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Tony Cave Column: Level crossing upgrades now complete

Our resident train expert Tony Cave shares the latest news from our local railway…


Off peak fares on Mondays to Fridays are available after 08.59 from Carlton, except to Leicester where the ‘cut-off’ time is 09.15. I have taken this up with East Midlands Trains (EMT) as someone suggested it hadn’t changed since the time we had a Leicester train at 09.23am.

From Netherfield the time is 08.44. On Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays there are no restrictions. Carlton and Netherfield tickets are valid to use at both stations. For example, travel from Carlton and return to Netherfield and vice-versa.


Carlton: There are no changes to the current weekday timetable and the 21.20 from Nottingham to Lincoln still has to wait four minutes at Carlton, so missing a connection with the Skegness train at Nottingham. Saturday.

There will be three extra trains on Saturdays.There will be a direct train to Lincoln departing 09.28 and arriving Lincoln at 10.18. It calls at Lowdham, Fiskerton, Newark, Collingham and Hykeham, An additional return train from Lincoln at 15.26 calling Carlton at 16.19. Also the 19.26 Leicester to Lincoln departs Nottingham 20.36 calling at Carlton 20.36.

Netherfield: No changes. Radcliffe get five more trains on Monday to Friday.


As far as I can tell, there are no extra trains from Carlton. 08.19 is the last through train before the 17.27. However you can catch the train to Nottingham and then get the through hourly trains from there at no extra cost. Mostly 8 mins past from Carlton (Matlock train). Return trains leave Lincoln direct to Carlton at 16.34, 17.26, 18.35, 20.31, 21.40 and 22.26.

Saturday: Extra direct trains from Carlton. All should be seven-car Meridian trains. They will depart from Carlton at 09.12am,11.14am, 12.39pm, and 13.57pm. Trains will depart from Lincoln at 14.58pm, 17.16pm and 18.59pm. The last train from Lincoln to Nottingham will depart at 20.45pm. The 13.55 Newark train is retimed to 14.03pm. A Sheffield to Lincoln High Speed Train (as used on London services) will depart Nottingham around 10.30am. On the seven-car trains, only 4 coaches will fit Carlton platforms, so on return make sure you are in the front part of the train. Fares are £11.30 off-peak return (£12.50 on the 08.19 Friday). Group travel tickets will not be available to Lincoln.


Thank you for e-mails received. Sorry I don’t always reply as I have limited access to a computer.

Any relating to Netherfield trains are forwarded to the Netherfield co-ordinator for Gedling Borough Council and also EMT. If you use Netherfield station, or would do if more trains called there, please let me know, as EMT need to know if there would be a demand for extra trains.


“I found your newsletter on unit 156.401 performing the 08.36 Matlock-Newark service on 19 October. That was day two of my UK visit….” This was from a German tourist on his first trip to Matlock. He moved from the UK 45 years ago to work for BR International.

The chairman of the Friends of the Derwent Valley Line (FDVL) was handed a copy of the newsletter whilst travelling to Newark. He wrote: “.Having been impressed by its wide coverage, it has been copied to a few other FDVL members, including our contact at Derbyshire C.C.”


It’s a summer morning and as the Skegness train approaches, a father says to his children, “Now you must behave yourselves on the train.” His little daughter, about 3 or 4 years old, looked worried and said, “Can we talk?”


Normally the service winds down after 20.30pm on December 24 and resumes on December 27 with a normal weekday service. There are no trains on 25th and 26th Dec.

Saturday, December 31 again sees trains winding down after 20.30pm and resuming on New Year’s Day which is a Sunday.

Monday, January 2 will be a normal weekday service at Carlton and Netherfield. As it is a quiet time for travel between Christmas and New Year, some railway companies offer discounts and suspend peak-time fares, so it is worth checking the websites of train companies to see what is on offer. Remember there will be a small increase in train fares at the beginning of January.


Most of the work was completed by November 6 on the £48 million investment in signalling, with the abolition of 4 signal boxes and 2 gate boxes, replaced by 7 new level crossings (includes Bleasby crossing upgrade).

Signalling has transferred to East Midlands Control Centre in Derby. As always there were ‘teething problems’ and this, combined with leaf fall causing poor rail conditions, delayed some of our trains. Hopefully it should now settle down and our usual quite reliable train service be restored.

It is expected Lowdham, Fiskerton and Staythorpe boxes will pass into private ownership. Fiskerton Junction is protected from demolition, whilst the ground floor at Newark Castle box contains equipment for the new crossing. However, upstairs may be boarded up.


Two posters have been put up at Netherfield to direct potential customers to Carlton station for ‘frequent services’ to Nottingham, Derby, Matlock, Newark etc. with a map giving the walking route between the two stations. The same information is now online. For example Carlton depart 08.18am to walk to Netherfield for the 08.33am to Nottingham. It should make people aware that there are two stations close together.


On October 18, Network Rail managers were monitoring the crossing and talking to pedestrians to see if they had any issues with its operation. The crossing is operated manually from Derby and checked via CCTV. If you do find you aren’t able to reach the other side before the barrier stops you exiting, the advice is to wave your arms so the signaller will see you and raise the barriers again. I have seen this happen when a stray dog was trapped inside.


Work has commenced to ‘refresh’ trains used on our services, starting with the class 158’s. They are to be brought up to Persons of Reduced Mobility specifications meaning additional wheelchair space, upgraded toilets, additional luggage space, fitting USB ports and a smart system enabling passengers to be given messages about any delays etc. The first one to be upgraded is 158783 (the number is on the front under the window).


Nottingham, Lowdham, Beeston and Newark Castle are among 58 EMT stations to have received the stamp of approval for safety and security under the Secure Stations Scheme.

Ilkeston station is now due to open in Spring 2017. Work is taking place at a fairly rapid pace and the train times will be shown in EMT leaflet No.2 and Northern timetable 33 from December and ready for when it does open

MP’s Mark Spencer and Robert Jenrick are pushing for the extension of the Robin Hood line to Ollerton, also saying the service ought to be extended in the opposite direction to Bingham to relieve congestion on the A52 road. That of course would include Netherfield.

Quite often people get the wrong platform at Carlton, and some think there is only one platform for both directions as they do not see the other platform further down the line. It occurred to me that a sign opposite saying ‘Nottingham platform’ with an arrow pointing down the line, would help, with the same for passengers on the Nottingham side platform having a sign saying ‘Newark platform’, and arrow pointing east.


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