Tony Cave: Borough train timetable changes planned for 2020

 Tony Cave: Borough train timetable changes planned for 2020
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Local train enthusiast and Carlton and Netherfield station adopter Tony Cave brings us the latest news from the borough’s railways…

Big timetable changes planned from December 2020

Contrary to what I said in my last Gedling Eye column, many timetable changes will take place in December 2020 when it is planned that Newark to Matlock services will be replaced by Newark-Derby-Stoke-Crewe services, with changes to train times at Carlton.

You have until February 15 to have your say on what train times would suit you, and any other suggestions regarding facilities etc. Your input will be important, so go to eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/december2020

For example, you might prefer trains at 07.30 and 08.30 into Nottingham or a direct train to London, all of which might fit into the proposed timetables, but unless you renuest this, EMR will see no necessity for these and any other changes, but if they receive a good response from people in Carlton and Netherfield, they may take notice.

In the past we held meetings locally resulting in at least three extra trains calling at our stations, one success was getting the 17.45 Nottingham to Skegness to call at Netherfield so that people on the Skegness line, who work in our area, had a return train. Netherfield ought to have much better services for the many people who travel in to work from stations on the Grantham line, and those who live locally and work east of Netherfield, which would also reduce road traffic and pollution.

Gedling Borough Council had consultants to look at train services from Netherfield, and their conclusion was that there should be a minimum of 15 trains a day calling there. This ought to be in the new franchise, but it cannot be guaranteed, although additional peak time Nottingham to Grantham and return trains are in the new franchise, which gives us hope!

Don’t miss this opportunity as people using the other EMR stations will also be requesting more trains.

Trains from Nottingham to London St. Pancras will improve in December 2020 with earlier and later trains and up to 10 minutes shorter journey times at peak-time.

Carlton Station news

On Wednesday, November 13, we reached another milestone in the number of passengers joining the 08.08 to Matlock. I could see there were a lot waiting, so I double checked and as the train rolled in it was 48, but when the barriers came up, two more ran across making 50. On the five weekdays (week ending Nov 22) 183 joined the 08.08am which compares favourably with 151 in 2018.

More statistics: the same week the 08.02 to Newark had 17 on and 23 off compared to 11 on and none off in 2018, whilst the 08.19 to Lincoln had 28 on and 18 off compared to 24 on and 23 off in 2018. For both trains the totals were 86 in 2019 and 58 in 2018. I think it proves that a regular half hourly service is needed.

One final statistic, the 09.05 to Matlock on Monday, December 16 had 27 join and 2 alight, which I think is another record.

December timetable changes: The 17.21 Nottingham to Lincoln (Mon-Fri) now departs at 17.26 and Carlton 17.32. The 10.54 to Newark (Mon-Fri) now leaves at 10.56. The 10.08 to Matlock (Mon-Fri.) now leaves at 10.06. The 17.08 to Matlock leaves at 17.09 (Mon-Fri). The 17.26 from Lincoln now departs 17.30, Newark 17.59, Carlton 18.26. (Newark 17.58 and Carlton 18.24 Sats.). 14.17 Sun. Lincoln to Nottingham departs 14.23, Newark 14.54 and Carlton 15.22.

Midland Mainline trains will be improved in 2020

Lincoln Christmas Market: There were 12 extra trains to and from Lincoln on Saturday, December 7 and I saw 10 of these extras, plus 20 regular services out of the 45 trains to call at Carlton on that day. 251 passengers joined and alighted those 30 trains compared to 213 on 31 trains in 2018. Quite a number went direct from Nottingham so they got a seat, but returned to Carlton. Only 2 trains were full and standing at Carlton, but many 5 and 7 coach trains called at Carlton. Even the 11.24 to Nottm had room, but it was 5 coaches.

Engineering work: Sat. 1st & Sun. 2nd February. Replacement bus service between Nottingham and Newark. Sat. 14th & Sun. 15th March. Replacement bus service between Newark and Lincoln. Always check when travelling at weekends.
From 2nd January fares increase by 2.7% rounded to the nearest 10p. Carlton to Nottingham off peak single is £3.10. Anytime day return £4.70. Off peak return £3.20. Carlton to Newark £6.40 single. Anytime day return £7.10. Off peak return £6.90.

Netherfield Station news

Engineering work is planned on Sunday, January 12 when Nottingham to Skegness trains will run between Nottingham and Sleaford and Boston and Skegness, with bus replacements from Sleaford to Boston. On Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 bus replacements will run on Nottingham to Skegness trains between Grantham and Sleaford.

In other news…

The last minute is now two minutes earlier: Midland Mainline trains leaving London St. Pancras station now have their doors closed two minutes before the actual departure time.

When I was young, the main clocks at stations were always set two minutes fast so that people would hurry up and be sure to catch their train. There are 2 timetables on the railway, the Public one which you see and the Working one which railway companies use. This includes timings at junctions and other passing points etc.

The working timetable can also show different timings to the public one, for example an 07.43 departure could be 07.45 in the Working timetable so no one should miss the train.

I have always thought it would be useful at Nottingham for trains departing from platforms 2 and 4, as it is a 3 minute walk from the concourse, but I don’t think it is used much nowadays as it adds 2 minutes to the perceived journey time. Having said that, some trains are in fact timed to arrive in Nottingham up to 12 minutes after leaving Carlton on what is usually a 6 or 7 minute journey, so if the train is 5 minutes late at Carlton it arrives Nottingham on time.

Annual station usage figures for 2018/19: These will now be published on January 14th

New parkway: The new Worcestershire Parkway station is due to open ‘in the New Year’. Nottingham to Cardiff trains will call there and Worcester to Paddington trains, as it is located where the two lines cross. Further information can be found at crosscountrytrains.co.uk/worcestershireparkway

200th anniversary of the Mansfield to Pinxton railway: Plans have been put together and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exhibition at Nottingham Central Library in Angel Row, to show the evolution of the railway and celebrate its 200 year history. Sorry I don’t have any details of exhibition dates

My moan…

Peak-time fares at Carlton and Netherfield are higher than from Beeston, which is also 3 1/4 miles from Nottingham. Their single fare to Nottingham is £2.40 and Anytime Day Return is £2.90.

This anomaly goes back to pre-privatisation days when there was insufficient capacity on early morning trains from Carlton, so the fare was more or less doubled and a peak morning train ceased to call – ‘problem’ solved.

It has left us with an uphill struggle to have trains reinstated, and Netherfield still suffers. After we complained a few years ago, the fares were reduced slightly at peak times. Fortunately the Robin Hood ticket (formerly kangaroo) was introduced, but we have still lost potential passengers.

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