Pictured is Tony Cave

Annual station usage figures 2018/19

2017/18 figures shown in brackets, and the percentage increase/decrease over 2017/18 is given. CARLTON 54,632 (54,316) +o.6%. An increase of only 316 (7,738). Unofficially, but more accurately, the total at Carlton was around 81,000. Numbers were affected by the 11 weeks of improvement works at Derby station in Summer 2018, when we lost a lot of Derwent Valley Line passengers. However, currently Carlton must be around the 100,000 mark as you will see from the next item. NETHERFIELD 9,150 (8,650) +5.8%, an increase of 500, but again, probably higher. (908). Other local stations. BURTON JOYCE 16,084 (16,270) -1.1%. LOWDHAM 72,494 (67,308) +7.70A. THURGARTON 3,462 (2,156) +60.6%. BLEASBY 7,426 (8,014) -7.3%. FISKERTON 37,102 (32,822) +13%. ROLLESTON 6,6o8 (6,418) +3.0%. NEWARK CASTLE 802,590 (767,493) +4.6%. NEWARK NORTHGATE 960,922 (918,903) +4.6%. RADCLIFFE 9,674 (8,850) +9.3%. BINGHAM 77,128 (69,102) +11.6°4.

Carlton Station news

UN-FARE- A consequence of so many using Carlton is that all the fares cannot be collected. One regular passenger travelling to Leicester could not get a ticket and did not have time to get one at Nottingham. However, on the London train when he asked for a ticket, he was issued with a penalty fare, and although he challenged this, as it wasn’t really his fault, it wasn’t a valid reason.

On most local services, if you haven’t been able to get a ticket, say you got on at Carlton or Netherfield and there shouldn’t be a problem. On London services it is different. I know many people are put off using Carlton because of this very reason. A ticket machine is needed.

Unofficial passenger numbers – These must now be near the 100,00() mark for the year. On five days (20-24 Jan.), 204 joined the 08.08 to Matlock and 11 alighted. In 2019 it was 130 on and 16 off. Another record on Wednesday, 29th Jan. when exactly 100 joined and alighted the 5 trains between 08.02 Newark and 09.05 Matlock.

Capacity problems Overcrowding on the 17.26 return to Lincoln has led to some avoiding this service. There are now three coaches sometimes, Problems with Clifton Bridge has resulted in more using the trains.

Over 4 days (10-13 Feb.) 206 joined the 08.08 Matlock (40, 52, 56, 58 – a record). On 14th it was cancelled owing to a train failure. On 12th we had 28 on the 09.05 Matlock and 120 on the 5 trains (08.02-09.05). Wed. 19th Feb. (Half term holidays) 136 got on and off 9 trains (08.02-11.08). In 2018 it was only 71. Since 1st Jan no single units have been used for our services, with 2 coaches being the minimum. A few lines in Lincolnshire and the Derby to Crewe service can still have single coaches, but not for too long, if all goes to plan.

Confusion – Passengers regularly turn up at Carlton thinking they are at Netherfield station. if you see anyone looking confused, ask where they are going. One person went to Netherfield for Bottesford, thought he was on the wrong station, went to Carlton, was sent back to Netherfield, just missing the 08.51 and had to trudge back to Carlton!

Netherfield Station news

More, please – There are only three trains calling ta the station on winter Sundays, one is the 13.23 to Liverpool. On 16th Feb. I was informed that this train had 3 people join and 12 alight. One of the questions I am always asked is “When are we going to get more trains at Netherfield?” I am hoping that the timetable changes in December will see more trains calling.

Engineering work – Engineering work is affecting Sunday trains on this line in the next few weeks. Check before you travel.

New bridge and station? – Problems with Clifton Bridge, which will take until the end of the year to rectify, shows the need for another bridge over the Trent. One suggestion is for a bridge from Radcliffe to Colwick crossing near the railway bridge. If this was combined with a new Park & Ride station (Netherfield Parkway!) to the east of the A612 road bridge, it would help to relieve pressure on the roads in the Nottingham area. However, other sites have been suggested, and Nottingham City Council say “Our focus is on providing viable alternatives to using cars to get into the city.” So surely more train services are one of the solutions.

News in brief…

Train service changes from 2020 – The Newark to Matlock service is planned to be replaced by a Newark to Crewe service. Although the times at Carlton will be different to those at present, the Crewe trains will still call at Beeston, Attenborough and Long Eaton, giving them an extra train each hour, so continuing our useful cross city service. Matlock services will start from Nottingham. Leicester to Lincoln trains will be extended to Grimsby every 2 hours. More weekday evening trains are to run to Newark Castle from Nottingham and Lincoln. The absence of a train around 20.30 from Nottingham to Carlton causes a lot of inconvenience to local passengers returning from long journeys.

Check train times – When checking your app to see how your train is running, on Newark to Matlock trains you can check the previous working one (Matlock to Newark) to see if this is on time. For example the 09.05 to Matlock is formed off the 07.56 Nottingham to Newark. If this train is more than 5 minutes late there is a good chance the 09.05 will be a few mins late. Or if it is cancelled, then 90% of the time the 09.05 will be. It doesn’t work on the 07.11 and 08.08. Trains after the 09.05 have more time at Newark, so a 10 min. late train to Newark will probably return from Newark on time.

Station adopters meeting – This took place on Fri. 14th Feb. at Derby. I was unable to attend, but Francis and Mark went and Mark sent me some notes he had made. Station improvements are planned with additional seating, cleaning, cycle and car park upgrades planned. Carlton car park has been identified for attention. Ticket Vending Machines are being rolled out over the next 2+ years. 9 unstaffed stations will become staffed. Other changes to London services will be detailed next time.

50 years since Colwick Marshalling Yard closure – Mon. 13th April marks 50 years since the closure of the yards and train crew depot. It will be commemorated in Netherfield by banners and panels and an event at The Crossings Social Club (adjacent Carlton station) on Sat. 11th April, between 10.00 and 15.00, where it is planned to have model railways, photographs and memorabilia displays etc., and a place for retired railway workers to meet. In Feb. 1970 I was working in the Time Office at Nottingham station when I received a letter from the Divisional Office headed ‘Proposed closure of Colwick Marshalling Yard and Train Crew Depot’. It read, ‘I regret you will become displaced under the above proposals. So on 13th April, 1970 I transferred to Toton Train Crew Office as a clerk on the Front Desk (where the train crews signed on). A number of train crews also moved there from Colwick and Kirkby, which also closed at the same time.

In other news – It is planned to have more seats on Nottingham to Birmingham and Cardiff trains from May. Over 5,000 additional seats per week on these and Birmingham to Leicester train services

A feasibility study has shown that there would be significant economic benefits in re-opening a line to passenger trains between Mansfield and Toton (HS2) via Pinxton. The next stage is to ask the public their thoughts on the scheme.



  1. I fairly often travel to and from Carlton off peak time. I often don’t pay because the guard makes no effort to emerge from his cabin. Just last week I went from Carlton to/from Newark on a Saturday night. No sign of a guard, and the ticket machine at Newark castle wasn’t working. They cannot have any real idea of the number of people using the service. I am happy to pay, but there is no opportunity to do so.


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