A major fire at Nottingham Railway Station helped to contribute to a bad day for services on Nottingham Express Transit, and this time around there could be no blame attached to NET. Both the Chilwell and Beeston lines didn’t see any trams at all until 1400 on Friday 12th January with the stop at Nottingham Railway Station remaining closed all day along with the station itself. But this was not the only incident which caused disruption as the day had started with a Police cordon on Waverley Street even before trams could get through the city centre.
The operating day had started with a road closure because of a Police incident, which was later found to be due to an earlier robbery. Waverley Street close to the Nottingham Trent University stop had been closed from the early hours of the morning after a man who was being detained by the Police became unwell. It is believed that the man was being detained in connection with a robbery and after a taser was used he became unwell. A Police officer was also injured in the incident. A 500 metre cordon was placed around the incident and this meant that when trams came to leave depot at the start of service they were unable to travel any further south than The Forest with no trams able to get into the city centre or beyond. This meant that early services would only run from The Forest to Phoenix Park/Hucknall.
The road was reopened shortly after 1115 and this allowed trams to be extended as far as Old Market Square but they were unable to travel any further because of a major fire at Nottingham Railway Station which led to the station to be closed and the surrounding area in another cordon.
Of course Phase Two of NET actually travels over the top of the railway station which meant this was well and truly within the cordon preventing trams from running to Toton Lane and Clifton South. As for the fire it was first reported at 0625 and at its height had 60 firefighters in attendance. Local reports have suggested the fire started in a toilet before spreading into the concourse. The British Transport Police are investigating the cause.
The fire had been brought under control by the early afternoon which enabled through trams to resume from around 1400. Although they were able to travel to Clifton South and Toton Lane they were not stopping at Nottingham Railway Station as this remained closed to allow investigations to continue.
Throughout the disruption there was ticket acceptance on NCT buses to allow passengers to continue their journeys across the city.
Fortunately it appears that no-one was injured as a result of the devastating fire however there seems to be significant damage to the railway station which will likely take a long time to repair and for everything to get back to normal with delays on the trains highly likely for several days to come. As for the trams it is expected that the Nottingham Railway Station stop will remain closed until the investigation is completed and the station reopens to the public.
**Update: Saturday 13th January** The stop of Nottingham Railway Station reopened from the start of services on Saturday 13th January although all passengers had to access the stop via the old Station Street entrance as part of the railway station remained closed (only platforms 1-5 reopened with 6 and 7 still closed)