Tony Cave: New train franchise is making its mark

 Tony Cave: New train franchise is making its mark
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Train enthusiast Tony Cave keeps us updated with news on the local railways…

New franchise

In addition to what I mentioned in my last column, by the end of 2022 there will be high quality wi-fi on all services. ‘Delay Repay 15′ has been introduced for any delays over 15 minutes. Direct debits for season tickets. Double the funding for the Community Rail partnerships, of which there are three in our area: “The Poacher Line’ (Nottingham to Skegness), Derwent Valley Line (Derby to Matlock), and North Stafford Line (Derby to Crewe). 30 pre-apprenticeships will be created each year as part of the EMR franchise, promoting work experience across the network. On ticketing there will be a price promise of best value through EMR ticketing channels.
Finally the new livery is aubergine (deep purple.).However, the dates shown in purple print on a lighter-purple background on the engineering notices are difficult to read.

Carlton Station news

Numbers of people joining the 06.78 to Matlock has continued to increase even during the holiday period. For example on the 5 days ending 16th August, 151 were recorded compared to 108 in 2017.

It was similar in 2018 but this train only ran to Nottingham becacse of the Derby station remodelling. One or two have told me they have noticed an increase in numbers, including on off peak trains.

The 16.55 to Newark is popular, and I have seen as many as 27 alight from this train. There is of course a lot of new housing development in the area, and people also travel in from Mapperley and Arnold to join train, which means the car park is often at capacity by 09.00, although not everyone who parks is going by train.

A good percentage of passengers travel beyond Nottingham long distances, and the cross city service, is also useful. Some have to travel to Nottingham first if they are going to Lincoln or ‘stations on the Skegness line. We really do need two trains per hour, especially at ‘peak times. Other stations along the line have also seen increases in passengers, and the 11.24 from Carlton to Leicester on Saturdays is usually full to capacity, so try and use the 11.08 to Nottingham if you can.

Netherfield Station news

Even Netherfield has seen an increase in passenger numbers, and more are using the two morning trains into Nottingham. On Wednesday 14th August there were 37 joining and alighting from these trains, ‘compared to the previous average of 25. It does of course fluctuate from day to day, but the general trend is upward.

Arriving at the station on the first weekday of the new franchise, I found the waiting shelter being dismantled, to be replaced by a new one, and thought that’s a good start to the new franchise, I’m in no doubt it was planned a long while ago. The new shelter is wider, but still open at the front and the 3 seats are to one side, so there is room for 3 more when passenger numbers increase!

Ticketing news

Some are taking advantage of m-Tickets which allow you to download your ticket straight to your mobile or tablet via the EMR app. This avoids the problem of being unable to buy your ticket on the train into Nottingham, when it is busy, and then having to buy a ticket at Nottingham and perhaps missing your connection, something that has stopped a few getting the train from Carlton. On the other hand, people have booked tickets in advance using a web site other than the EMR one, and not been given the cheapest fare, whereas if you buy a ticket from the conductor guard on the train, they have all the information at their finger tips, and will make sure you get the best fare for your journey.

New trains for London services

An order has been placed with Hitachi for them to supply 33 x 5-car bi-mode trains for the Midland Main Line from St. Pancras to Nottingham, Sheffield and Lincoln, to enter service between 2022-23. These will be built in the UK with many local suppliers benefiting from the order.

They will be able to run in electric mode from Market Harborough to St. Pancras and diesel north of Market Harborough. However in diesel mode they promise a 90% reduction in harmful particulate emissions compared to the current High Speed Trains.

These trains will be similar to the ‘Azumas’ now running on the East Coast line through Newark Northgate, and will pass through Carlton on the Lincoln to St. Pancras services (2 each way per day), and if we are lucky, one or more might call at Carlton. Information, for this item obtained from ‘The Railway ‘Magazine’ and ‘Today’s Railways UK’.

In brief

Engineering work: Sunday 15th September on the Grantham and Lincoln lines until 11.00. Trains replaced by buses including from Carlton the 09,36 to Lincoln and 09.56 to Nottingham. Normal service after 11.00

Correspondence: An e-mail received on 2nd July regarding the item in newsletter 52 about proposed changes in train services under the new franchise, said it was the first they had seen about this subject. “Living in Grimsby I am pleased that we can look forward to better services.” This person is a reader of Gedling Eye

Fire update: A person has been charged with starting the disastrous fire at Nottingham station in January 2018 and sentenced to 25 months in prison. The fire should not have spread as it did, but there was no sprinkler system or smoke detectors and a large gap had been left in the ceiling area when the station was renovated, allowing the fire to spread. Repair costs were £5.6m

I have seen a couple of childrens books left at Carlton station as part of a scheme to get children to read books by searching for them in various places. The Nottingham Look For A Book facebook group has recently been set up.

Stay alert: I was on the station one morning when I saw, a person walking along the line. He came on the platform and I asked what he was doing. He mumbled something and carried on walking and went into Netherfield. There was a small delay to one train, but I got through to Derby to say the line was clear. If you do spot anything suspicious ring 0800 405040 or text 61016 to British Transport Police.

For more information you can email Tony at [email protected]


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