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THE VOICE OF GEDLING BOROUGH SINCE 2015

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TONY CAVE COLUMN: Matlock service cancellation has impacted Carlton passenger numbers

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...

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STATION UPDATES

CARLTON STATION: This Spring I was unable to attend to the station garden, apart from pulling out weeds, but last year’s plants had seeded, so we ended up with a better display than if I had put new plants in! Being a fairly wet Summer also helped.

HS2 THROUGH CARLTON – The government are studying ways of extending HS2 from East Midlands Parkway station to Leeds. Current plans are that HS2 trains will run on conventional lines from there. Among the suggestions is to extend HS2 Nottingham services through Newark to join the East Coast Main Line; to use the Erewash Valley line through Taton and Chesterfield or to revert to the original plan of a completely new line.

BOOKING OFFICE CLOSURES

Should this go ahead, it would mean that only Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, London St. Pancras, Nottingham and Sheffield EMR stations would retain their booking offices. Locally Beeston, Long Eaton and Newark (both stations) would lose their booking offices, with staff transferred to assisting passengers at the station in some places. There have certainly been a lot of objections to this proposal.

PASSENGER NUMBERS

These are slowly increasing to pre-Covid levels and four railway companies have actually improved on 2019/20 numbers. In first place is LNER, followed by Hull Trains and Grand Central, all of which operate on the East Coast Main Line. In 4th place is EMR with numbers in the early summer up to 101%. In view of some days lost to strikes, this is all the more remarkable.

At Carlton we have lost a number of travellers who used to like going to Matlock, but now we do not have direct services and the connections at Nottingham are not good, these have reverted to their cars. It’s the most asked question, ‘Will we get the Matlock trains back?’ I have to say that there are no plans for this. We have also lost the direct hourly service to Attenborough, another place which was popular for the nature reserve. There is a 10.20 Leicester service on Saturdays which calls there, but when I have seen this train it has been full and standing. In fact, if you are going to Leicester it pays to catch the 10.06 Crewe train and change at Nottingham, as most of those on the 10.20 alight there.

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Travel patterns have changed and there is less commuting. However, leisure travel has increased to offset this and Friday and Sunday are now the busiest days. Let us hope that we see an improved Sunday service at both our stations.

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS

NEW STATION: There are calls for a new station at Clay Cross which is situated where the line from Toton joins the line from Derby via Ambergate. The original station closed, along with the other local stations between Nottingham and Sheffield on Jan 2. 1967. Since then Ilkeston, Langley Mill, Alfreton and Dronfield have all reopened.

FARE INCREASE: It has been announced that rail fares will increase from 24th March 2024, although this will be below the inflation rate.

MISPRONUNCIATION: More than 12 stations across Northern England are to be re-recorded in a bid to correct years of mispronunciation. Perhaps EMR could correct Sillerby to Sileby! although at the moment train announcements are not happening at Carlton and Netherfield.

LIFTS AT BEESTON? One or two problems of obtaining the land needed seem to have been resolved. Their local MP says the station is “one step closer” to getting lifts. The other problem was obtaining the money for the scheme, but the Chancellor announced in 2020 that Beeston was to be awarded money from the Government’s “Access for All” scheme.

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RAILWAY HERITAGE NEWS

GEDLING STATION TRANSFORMATION: A bid for lottery funding to continue the restor­ation work has been turned down. However volunteers hope to submit another lottery funding bid in October, as the National Lottery Heritage fund have given advice on how a further bid should be submitted. Recent work has included demolishing the gym, which was unsafe, turning a five-a-side football pitch into a garden space. Volunteers for the project are welcome.

BENNERLEY VIADUCT: An application has been made to construct a visitor centre and improved access to this popular walking and cycling route over the viaduct.

LOWDHAM SIGNAL BOX: Open days in September are as follows:- 9th and 10th, 16th and 17th from 2pm to 4pm. Also Tuesday evening 12th from 8pm to ·9pm. To book a visit go to www.eventbrite.com and search for ‘Lowdham’. Tor dates in October tel: 0771 807 7584 or signalbox@lowdhamstation.me.uk

CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF SKEGNESS STATION: At the end of July a celebration took place marking the 150th anniversary, with decorative bunting, balloons, children’s goodie bags, buckets and spades, ice cream, birthday cake, and a giant deckchair featuring Jolly Fisherman (Miles). Staff and students from Giles Academy created a special piece of commemorative artwork to mark the occasion.

Skegness survived the 1970 closure of lines in East Lincolnshire. I have a Great Northern Railway handbill, which I obtained through auction, which is dated June 1870 and details Saturday to Monday excursions to the ‘Lincolnshire Watering Places’ (Now known as seaside resorts). Trains departed from Nottingham London Road station, the first stop being Boston for Trieston Shore, Burgh for Skegness and Alford for Mablethorpe and Sutton,. the train terminating at Cleethorpes. It was 3 years before the line to Skegness opened. First class to Burgh was 8/- (40p) and in covered carriages 5/- (25’p).

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You can email Tony Cave for more information about the local railways at tonycavedbs@hotmail.com

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