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TONY CAVE: New franchise improvements just the ticket for Gedling rail users

Read the latest news from our local railways

New franchise winner announced

From August 19, Abellio UK will run the ‘new’ East Midlands franchise. Currently they hold the ScotRail. Greater Anglia West Midlands and Merseyrail franchises. Stagecoach who currently run East Midlands Trains, appear to have lost out due to problems with Pensions, and not for any majo problems with running trains, as most services are fairly reliable with the resources they have.

East Midlands Railway will be the name from August 19. This is one of the new franchises where there will be greater collaboration between Network Rail., who are responsible for the track and infrastructure, and East Midlands Railway (EMR) who will run the trains and manage stations on their network’.

There will however be no noticeable changes for a while, with the same, staff as now, but Abellio UK have said they will invest £600 million in improvements to trains and stations, and also be responsible for delivering smart ticket options, a £9.4 million investment in commercial and customer ‘service improvements and hundreds more car parking and cycle spaces at stations. Also an improved compensation for delayed trains and improved wi-fi on trains.

Latest news on Carlton Station

There are no changes to the basic timetable from May 19, but a few trains are altered by a minute or two, so if you are “a last minute person, these are the affected trains. Monday to Friday eastbound. Nottingham depart 08.51, 11.51, 12.50, 14.50, 16.50, 18.51. Saturdays 06.53, 08.54, 10.54, 11.53, 12.49, 14.50, 15.51. Carlton depart Mondays to Fridays 12.56, 16.56, 18.56. Saturdays. 06.59, 09.00, 11.00, 15.57. Westbound Mondays to Fridays. Newark depart 17.04, 22.54. Carlton depart 18.22 21.17,18. Saturdays. Carlton depart 06.37. Lincoln depart 17.26 and Newark 17.54. It is also to be noted that trains leave Matlock and stations to Ambergate one minute earlier, mostly at 36 minutes past the hour from Matlock.

A meeting was held in Nottingham on April 1 with the Department for Transport (DfT) ,and local stakeholders to look at the problem of overcrowding, particularly on the 17.21 Nottingham to Lincoln train. I have not heard whether anything will be done before the new franchise commences There is a planning application to turn the former car showroom against the station into a gym.

A person alighting from a train from Newark and going to the Richard Herrod Leisure Centre on Foxhill Road said to me “They told me there wasn’t a station at Carlton, but I knew there was.”

Latest news on Netherfield Station

There are no changes in the new timetable from May 19, apart from on Sundays when between May 19 and Sept 8 there is an additional Skegness to Nottingham service calling at 12.18.

Off peak return to Skegness is £24.80 and valid on the 08.51 train during summer months from May 20.

In the last few months the pathway at the side of the railway line from Manvers St. to Ashwell St has been restored ‘to its former glory’, having been widened and with improved lighting. ‘It is hoped the new pathway will provide a safer and cleaner access route for pedestrians to and from the railway station’. All we need now are more trains calling at the station, and this should happen in the new franchise.

Regarding the proposed development on the Colwick side of the railway line, this has been delayed owing to the proximity of the Total oil plant. However this plant is closing this summer and decommissioning should be completed by the end of the year. Plans for this derelict site and the oil depot were to provide up to 1,000 jobs. Sainsburys say they are ‘still interested in opening a store’. Meanwhile the first residents of the planned 830 homes development on Teal Close have moved in. It has now been named Rivendell as a nod to the area’s links with JRR Tolkien (he visited his aunt’s farm in Jessops Lane, Gedling), and the Lord of the Rings.

Events easily accessible by our local train services

Newark Festival is to be held between June 14 and 16. In previous years, late trains have run on Saturday and Sunday evenings to Carlton, so check nearer the time. Sunday is the free family day. www.newarkfestival.co.uk

READ MORE:  Plans submitted for 100 extra parking spaces at Gedling Country Park

Southwell Racecourse has installed new LED lights to allow night time racing, of which 13 are planned this year and the number of meetings increased from 53 to 60. Rolleston station is conveniently situated for the racecourse

For details of special events and regular train times on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Duffield station see their website trains2wirksworth.co.uk

For Peak Rail at Matlock station their email is peakrail@peakrail.co.uk

Events such as Model Rail exhibitions, antiques fairs etc. take place at the Round House, Derby which is a ‘stones throw’ from the station.

Major developments planned for Nottingham Southside

Major developments are taking place in the vicinity of Nottingham station and others are proposed. These include two new Government office blocks at Unity Square with a capacity of up to 7,000 workers. Nottingham College building on Canal Street is due to open in 2020. Crocus Place has been earmarked for a Grade A office development of 100,000sq ft. Broad Marsh shopping centre redevelopment. Sites to provide 1,000 apartments within a 1/4 to 1/2 mile of the station are in the planning stage. Redevelopment of the Boots Island site (40 acres), plus 4 small office developments including Bhatia Best and City Buildings on Carrington St. and there is the potential for many more people using Nottingham station. Add to this housing developments in Bingham, Radcliffe, Netherfield and Gedling and the railway ought to play a key role in providing environmentally friendly transport. —–

News in brief

Bank Holidays May 6 & 27: Local trains run to a normal weekday service and off peak fares are valid all day with no peak restrictions

Robin Hood Line: There is now strong support for the extension of the Robin Hood Line to Ollerton. Supporters include Notts. County Council, local MP’s and Midlands Connect. This would boost access to jobs and tourism sites like Sherwood Forest. The DfT say “The new operator of the East Midlands franchise will be required to submit a business case to the Secretary of State for the possible extension of the Robin Hood line from Shirebrook to Ollerton

Viaduct resurrected: Bennerley Viaduct near Awsworth is to be brbught back into use as a public footpath for walkers and cyclists. This was part of the Great Northern Railway, used by trains from Grantham to Derby Friargate via Netherfield. Also on the same line as Gedling station. Funds have been secured for refurbishment with a target opening date at the end of 2020

Annual report: The Poacher Line annual report for 2018 has just been published, listing the many events that have taken place along the Nottingham to Skegness line. poacherline.org.uk Twitter @poacherline

Smartcards: East Midlands Trains aim to complete the roll out of Smartcards on all routes this summer

Engineering work: This will affect London St. Pancras services on May ll & 12th, and between 28th May 28 and June 2. Details are available on eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/mhr2019

Station revamp: A major refurbishment at Lincoln Central station is now complete.

Increase: Passenger numbers on the railway network are continuing to increase and it is estimated that 20% less young people are learning to drive than a few years ago. Pollution is a big issue nowadays and earlier in the year a number of City leaders went to London to make a plea for green transport. Bi-mode (electric and diesel) and even tri-mode trains are being developed, with the Midland Main Line having bi-mode trains in a few years. From 15th May bi-mode trains will be operating on the East Coast main line from Kings Cross to Leeds via Newark Northgate. These are known as “Azumas” built by Hitachi.

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