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Tony Cave Column: Overcrowded trains proving to be a problem

Advance fares to Skegness

You can now book in advance throughout the summer for travel to Boston and Skegness from all stations between Nottingham and Grantham, and all off-peak re-strictions have been lifted. You have to‘travel on the train you have specified, but the single fare from Nottingham to Skegness can be as low as £7.00. See for details or go to Nottingham station. If you are taking a pushchair on Skegness trains, they should be folded.

New East Midlands rail franchise

The date for this to commence has now been put back to Spring 2019. It was due to be one of the first franchises where the operation of track and trains will be brought together again, allowing for better co—ordination between Network Rail and the franchisee. The focus should be much more on passengers. That’s us!

In connection with the new franchise, the consultants charged with putting a case for more trains at Netherfield, have suggested 15 trains a day call, up from the 7 at present. This is not what we hoped for, which is nothing less than an hourly service. It depends on the times of the extra trains which need to provide a service for commuters from Netherfield to the east and return again after work.

I have worked out preferred times, but would like to hear from those of you who wish to use the train from Netherfield, and these could be submitted next time.

Meanwhile a major development is planned on land north of the railway line at Bingham. Rushcliffe Borough Council has bought a 2-hectare plot at the end of Moorbridge Road East for new businesses. Also included is the development of 1,000 homes, which can only help to boost our case for more trains from Netherfield in the future.

New Sunday trains at Carlton

These commenced on May 21.. The first train, 09.36 to Lincoln, had 6 joining at Carlton and the 09.57 to Nottingham had 2 join. This was 2 coaches as there had been a ceremony at Newark Castle station, and many people were on the train. Since then I have seen the 09.36 each week and numbers at Carlton have varied, 5, 1, none, 5, and 2 on June 25. Later trains have been quite busy, the 11.36 Lincoln having 10 join one Sunday, with the extra trains seeming to be well used. In the Newark Advertiser, Newark MP Robert Jenric was reported as saying, “The Sunday services would mean more visitors (to Newark), particularly when there were special events. We campaigned for more services on the Castle line in 2014 and the extra trains we secured have proved commercially successful, so I am sure these will too. The next challenge is to tackle overcrowding on peak hours trains in each direction. I will be pressing for that to be addressed in the next franchise agreement.”

I have heard that passenger figures at Fiskerton have increased by over 80%.

I will just briefly mention that Newark-& Sherwood District Council have distributed 40,000 ‘What’s on in Newark’ guides all around the East Midlands and to railway stations farther afield. A new website will be promoted nationwide.

Ilkeston Station now open

May 20 saw me nipping over to see the new station at Ilkeston (my old stamping ground). I caught the 09.05 from Carlton, then 09.17 Leeds train to Ilkeston and arrived at 9.30.

This service usually gives a connection at Nottingham. 3 of us alighted and 7 joined. I returned on the 09.45 along with about 9 others including a lady using 2 sticks, who was on her way to the QMC and her first time by train. I said to her that it was a long way down the ramps (at least the length of Netherfield station), so she said “I managed to get down the steps. It’s a long walk at Nottingham from platform 4 to the tram stop, and as I had time to wait for the Carlton train, made sure she got to the tram stop ok. Wheelchairs can be provided at Nottingham. She thought the Clifton trams went via the QMC, but it is the Toton Lane service.

READ MORE:  Woman dies after car goes into River Trent at Hoveringham

It was 1963 when I last used the old station, going to Long Eaton town station and then walking to the Trent for a days trainspotting. Our school playing fields were at Bennerley, where the viaduct carried the Nottingham Victoria to Derby Friargate trains. (Currently this is being turned into a cycle track by Sustrans). At the end of the playing field was the Erewash Valley line, so a convenient location for us trainspotters! My teacher said to me, “You would only be happy if a railway line ran through the middle of the school”. P.S. Carlton to Ilkeston Anytime Day Return is £6.60.

Passenger numbers at Carlton

These remain healthy, although some have been put off because of the difficulty of obtaining tickets on the train into Nottingham, as has been previously mentioned.

New passengers often say, “I am going to start using the train because it is so quick”, but they aren’t seen again, so they must have had problems. Perhaps its the overcrowding on the 17.21 from Nottingham,which is an issue.

8.08 Matlock on May 23 had 39 join. Mon.-Fri 12-16 June had a total of joining 119 and 13 alighting. In the same week in 2016 was 9h on and 6 off. In 2015, 91 on and 6 off. During school holidays there have been as many as 27 join the 10.08 Matlock.

British Car Auctions at Netherfield generates a good number of passengers either coming to collect cars or after delivering and then going to their next job, which can involve long distance travel. Actually a good percentage of passengers to and from Carlton are travelling long distances. 08.08 Thu. 29th June had #1 join!

News in Brief

The lonely flower planter on the Newark side platform, has been joined by 2 others. This should give a better display. Some of the plants have been donated

2017 marks the 10th year of no fatalities involving passengers and staff on the National Rail Network

A reminder that the minimum fare of £12 before 10.00 Monday to Friday if you have a 16-25 years railcard, does not apply during July and August 2 for 1 offers at attractions when you travel by train. Go to to get your free voucher.

The surface of Carlton station car park is due to be improved in the near future.

Platform 1 and 2 signs are also due to be fitted soon

EMT Has launched a new work place placement scheme to help military personnel in the last year of their service to make the transition to civilian life. Two new recruits are now based at Nottingham station.

Future events accessible by local direct trains

July-September – Southwell Racecourse

Sunday 16th July – Family fun day.

Sunday 20th August – Ladies Day. Antique and Vintage fairs will be held in July and August and Nottinghamshire Sports Day also in August. Further info. 01636 81h48l.

Newark – Wednesday, September 6.

0V0 Energy Tour of Britain. British Cyclings premier road event. Stage 4 Mansfield to Newark via Sherwood Forest and Worksop.


Newly-refurbished library due to open in early August.

Beeston Rylands

Canal Heritage Centre now open. Cafe, museum and exhibition room with gardens.

Peak Rail

Matlock to Rowsley. Through ticketing now available from any EMT station to Darley Dale and Rowsley Tel: 01629 580381.

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Duffield to Wirksworth. www.c— Tel: 01629 823076.

Bank Holiday Monday August 28

EMT operates a normal weekday ervice

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