Over the years, various groups have tried to get the line reopened to passenger trains, without success. The promoter of the latest reopening scheme is the Campaign to Reopen the Ivanhoe Line, a.k.a. Campaign for the Reopening of the Ivanhoe Line (CRIL; leader Geoff Bushell), whose proposal includes stations at:
The home page of the Campaign to Reopen the Ivanhoe Line website states:
We must therefore question the extent to which the proposed intermediate stations are anything more than tentative suggestions.
Proposed stations are Drakelow, Gresley, Moira, Ashby, Coalville, Bagworth & Ellistown, Meynell’s Gorse and Leicester South, a new station adjacent to the King Power Stadium and other sports stadia. We will also propose an integrated plan that interacts with bus services and makes use of park & ride facilities. Although we are primarily concerned with Burton to Leicester, once opened this line will have great potential which an ambitious operator could exploit. Although we are primarily concerned with Burton to Leicester, once opened this line will have great potential which an ambitious operator could exploit.
The Campaign for Better Transport has identified the line as a priority 1 candidate for reopening, and the Campaign to Reopen the Ivanhoe Line has made a successful bid for an award from the Restoring Your Railway Fund to progress their proposal towards the business case stage.
A major and potentially insurmountable challenge lies at the Leicester end of the line, where the junction with the Midland Main Line faces south, towards Market Harborough, rather than north, towards Leicester. The north-facing junction has been removed and cannot be restored as the site is now occupied by commercial properties.
Map credit: New Popular Edition Maps (1940s and 1950s).If trains from Burton-on-Trent are unable to run into Leicester station without reversing at Knighton South Junction or by an alternative route, the reopening scheme is probably a non-starter. The former routes into Leicester, (1) through Glenfield tunnel, and (2) along the Great Central alignment, are not feasible options. Even if they were, a new terminus in the centre of Leicester would be some distance from present Leicester station, and CRIL’s desired connection to the National Rail network at this end of the Ivanhoe Line would not be achieved.
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Source: Ivanhoe Line Stage II, Scheme Re-Appraisal, Scott Wilson on behalf of Leicestershire County Council (pdf—2009).
The future of the railway: Are we on track for a Beeching part 2? on The Telegraph website
Ivanhoe Line Stage II, Scheme Re-Appraisal, Scott Wilson on behalf of Leicestershire County Council (pdf—2009)
Leicester to Burton Ivanhoe railway line re-opening takes a step forward, on LeicestershireLive website (May 2020)
Reinstatement Of The Ivanhoe Line, on The Anonymous Widower website