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Tony Cave Column: Extra trains planned for Lincoln Xmas Market

Lincoln Christmas Market – December 7 – 10

Friday: There will be no extra trains from Carlton. The 08.19 is the last through train until 17.27, but you can travel to Nottingham on the hourly Matlock trains and catch a direct train from Nottingham to Lincoln at no extra cost, and the same on return. However, commencing with the 16.34 departure from Lincoln, all trains call at Carlton. Fares are £11.50 off peak return. The 08.19 on Friday is peak fare of £12.70.

Saturday: The following direct 7-car extra trains will call at Carlton:-Carlton dep: 09.07am, 11.12am, 12.39pm, 13.55pm. Lincoln dep: 14.58pm 17.14pm *19.06. Lincoln arr: 09.59am 12.13pm, 13.32pm, 14.52pm. Carlton arr: 15.50pm, 18.01pm *19.59  *Usually a 3-car train. Last train from Lincoln to Nottingham leaves at 20.45pm. The 13.55 Newark train will be re-timed to follow the special. There should be two trains each hour during the day from Nottingham to Lincoln, the same as last year, and this worked very well to minimise overcrowding. The 09.29 is also direct to Lincoln, but is the usual Leicester to Lincoln service so could be ‘quite busy’. 2 of the 3 extra trains from Lincoln are 7 coaches, so you should travel in the front 3 coaches as those at the back will not fit on the platform.

Sunday: It appears there will be a normal service on Sunday with direct trains from Carlton at 09.36am – and 11.36am. This is the first year of trains on Sundays, but whether they will have extra coaches or not I don’t know. I think the market closes at teatime on Sunday. Children half fare. Railcards can be used, but Group Travel will be suspended.

Christmas and New Year trains

Sunday, December 24: Last train to Lincoln 17.32pm; last train to Nottingham 19.01pm. However the 19.01 connects with a Nottingham to Lincoln service. Normal service at Netherfield.

Monday, December 25 and Tuesday 26: No trains.

Wednesday, December 27: First to Lincoln 06.59am. First to Nottingham 08.08am then a normal weekday service. At Netherfield the 07.42am to Nottingham runs on 27th and a normal weekday service for the rest of the week from both stations.

Sunday, December 31: Same as on December 24.

Monday, January 1, 2018: Normal weekday service with first trains probably the same as on December 27. Check before you travel.

Tuesday, January 2:  Fares will be increased, information will be online now. Between Christmas and New Year some train companies have special offers.

Picture courtesy of East Midlands Trains

11.24 Saturdays Carlton to Leicester

This is always a busy service, so best to travel on the 11.08 to Nottingham and catch the 11.32 London train to Leicester, or the 11.36 for local stations. There have been occasions when there was no room left and December will be bad, especially on the 16th when Grimsby travel to Notts County. Our hourly Matlock/Newark services are ok. Incidentally in January, apart from 13th, there should be no problem.

No changes are expected to local services expected when the new timetable commences on December 10.

Oct 29. Just heard that work is planned on Carlton station car park with a new exit! Subject to permission from residents of Midland Road.

Station Adopters Conference Update

We learned that the current EMT franchise has been extended to August 2019. Major projects ongoing include an extensive reconstruction of Market Harborough station to allow trains to pass through at higher speeds. Electrification between Bedford (current limit of electric trains from London) and Corby, with additional track capacity and other infrastructure work taking place. Derby station upgrade in Summer 2018, with revised timetables available in the new year. Redevelopment at Lincoln station with improved pedestrian access to the city, a new bus station just outside the station and other work. New cafe at Newark Castle station.
Questions were raised about the current poor state of.Carlton car park. Work is scheduled some time in the future: Also the lack of station platform number signs. This item has since been addressed and we have 3 signs on the Lincoln side oplatform and 2 on the Nottingham side. Two signs are temporarily on fences, pending fixing to lighting columns. Platform 2 sign can also be clearly seen when ovou are waiting on the Nottingham side (Platform 1), so this should solve the problem of new passengers not knowing which platform they are on.

READ MORE:  Watch out for these roadworks across Gedling borough this week

New franchise update

All responses submitted to the Department for Transport for the future shape and priorities for the new EMT franchise had to be in by October 11th. Transport user watchdog Transport Focus has published its research on what EMT passengers want from the new franchise.

These are the key points regarding local services as reported in TODAY’S RAILWAYS UK magazine:

  • The current franchise largely meets passengers needs and offers value for money compared to the cost of driving or using the bus for local journeys.
  • Longer distance fares were perceived to be ex-pensive, unless you are aware of the bargains to be had by booking in advance. Overcrowding, particularly on the Nottingham-Lincoln-Skegness route at holiday times.
  • Regional services running only hourly or less frequently, is seen as in-adequate, particularly at peak times. Services on some routes ending at 21.00 is seen as unsatisfactory for people wanting to use the train for an evening out.
  • Trains to Lincoln from Nottingham and Leicester (Carlton also!) were seen as arriving at Lincoln either too early or too late in the morning for commuters.
  • Some passengers said they would like text message updates on delays. It was found that ‘Very few passengers still used traditional methods to plan their journey (paper timetables, ‘phoning National Rail Enquiries, or using ticket offices), those who did so were older and/or from rural areas’. Oh yes, and some of us still use typewriters!
  • Other suggestions/aspirations by user groups include extending the Robin Hood Line trains from Worksop to Cleethorpes via Gainsborough and Kirton Lindsey every 2 hours. The other extension of the Robin Hood line to Ollerton has been raised again by Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood, with a meeting taking place with the Secretary of State for Transport in September, which ‘was a positive session where we were able to ensure that the line stays on the departments agenda’.

News in brief

Events on the Poacher Line (Nottingham-Netherfield-Skegness): Wednesday, Dec 20. ‘The Polar Express’ Nottingham to Boston. For this and other events visit

Nottingham Station is included in Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations, an appreciation of railway architecture. It is in the top 18 with 4 stars. The book has just been published. However for ease of use by customers it isn’t good, with a long trek from the entrance to platforms 2 and 4 from where Skegness and many Newark services arrive and depart

Problems with level crossings on the Lincoln line has led Network Rail to have a dedicated team giving full shift cover in Newark. The priority is to sort out and fix what is causing the problems.

Dec. 17th is Gentleman’s Day at Southwell Racecourse

Refurbished diesel unit 158854 has been named ‘THE STATION VOLUNTEER’

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