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TONY CAVE COLUMN: Track trespasser causes havoc for Carlton train passengers

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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CARLTON & NETHERFIELD STATION UPDATES

Saturday, January 20 was a fine day but with a biting cold wind. I was rather taken aback when the 10.05am to Newark ran for the first time in over two years, and it was three coaches! All I can think is that engineering work meant that Crewe trains were terminating at Blythe Bridge and there was a spare train. Anyway, one person joined at Carlton. We also had an 11.05am to Blythe Bridge and four adults and a child joined and there were a number of people on the train. These trains haven’t run since.

On the same day, as the 10.07 was about to leave for Blythe Bridge, a young woman came on the platform, so I asked if she wanted the train. She said ‘no’, so I thought she was going into the shelter, but she kept walking, and I had to catch her up and say she couldn’t go beyond the end of the platform. She turned round and walked back to the exit, but then crossed the road on to the other platform. This time I could not persuade her to stop walking onto the track, so I ‘phoned through on the emergency green button on the help point to the police, as I don’t have a mobile phone. She continued walking towards Stoke Lane, and I was glad to see that the 10.20 to Leicester had stopped at the signal. I went back to platform 1 to advise the two passengers waiting for the train, what the problem was. Then the civil police arrived and said the person had been apprehended. Then came the British Transport police and a Network Rail manager. Unbeknown to me the driver of the 10.07 train had seen what was happening and stopped his train to contact Control, as he was a little worried about the situation, as he lost sight of me after I left platform 1. You never know what the person intends to do, so safety comes first. The line was reopened at 10.38 and the 10.20 train left 21 minutes late with both waiting passengers having missed their onward connections. If you see anyone trespassing on the railway or causing damage, you know the three words beginning with the letter ‘S’.

Talking to the Network Rail manager he said he came from Matlock and his wife was a Station Adopter there. I said to him that we missed the direct trains to Matlock. He said he thought they were coming back, but as the saying goes, ‘don’t hold your breath!

I seem to have got into a pattern of seeing trains from the 08.43 to Grimsby until either the 10.04 or 11.05 on weekdays and 10.07 until the 12.04 on Saturdays. Weekend trains are quite busy, and the 10.20 to Leicester can be completely full. It makes a difference as to which football teams are playing locally, and some Saturday trains are now 4 coaches. Four coaches will fit on platform 2, but only 3 on platform 1, so usually just the first 2 coaches can be accessed at Carlton on platform 1. I was glad to see that the 10.20 was four coaches on 24th February, so everyone had a seat. Hoping to see some earlier trains when the weather improves.

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About twice a week I find passengers waiting on the wrong platform. One morning a young mother and her 2 small children were on platform 2 at 09.55. I asked if she was waiting for a train and she said ‘yes’, she was going to Birmingham. There was time to cross to platform 1. In conversation she said she had come from New Ollerton, and had been dropped off at Carlton. Now I know Carlton has a large catchment area, including Arnold and Mapperley, but this must be a record. Possibly floods had stopped them going to Newark. Fri. 16th Feb. 16.02 to Newark had 1 on and 17 off.

Regarding the ticket machines at each station, which show times of the next 4 trains and if they are on time or not. Sometimes they haven’t been updated for some hours and they show all trains on time. So look when it says it was last updated. Most nowadays can check on their ‘phones, but if you don’t have one you can always speak to a person by pressing the blue button on the help point.

CAR PARK: Work is due to start in early March to tidy up and improve the car park so that more vehicles can park there. As far as I know the car park will remain open for use whilst the work is taking place. Actually commenced 28th February.

NETHERFIELD: Danny keeps his eye on this station and I have been getting there more often. On February 21, 6 joined and 8 alight, some of whom had to put their ‘plan 13’ into operation as there was disruption on the Lincoln line that afternoon.

