Friday, December 14, 2018

News: Off the rails - usage down in Rotherham


2017 saw the lowest level of usage at Rotherham Central station in nearly ten years.

Undergoing a £10.4m redevelopment and re-opening in 2012, data published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) shows that the estimated number of users has dropped to 604,032 in 2017-18. A near 100,000 reduction from the high of 718,082 seen in 2014-15.

Rotherham Central Station opened in 1987 and is located on a branch line constructed to serve the new station. Previously Rotherham's main railway station was located in Masbrough, and was served by mainline railway services. However, Rotherham Central was considered a more convenient location due to its proximity to the town centre.

Following the redevelopment, work has continued to introduce new platforms and facilities for the £100m+ tram-train project that connects Sheffield, Meadowhall, Rotherham and Parkgate.


2017 saw Network Rail demolish and install a new bridge at Rotherham Central as the previous one did not have enough room for the overhead lines which power the innovative tram-train vehicles.

College Road closed for 18 weeks to Friday August 18. A temporary footbridge was installed to allow pedestrians to access the town centre from Masbrough.

The figures cover the period between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018 and the estimates of station usage consist of the total numbers of people travelling from or to the station.

In 2008-09, usage was an estimated 650,118 which rose steadily to 711,724 in 2012-13. 2014-15 saw a high of 718,082 but this declined to 689,540 in 15-16 and 690,734 in 16-17.

Usage at Swinton, also in Rotherham has remained between 390,000 and 400,000 over the last four years.

A much delayed project, tram trains began servicing Rotherham Central in October and should boost usage. The SYPTE, Northern Rail and Network Rail have been working together on the pilot project which was first announced in 2009. Securing Government funding, the aim of the project is to help determine whether tram-trains can run in other parts of the country.

Three services operate an hour, travelling on the Supertram network between Sheffield Cathedral and Meadowhall South and utilise a new section of track at Tinlsey, which links the tram line to the rail line. Vehicles use the national rail network between Tinsley and Rotherham Parkgate via Rotherham Central station, filling in the gaps in the Northern Rail service.

Images: AHR Global


Anonymous,  December 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM  

The disruption caused by the new bridge won’t have helped the usage, it will be interesting to see what the figures will be when the tram train has been up and running for twelve months!

Anonymous,  December 17, 2018 at 1:27 PM  

Hardly a surprise really - cost of trains have rocketed over the past couple of years. Add to the mix additional ways of being access places such as Sheffield via the X1 and tram-train and it's easy to see why.

What I'd love to know is why the last buses from Rotherham leave before the last train arrives?

Anonymous,  December 17, 2018 at 6:26 PM  

Would help if Rotherham had mainline services,even airport service would be a start!

Rod December 18, 2018 at 12:59 PM  

This station should never have been built; I speak as of one of the 13 or so (yes a mere THIRTEEN) people who officially objected to the closing of Masbrough back in 1987. This is more shocking when the town had 69 councillors and 3 (labour) MPs at the time...

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