacity. But effectively very few people travel between Meadows Way West and NG2. The tram runs alongside the A52 outside the uni and along an area that was formerly grassland - this is useful as it becomes quasi-light rail here.

If I had a go at planning the route myself, I would run from QMC to the station via Castle Boulevard. Maybe even closing Castle Boulevard as a public thoroughfare and making it tram only. Then have a connection through the station to the south of the city. But, what's done is done now!
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
I suspect it was taken on using roads that had capacity to accommodate the tram's route. Hence the splitting of the route through Hyson Green - the Victorian streets would not be able to accommodate a double tracked system should anything go wrong.

As for connectivity, I will speak speculatively here, NET passes from Wilkinson St. to Hyson Green which is a) an area of deprivation that needed investment so a tramlink would encourage more commuters to move here who work in the city, and also is an area where many students live who attend Trent uni so a big market. It then passes to one of the largest parks/public event spaces in the city - the Forest and then on to Trent uni and city centre. Connecting to the station is logical. I suspect that there was negotiation between the university and the city in terms of picking the route. I suspect also that a desire to encourage re-development of Hyson Green played a part. It is not the area of deprivation that it once was since the tram has connected it to the city. (This being said, it is still an area of substantial deprivation - I guess it will take many years to turn this tide).

As for South of the City (phase 2), the route to Clifton takes an approximate alignment with the old GC which is an effective re-use of an old trackbed. The Beeston extension really doesn't make a lot of sense to me aside from running the route down roads with large capacity. But effectively very few people travel between Meadows Way West and NG2. The tram runs alongside the A52 outside the uni and along an area that was formerly grassland - this is useful as it becomes quasi-light rail here.

If I had a go at planning the route myself, I would run from QMC to the station via Castle Boulevard. Maybe even closing Castle Boulevard as a public thoroughfare and making it tram only. Then have a connection through the station to the south of the city. But, what's done is done now!
It was explicit at the time that NET would avoid major radial roads, which was the mistake they made in Sheffield (albeit that they had few alternatives there). The Forest is also a park and ride, though having one so close to the city centre is a bit questionable.

Interesting thought about Castle Boulevard, but it couldn't have been closed completely because there's no other access to premises along it, and it's not wide enough for more than one access lane plus tram lanes each way. The western bit remains an important through traffic route. And I think it would have been very difficult to serve the railway station via Castle Boulevard without some major structure in the Broadmarsh area. All in all the recent cycle superhighway is probably the best idea (using the only flat route westwards out of the city).
 

SCH117X

Established Member
Joined
27 Nov 2015
Messages
1,153
It would be interesting if there was elevational details of the Clifton route compared to the that of the GC. There must be a location where both accord as the tramline climbs from its ground level to cross over a lowered Ruddington Lane on the level and then descends sufficiently to pass under the A52 with the overhead whereas the GC was on an embankment that merged into normal ground level (or below it) and passed under Ruddington Lane as well as what is now the A5w
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
It would be interesting if there was elevational details of the Clifton route compared to the that of the GC. There must be a location where both accord as the tramline climbs from its ground level to cross over a lowered Ruddington Lane on the level and then descends sufficiently to pass under the A52 with the overhead whereas the GC was on an embankment that merged into normal ground level (or below it) and passed under Ruddington Lane as well as what is now the A5w
The industrial estate off Ruddington Lane was formerly a brickworks with a siding off the GC, so I suspect ground level in that area would be the same as the local GC rail level. On the NLS map the GC it transitions from embankment to at-grade just where it crosses the stream just south of Compton Acres stop, and goes into cutting about where it now starts rising up to cross Ruddington Lane.

 

RH Liner

Member
Joined
31 Jan 2021
Messages
88
Location
Rainworth
The fact that a large part of the Line 1 route, from Basford to Hucknall, is along the route of the then recently reopened Robin Hood Line made it a relatively easy and less expensive route to launch a tram system with. That was definitely a reason given when people questioned why this route competing with a newly reopened railway, when other large parts of the city were less connected. The small branch as part of Line 1 to Phoenix Park was also constructed along the route of a former rail track.

The Robin Hood Line was the loser in this though, because the tram line considerably lengthened the single track section of the RHL, thus curtailing any hopes of ever upgrading the RHL line itself. We all know the problems of being delayed waiting for a late running train in the opposite direction to come off a single line section.
 

ChrisC

Member
Joined
7 Oct 2018
Messages
682
Location
Nottinghamshire
The Robin Hood Line was the loser in this though, because the tram line considerably lengthened the single track section of the RHL, thus curtailing any hopes of ever upgrading the RHL line itself. We all know the problems of being delayed waiting for a late running train in the opposite direction to come off a single line section.
If ever the Robin Hood Line does need to be upgraded in the future, which I doubt it will be, this could be achieved by restoring the double track immediately north of Hucknall Station towards Newstead. There must be at least 3 miles of track there which could be doubled and that would more than restore the limitations brought about by the tram construction south of Hucknall.

On some of the early plans, before Line 1 of the Nottingham Tram was constructed, there was an option in the future to actually extend the tram line north of Hucknall. There is a huge housing development now being started north of Hucknall, to the west of the Robin Hood Line between Linby and Newstead. The plan suggested the tram line followed the Robin Hood Line to just north of Linby and then ran into the new housing development. I think it was originally going to be a development of 1,500 houses but this has now been reduced to about 800. A few years ago the road bridge at the north end of Hucknall Station was strengthened and almost rebuilt, and the space underneath, where the tram would have run was filled in. It looked a very permanent job.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
If ever the Robin Hood Line does need to be upgraded in the future, which I doubt it will be, this could be achieved by restoring the double track immediately north of Hucknall Station towards Newstead. There must be at least 3 miles of track there which could be doubled and that would more than restore the limitations brought about by the tram construction south of Hucknall.
The question is whether providing extra double track here would allow extra services. It could be that trains scheduled to pass on this section would have to pass the next train on one of the other sections that remained as single line.
 

ChrisC

Member
Joined
7 Oct 2018
Messages
682
Location
Nottinghamshire
The question is whether providing extra double track here would allow extra services. It could be that trains scheduled to pass on this section would have to pass the next train on one of the other sections that remained as single line.
I agree. With the current timetable and line speed, doubling the line north of Hucknall would achieve very little apart from perhaps allowing a little more flexibility in the event of late running. Not worth the enormous expense.
 

cnjb8

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2019
Messages
1,812
Location
Nottingham
There was talk of a Gedling extension but I'm not sure where that would connect to the current network, maybe at that corner just before Lace Market? Certainly would need a new depot to take the new trams if it was built.
When does Nottingham Tramlink's tenure end?
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
There's some information here about a current extension proposal from a junction just south of the station bridge to a Racecourse park and ride, which could later continue to Gedling or across the river to Gamston.

Tram extension plan released with route to Nottingham Racecourse included in proposals - Gedling Eye

The line would split in the Meadows near Nottingham Railway Station before heading East, past Meadow Lane then through the Cattle Market and yet-to-be-built Waterside development.

It would then continue along Daleside Road, ending at the Nottingham Racecourse park and ride.
 

mwmbwls

Member
Joined
14 Dec 2009
Messages
577
Do you see this as a final or interim destination? What sort of mileage or should that be kilometre-age is involved?
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,776
Location
Nottingham
The article mentions possible extension to Gedling. It's only a couple of miles out to the racecourse, then an unremunerative but easier to build section through to Carlton/Netherfield where there would be a difficult structure to get over the railway and onto the old Gedling branch.

Other possible extensions are from Clifton P&R a short distance to the new development at Fareham Pastures, and to Toton HS2 station.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top