Nottingham railway station reopens after fire

Jamie Grierson
About 60 firefighters tackled the fire at Nottingham train station. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Nottingham station has reopened after it was damaged by a huge fire as police hunt for those responsible for the suspected arson attack.

About 60 firefighters tackled the blaze, which started at 6.30am on Friday and spread to the main concourse and roof but did not cause any injuries.

The British Transport Police and Nottinghamshire fire and rescue service launched a joint investigation on Friday, saying they had “reason to believe the fire may have been started deliberately”.

East Midlands Trains (EMT) said many services would run as normal on Saturday, although some disruption would continue because of the fire, which caused “significant” damage.

Thousands of football fans were expected to travel to and from the city on Saturday as Nottingham Forest play Aston Villa at home and Notts County face East Midlands rivals Lincoln City away.

The rail operator said it had put alternative travel plans in place for several services, including queuing arrangements at the station for safety.

Passengers were advised to check the latest travel information before they went to the station, which reopened at 4.45am after emergency services and structural engineers deemed the building safe.

Network Rail said five platforms could reopen for the start of service on Saturday, but two would remain closed.

National Rail Enquiries said the station had reduced facilities, including no lifts, no step-free access and no toilets.

EMT’s managing director, Jake Kelly, thanked the emergency services for their “brave and professional response” to the fire.

“Thankfully, it appears that no one has been injured. We will continue to support the investigation into the cause of the fire and would ask anyone who may have any information to contact British Transport Police.

“While we will be able to run many of our normal timetabled services, there will continue to be some disruption in the next few days as a result of the fire.”

The transport minister, Jo Johnson, who visited the station on Friday, said: “I saw for myself the hard work of the emergency services, East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to control the fire and keep passengers safe and informed. It’s a real testament to their efforts that they expect to run a majority of services today.”

The Grade II-listed station was built in the mid-19th century and refurbished in recent years.