NOTTINGHAM TO LINCOLN SERVICES

This report was in the February issue of ‘The Railway Magazine’. It was a question asked in Parliament by Lord Bradshaw, enquiring what discussions the Department for Transport (DfT) was having with East Midlands Railway (EMR), about restoring pre- pandemic levels of service between Nottingham and Lincoln. Lord Davies replied:- The DfT is working closely with EMR to reintroduce services which were removed in June 2021. Last May, six weekday services and eight Saturday services between Leicester and Lincoln via Nottingham were reinstated. End of quotation. So, I hope it means the missing trains between Nottingham and Newark will return from June 2, when the Summer timetable commences. EMR now has more trains, so there is hope.

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BRIEF ENCOUNTERS

Work has commenced on a multi-million-pound project – set to last for 6 months – to upgrade Beeston station. Two new lifts will be installed for step free access. Disruption to passengers will be minimal, but a temporary diversion will be in place when going from one platform to another, which will be signposted Meanwhile Network Rail are working on Luton station, replacing canopies on platforms 1 & 2 and installation of a footbridge and 3 lifts to make the station fully accessible by Spring 2025

A new station opened last December at Brent Cross West. It is served by Thameslink Trains between St. Pancras International and Bedford, with up to 8 trains an hour at peak times The Bedford to Bletchley line train service is back in full operation after the Vivarail Trains on the line had to be withdrawn when the firm went into administration. To help revive customer numbers a special

A £1 fare offer is in operation until mid May

Most regulated rail fares will rise by 4.9% from March 3

Hereward Line and the Fens: A 10 minute film of the line with drone and in-cab footage is available to view https://vimeo.com/878284535/ e66842b473?share=copy Funding for this from EMR and a Third Party

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Engineering work: Saturday and Sunday 9/10th March, early morning trains on the Grantham and Lincoln lines could be affected. Check before you travel.

LOCAL RAILWAY HERITAGE NEWS

Francis advises that they are hoping to have a lottery grant approved soon, as work continues to bring Gedling station buildings back to life, to be used as an asset to the community. EMR are also helping through their Community Development Fund, which is used for projects in their area of operation. EMR are proud of local heritage, and as of January 2024, 43 projects had been funded, one being Forecourt and Car Park improvements at Newark Castle station. This scheme also often attracts third party funding, as it benefits many people in the area.

Pennerley Viaduct between Awsworth and Ilkeston, and which was used by Grantham, Netherfield, Nottingham Victoria and Derby Friargate trains until September 1964, and by freight until May 1968, is now a footpath and cycle route. A visitor centre has been approved, which will include a car park. education space for local schools, an exhibition centre, cafe and toilet facilities. Also a raised cycle and pedestrian link on the eastern (Awsworth) side of the viaduct. Land next to the site has been chosen as a preferred site for large industrial units over the coming years amid demand being at an “all-time” high: It has the advantage of being located adjacent to a railway line, the disused spur which served Bennerley coal disposal site. The development will be carefully designed because of its proximity the viaduct. Incidentally the other preferred site is Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Tony Cave, a dedicated train station adopter for Carlton and Netherfield, has been actively involved in sharing updates and insights on the local railways through his columns in Gedling Eye. His work not only includes caring for the stations but also advocating for improved services and providing valuable information to passengers. For instance, in the aftermath of disruptions caused by infrastructure work and weather events, Tony has been a go-to source for updates and assistance, offering detailed advice and even helping passengers navigate schedule changes and station queries.

    In one of his columns, Tony emphasized the importance of community feedback during consultations run by East Midlands Railway, urging passengers to voice their needs for more trains at Carlton and Netherfield stations. This initiative highlights the significant role that community engagement and feedback play in shaping railway services and improvements.

    Moreover, Tony’s efforts extend beyond just logistical support; he also contributes to the aesthetic and functional upkeep of the stations, showcasing a deep commitment to enhancing the commuter experience. His insights into timetable changes, service improvements, and even technical issues with station equipment reflect a comprehensive approach to station adoption, blending practical support with strategic advocacy for passenger benefits.

  2. Why can’t they make netherfield accessible for disabled people and families with pushchairs,? I know a lift would be out the question, but why not a long ramp,like at some stations,as there is plenty of room to install one.

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