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TONY CAVE COLUMN: Book in advance for Skegness train trips

Tony Cave is a train station adopter who looks after Carlton and Netherfield. He also provides Gedling Eye readers with the latest news from our local railways...



There was no column last month owing to my mother requiring additional help after breaking her ankle in April, and also having to travel to the QMC hospital twice a day for a fortnight to visit her, after which she returned home but needed more care. She died on June 6 aged 100 years and six months. I was actually able to take her to see the ‘LOCO’ REMEMBERED event at the Crossing Social Club on March 4, which she enjoyed. During the war she worked in the District Manager’s office at Nottingham Victoria station as a shorthand typist. She worked with Harold Mather who became the last Yard Master at Colwick.


If you are travelling to Skegness between 9th July and 9th September, EMR advises that you book in advance to ensure a seat. This year there are no larger trains to help alleviate the problem as HSTs and class 180s used on London services weekdays have now left East Midlands Railway (EMR). Two extra Saturday trains will leave Nottingham on Saturdays 22nd July until 9th September inclusive at 08.22 and 09.47 returning from Skegness at 11.42 and 13.27. Queueing systems will be in place at Nottingham and Skegness, with pre-booked ticket holders able to join a fast track queue. Otherwise, you may have to wait until you can join a train. Another request is that you take one bag per person.



21st May to 9th December 2023

The only changes at Carlton are on Mondays to Fridays when the 19.41 to Lincoln and 22.25 to Nottingham are re-instated and Saturdays the 08.53 and 19.37 to Lincoln are back running.

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Elsewhere all the Leicester to Lincoln and return trains are again running and the Nottingham to Matlock service runs to and from Nottingham every hour apart from the first 2 in the morning which start at Derby. Off-peak Matlock trains call alternatively at Attenborough or Spondon. The hourly Saturday Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse trains are re-introduced at 08.00 then 08.59 and hourly until 17.59 from Nottingham and return from Mansfield Woodhouse.


Midlands Connect is asking the Department for Transport for £l8 million to upgrade the line to allow 75mph running instead of 50mph it is now. However, I believe some stretches between Newark and Lincoln are already passed for this speed. It would allow for reduced journey times between the two cities.


The ticket machine on Platform 2 usually shows the next four departures from the station, but when the sun is shining on it in the morning, the screen fades and you cannot see what is displayed. Incidentally, I had an e-mail back in March from EMR Communications Manager in response to a person who booked tickets online but could not collect them from the machine at Carlton. ‘I wanted to let you know that you can collect a ticket from a Smart Kiosk if you book online, you just need to have a Smart Card to add it to. You can’t collect Ticket on Departure (TOD) tickets, but you can collect EMR Smartcard tickets purchased online….’

Another little gripe! A Crewe to Newark train can be reported as cancelled when there is a problem with the train before it reaches Nottingham. However, quite often a train is started up from Nottingham to run in its place to Newark. This happened with the 08.58 to Newark on 12th June. It was announced as cancelled, but a passenger waiting to go to Mansfield via Fiskerton said it showed 2 entries on his ‘phone, one cancelled and one shown on time for the same train. Lo and behold at the expected time the barriers came down. A Lowdham passenger had walked into Netherfield, but I managed to see her so she could run across when the barriers were raised. It’s a pity the information cannot be programmed to show a train is running when it should, as at other stations along the line passengers would be making alternative arrangements which were unnecessary. It also puts them off travelling again.


It has been announced that the new headquarters of this organisation will be at Derby. Revenue growth is the main aim in the GBR plan by looking at simplified ticketing such as making single fares more competitive with the aviation sector. London North Eastern Railway is already introducing single tickets only, priced at half the return fare.

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Boost your wellbeing – travel by train! People who walk, cycle and travel by train are at reduced risk of ‘early death when compared with those who commute by car, a study published in the LANCET


Work continues on the electrification of the Midland Main Line, so there are timetable changes on some weekends. Also a ‘bus replacement on the Norwich services between Peterborough and Norwich on 22nd and 23rd July. Always check before you travel.


BENNERLEY VIADUCT. An exhibition is being held at the D.H.Lawrence Museum in Eastwood from 8th June until 22nd July.

GEDLING STATION. Work continues with help from grants for the restoration of the station buildings. Francis was at the Gedling Gala held on 1st July, so you may have been there to get the latest news.

LONDHAM SIGNAL BOX. NG14 7HH. A chance to get hands on in a signalbox. Open days have been arranged for July 9th 1pm to 4pm and Tues. 18th 8pm to 9pm. Sun. 13th August 1pm-4pm and Tues. 22nd 8pm-9pm. Further dates or to book your visit go to and search for ‘Lowdham’.

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  1. Thanks for that as usual. It will be interesting to see how EMR will enforce the one bag rule on Skeggy trains. Some people seem to take their complete wardrobe and the kitchen sink with them. Also the luggage allowance in the national conditions of carriage allow free luggage for two cases plus a small bag ( if memory serves). Bring back luggage cars!


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