TONY CAVE: Passenger numbers stay strong despite lack of Matlock service

 TONY CAVE: Passenger numbers stay strong despite lack of Matlock service
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Derby Station upgrade of track and signalling

As from Monday, September 3 trains will again be running between Nottingham and Derby; the Birmingham/Cardiff services will also be back on their normal route. Trains from Carlton will run through to Derby, but Derby to Matlock will be replaced by buses until October 7. From Monday, October 8 all train services will be back to normal.


Carlton and Netherfield stations update

Carlton – Passenger numbers are holding up despite the temporary loss of through services to Derby and Matlock. For example, over the five days, (August 13-17) 106 joined the 08.08 train to Nottingham. The same week in 2017 was recorded as 108. For the 09.05 Nottingham it was 60 compared to 61 in 2017.

Off-peak numbers seem to be steadily increasing and I would now estimate the average on 22 of the off-peak services is 5. At least 18 got off the 15.55 to Newark on Wed, August 18. which is off-peak.

I did another survey of all nine trains between 06.01 and 09.05 on Thursday, July 12 and there were 112 passengers (101 on and 11 off). Wednesday 9th May it was 99 and Thurs. 11th May 2017 it was 91. From, current figures say 100 in the morning and the same in the evening and 110 off-peak, rounded down to 300 per day plus say 100 on Saturday and Sunday combined, makes 1,600 per week and over 51 weeks is 81,600. Thanks to all who provide me with numbers on trains which you travel on. A full survey of services from 06.01 to 23.19 weekdays, if it could be done, would be interesting.

Car park – There has been quite a delay in getting the resurfacing work done. However, work should take place in the near future and advance notice of the date will be given, as the car park will be closed on the day the work takes place.

Netherfield – On Thursday, July 12 there were 18 passengers on and off the three morning trains. On May 9 it was 28. Back in May 11, 2017 30 had used this service. Tuesday, July 31 saw 14 adults and 14 children join the 08.51 to Skegness.

The Summer Sunday services run for the last time on September 9, which means the 12.18 to Nottingham does not run after this date. All other Sunday services are unaffected. The Sunday Lincoln to Cleethorpes trains also, cease after September 9.

New East Midlands Franchise

Further information has been given to me by the Rail Policy officer in Lincoln regarding the ‘invitation to tender’ issued by the Department for Transport. Basically from 2021 the Lincoln to Leicester service will terminate at Nottingham, although it could link with another service. From this date it is specified that 13 services are required to run Nottingham, Lincoln to Grimsby.

There is aspiration also to run a Lincoln to Birmingham service in the future, as outlined in Midlands Connect Strategy.

Recently the Northern Powerhouse announced a £67 million investment in Grimsby to build 10,000 new homes and provide 8,000 jobs.

The wrong Carlton

On Saturday, July 7 a person alighting from the 10.07 to Matlock asked me where he could buy sunglasses. I asked him if he was going to Carlton or Netherfield?  He showed me the address he was heading to on his ‘phone, and it was a conference centre at Carlton…in BEDFORD! “Oh dear, you are in the wrong county,” I told him. “What ticket do you have?” It was Sheffield to Carlton, and what is more, he had missed the stop and had to get off at Lowdham, hence the reason for getting off a train from Newark. All I could suggest was that he got a bus to Nottingham and to ask the bus driver for Manvers Street. There was a possibility he might catch the 11.12 Nottingham to Bedford, as the next train from Carlton would not connect with this service. We are the only Carlton in the UK lucky enough to have a station.

An American visitor got off the 08.33 at Netherfield and said she had missed her stop at Radcliffe. “I think I must have pressed the ‘close door’ button,” she said. Fortunately there is the 08.51 back to Radcliffe, so it could have been worse. She had traveled from Stratford (London) and said she thought British trains were good.

The story of the Class 153 trains transferred from the Great Western to EMT

All four class 153 trains were sorry to be leaving their chums behind, but looking forward to exploring a new area in the East Midlands. However, when they arrived at Derby and saw all the other trains in their bright livery, well – they were green with envy and told the Depot Manager they wanted to be in the same bright colours. But the passengers won’t mind what colour you are in, all they want is a comfortable train to travel in, the manager told them. This did not satisfy them, and they dug in their (w)heels. So the manager relented and said they could have a new coat of paint. Towards the end of July they started making themselves useful, helping out their hard working East Midlands mates, and this also made the passengers very happy. Their identities 153 318/368/372/382. They retain their dark blue upholstery.

Housing developments locally

Development at Teal Close, Netherfield (described as a “mini city”) has commenced, the first phase being 199 homes. A major development at Chase Farm, Gedling is underway. Also within 1 mile of Carlton and mile of Netherfield stations, plans have been submitted to convert the former police station into 42 apartments with a new block of 24. Former Carlton Urban District Council offices are also being developed. New Medical Centre on Ashwell Street would release land on Forester St. Netherfield. All have potential to provide more customers at our local stations.


News in brief

EMT is the first to trial personalised messages through Facebook Messenger, which will let you know of any disruption to your journey. You can opt in to receive the messages through a “keep me updated” button on the EMT website. These are tailored to each person’s journey and cover any delays greater than 10% of the total travel time. This is due to be extended to other rail websites in the Autumn

Announced in early July, a multi-million pound investment in the rail network as part of a 20- year strategy to create a new Midlands Rail Hub. The plan is for the number of trains from Nottingham to Birmingham and Lincoln to double, with four an hour to Birmingham and two to Lincoln and a saving in journey times of 20 minutes to Birmingham and 8 mins to Lincoln

A major refurbishment has been completed at Worksop station with new ticket machines and repainting of the footbridge and canopies

Refurbishment of class 158 and 156 EMT stock is taking place and this will include a new toilet to meet the 2020 deadline when trains will have to be suitable for Persons of Restricted Mobility to access the toilet. The first 156 to be completed is 156 410 and it looks very smart

Contactless bank cards or smart-phone payments will be accepted on Nottingham’s trams and buses in 2019! The report said it will cover all public transport in the Robin Hood network. I don’t know if this means trains, but certainly changes are afoot.


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