Tony Cave Column: Record breaking passenger numbers at Carlton in April

 Tony Cave Column: Record breaking passenger numbers at Carlton in April


No changes to train times in the May timetable, but on Sundays from May 20 to September 9 there is an additional 10.14 from Skegness, 12.18 at Netherfield.

The first bi-monthly edition of the Poacher Line News has been issued giving details of events on the Nottingham to Skegness line, with an upcoming events section. The website is AN RAF Family Day on May 31 at Heckington Mill and Radcliffe Station Summer Fete on June 9 are just a couple of items listed.


The only alteration to the May timetable is that the 21.30pm to Lincoln now departs at 21.28, so instead of 4 mins. it only has 2 mins. to ‘twiddle its thumbs’ at Carlton! However we have lost a Sunday summer train. The 16.56 Lincoln to Nottm no longer calls at Carlton.

One change is that timetable 8 (Lincoln to Leicester) has been reinstated and table 3 now only covers Nottingham to Matlock. Currently No.3 timetable covers both routes. It may be in connection with the alterations at Derby in the summer. Table 3 shows times at Newark and all Newark-Matlock trains and return call at Carlton. Table 8 shows Derby and Matlock times so you can work out which trains from Carlton go through to Matlock and return.

Francis organised a site meeting with Rob Mercer of East Midlands Train (EMT) and Vernon Coaker MP on April 13, so they could see the state of the car park surface. It was agreed that work needed to be done to stop water collecting, making some parts unusable. A “community day” will now be arranged to spread chippings over the affected areas, and to trim vegetation.

As you will have noticed, more people are using the trains throughout the day. Whilst we were in the car park (see above) there were nine people waiting for the 12.08 to Matlock and seven for the 13.08 (we were not in the car park all that time). On Wednesday, April 18 we broke three records. 42 joined the 08.08 to Matlock, 21 joined the 09.05 to Matlock and 95 on and off the five trains between 08.02 and 09.05. On Saturday, April 14 18 adults and 12 children joined the 10.07 to Matlock. I am hoping to see some of the early trains now the weather is improving, to see how they compare with last autumn. After Newark, Carlton seems to be the busiest station, so I am informed by reliable sources. Incidentally, the 11.24am Saturday Lincoln to Leicester service continues to be full and standing most weeks. It’s best to use the 11.08 from Carlton and change at Nottingham.

London Trains from and to Nottingham

From May 20 off-peak departures from Nottingham will be at 12 (was 05) and 45 (was 32) minutes past the hour. However, up to and including the current 08.32 to St. Pancras will remain at more or less the same time as now. From London at 34 (was 15) and 05 (was 29) minutes past. Details at

Local timetables are available in Carlton Library, St. George’s Centre, Fox and Hounds Public House (Tea room) and Dawn Book Supply, 5 Station Road (Mon & Fri only).


Lincoln Station improvements

Work continues to upgrade the station as part of a £2million improvement scheme, which includes restoration of the Grade 2 listed building, reopening original archways, restoring ground floor sash windows and repairs to original brickwork.

Ticket gates will be installed in a new location to help improve the flow of passengers to and from trains. Longer term plans into the 2030s as train services increase, are that an extra platform may be provided. From May 2019 there is to be a direct two-hourly service to Kings Cross, replacing the current one train each way per day.

I always wonder why the station is still called Lincoln Central, when the other station in Lincoln (St. Marks) closed over 30 years ago. Even when using the help point to check on a train to Lincoln, the person at the other end said “Is that Lincoln Central?”. For example, Nottingham Midland is now just Nottingham. Perhaps there is a logical reason.

Outdated infrastructure

Newark has a claim to fame by having the last flat crossing (where the Nottingham to Lincoln line is crossed by the East Coast Line) on the main line network, and Network Rail does not like it. The official wording is “an outdated piece of in-frastructure”. They would like it replaced with a flyover, but it is in a very difficult place, close to the river and A46 Newark bypass. This would make the incline too steep for freight trains on the Nottingham to Lincoln line. They are very heavy trains because the line is fairly level. Other routes have been tried, but none are as suitable. In the 1980s a plan was put forward to terminate the line from Nottingham at Newark Castle and run the Nottingham to Lincoln trains via Bottesford and Lowfield into Newark Northgate and on to Lincoln. The freight only line via Lowfield closed in 1987. Now there are more trains on the East Coast line and still further planned, so there is no room for a second train each hour from Lincoln to Nottingham. All are agreed, something has to be done.

Derby Station upgrade of track and signalling (July 22-Oct 7)

All the information can be found at A separate Derby resignalling timetable will be available. Trains will run as usual from our local stations, but travelling to or through Derby will be affected.

News in brief

During 2016/17 railway passenger journeys rose by 5.4% in the west Midlands, 3.4% in the East Midlands (us!), but declined by 1.1% in London.’

Midlands Connect is a pan-regional transport partnership which has called for greater investment in the regions railways. One aspiration is for the East Midlands Hub station at Toton to be built in the 2020s, ahead of HS2, for use by National Rail services

Gedling Station buildings – Someone is interested in taking it over and retaining the original buildings. Friends of Gedling Station

British Car Auctions at Netherfield is undergoing major development which will allow it to introduce a new enhanced sales programme with up to five sales a week. Already this brings a good number of visitors by train to our 2 stations, and delivery drivers who travel to their next assignment.

26-30 years Railcards – all 10,000 available were soon snapped up

Newark –  whilst major Severn-Trent water work is taking place a free shuttle bus runs every 15 mins. from 06.30-19.30 (Mon-Sat) with stops close to both railway stations

Notts County Show – this is taking place at Newark Showground on May 12th & 13th. In previous years a free bus has run, but unable to do so this year.

The Derby Nottingham Metro strategy which calls for closer economic and political links between the two cities, also embraces local Councils including Gedling. This could have a positive impact on public transport

May 7th and Spring Bank Holiday – a normal train service will run locally.

Tony Cave

1 Comment

  • Great job, Tony! Keeping these trains going and busy!

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