Normal service resumes – almost
My last morning visit to the stations was on Tuesday, March 17 and it wasn’t until Saturday, June 20 that I returned. Since then I have only managed an hourly Saturday morning visit, apart from a couple of ‘site meetings’ with an EMR Community Ambassador.
My home commitments now restrict my time at the stations, but hope to include a few weekday early morning ‘attendances’.
I was surprised to see how well the garden had fared, as we were unable to set any summer bedding plants, but a few from last year have reappeared, and it hasn’t looked too bad with still a good show of colour. Plants have survived through the dry spells, without any watering, although the planters have suffered.
So, what has happened on the railway since March…
A reduced train service has been operating, but from September 7 around 97% of pre-lockdown services will run, so always best to check before travelling.
Face coverings are now mandatory on all public transport and in stations which are enclosed.
Cleaning has also been intensified to provide a safe environment and travel is now encouraged.
During the summer high speed trains have again been provided on summer Saturdays to and from Skegness because of the large numbers travelling.
Carlton Station news
The car park is due to be ‘transformed’ before the end of March 2021 and have a proper tarmac surface. No actual date yet, so we await developments.
There are plans for the wasteland between The Crossings Social Club and the Newark side platform to be tidied up and transformed into an area with seats and tables for the benefit of rail passengers and the social club.
Passenger numbers plummeted at the end of March and it is going to take a very long time to get numbers back to where they were. Some of our commuters are now working from home. This problem is of course nationwide, but our two stations do have an advantage over other places in that so much development is taking place within l¼ miles of the stations, increasing the number of potential passengers greatly. For example, 1,100 homes at Chase Farm. 830 at Teal Close. 120 on Burton Road. Willow Farm. Plans for Sainsburys on the Colwick side of the railwayline has now been approved, with the potential for 100 new jobs. Not to mention the primary school, shops, care home, restaurant and shops at Teal Close.
Netherfield Station news
A meeting is planned in early September with the Community Hail Officer for the Poacher line (Nottingham-Skegness) to look at ways of brightening up the station to improve its ambience, perhaps involving the local community.
EMR train services
The current difficulties mean that improvements to Midland Mainline services due to be implemented in December, have been put back until May 2021.
Delays introducing new trains and electrification work have been constrained by new work practices.
Regarding planned changes at Carlton in December, mentioned earlier in the year, I haven’t heard if these will go ahead as planned, so listen out for announcements from me.
Local railway heritage news
Work is progressing on turning Gedling Railway station buildings into a community asset.
Friends of Gedling Station are always looking for volunteers.
On Saturday, September 19 they are having an open day from 10am to 3pm where you will be able to see the transformation taking place with tours of the building, displays and talks plus refreshments. Entry is free. You can email [email protected] for more details.
Mapperley Tunnel was on the same line as Gedling and closed in 1960 due to mining subsidence. It is still there, although not accessible, and is to be retained because of its historical significance. It will not be affected by the building of the Gedling Access Road which is taking place at present.
Penalty/flexible season tickets
Passenger group Transport Focus (TF) has called for further revisions to the Penalty Fares appeals process to ensure that passengers who are unable to buy a ticket through no fault of their own are not unfairly penalised.
Now that fewer people travel to work five days a week, some railway companies are introducing flexible season tickets. TF has asked the Government to introduce flexible season-style tickets or ‘carnets’ of tickets offering discounts for multiple journeys bought in advance.
News in brief
Lincoln Christmas Market in December has been cancelled this year.
Rail Riders Club which was run by BR until 1991, has been revived. Now run privately, it is open to all ages with membership for one person being £35, This gives discounts on some UK Heritage Railways, model railway shops, booksellers etc. More information can be found at www.railriders.club Facebook www.facebook.com/Railridersclub/ or on Twitter twitter.com/ridersrail