Station adopter and train enthusiast Tony Cave keeps readers of Gedling Eye up to date with the latest news from our local railways…
Fares from our stations in Gedling borough have now increased by around 3% from January 2.
Carlton to Nottingham has increased by 10p with an off-peak return now costing £3.10. Carlton to Newark will now cost £6.90 when buying an anytime return and £6.70 for an off-peak return and £6.20 single.
Carlton to Matlock will now set you back £7.20 for a single, £12.20 for an anytime return and £10.30 for an off-peak return ticket.
To travel from Carlton to Leicester will now cost you £13.40 for an anytime return (before 09.15), a single is 13.30, an off-peak return will set you back £11.80 and a single will now cost £11.70.
ANNUAL STATION USAGE FIGURES 2017/18
Here are the figures for the year ending March 31, 2018. A return train journey counts as two in the figures. I have included the 2016/17 figures in brackets and the percentage increase over 2016/17 is also given.
CARLTON 54,316 (46,578) +16.6%. This is an increase of 7,738 (10,234). Unofficially, but more accurately, the total at Carlton is around 81,600 (74,9704). These latter figures based on 51 weeks as numbers are reduced over Christmas and New Year, and we also lost two days in January with the fire at Nottingham station and to some weekend engineering work. As a matter of interest, the difference between official and unofficial is 27,284 (28,392).
NETHERFIELD 8,650 (7,742) +11.7%. This shows an increase of 908 (1,198). Unofficially, the figures are probably higher as the official number only equates to 32 per day and 10 at weekends. It is officially acknowledged that actual figures can be much higher. For example, at East Midlands Parkway a lot of passengers are not recorded, so usage appears to be lower than it actually is. There are a lot of interchange passengers at that location.
Other local stations, except Thurgarton, have shown increases: Burton Joyce 16,270 (11,542) +41.0%, Lowdham 67,308 (57,236) +17.6%. This station has 41 more trains a week than Carlton. Figures for Thurgaton were 2,156 (2,470) -12.7%, figures for Fiskerton were 32,822 (26,760) +22.7%, Rolleston 6,418 (5,532) 16.0%. and Radcliffe 8,850 (6,474) 36.7%
NEW TIMETABLES FROM DECEMBER 2018
There are no changes to train times at Carlton or Netherfield stations. Some trains at Carlton were altered by a few minutes back in September and this has been continued in the new timetable as follows. Mon-Fri. 08.58, 10.54, 11.58, 14.59.. Saturdays 06 .56, 08.58, 09.55, 11.59, 12.55, 14.56 and 17.53 all to Newark (06.56 to Lincoln).
I always have timetables with me and they can also be obtained from Carlton Library, St. George’s Centre, Fox & Hounds public house and Dawn Publications on 5 Station Road in Carlton on Mondays and Fridays (10am to 4pm), where I do voluntary work and is very handy for Carlton station!
Many now obtain their information online and less rely on printed timetables, but you don’t get an overall view of what is available. Some people do not know that trains go direct from Carlton to Matlock.
REVIEW OF THE PAST TWO MONTHS
The leaf fall season caused a few problems with trains having to be taken out of service for repairs to their wheels, resulting in some services having less coaches than planned. However, wheel slide protection equipment has been fitted to more trains so that the problem will be lessened in future.
Lincoln Christmas Market took place between December 7-10. I was able to see 30 of the 42 trains booked to call at Carlton on the Saturday (9) and 213 passengers joined and alighted from these trains, a similar number to 2017. Everything worked well at this end of the line, with plenty of seats. The 11.24 to Leicester was five coaches, but even that was fairly full. There are just too many for the usual two coaches.
Part two of the Ambergate signalling project is due to take place between Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 17, and during those nine days, buses will replace trains between Derby and Matlock. Part one of the works was completed last summer and the final work will see the junction from the main line to the Matlock line moved slightly to give a faster speed onto the Matlock line, which will help with timekeeping.
- A new Railcard for people aged between 26 and 30 is due to go on general sale on January 2 and will cost £30 per year.
- Rail tourism is generating a 52 billion boost to the UK economy according to the rail delivery group. The benefit to Skegness is estimated at £2.2m.
- In the Netherlands on some regional lines there was a 60% increase in passenger numbers after the frequency changed from one to two trains per hour – all day, every day. Carlton definitely needs a half hourly service, especially at peak times
- For those who travel perhaps two or three days a week outside the Robin Hood Ticket area, you may be interested to know that South Western Railway has launched a ten-ticket Carnet ticket for this very purpose, where a season ticket is not an option. The ticket is valid for one day up to two months from the date of purchase. Let’s hope other companies introduce the same type of ticket
- If you don’t fold a push chair before boarding a train, they will only fit through the disabled access door on a class 153 single unit. The cycle entrance at the other end is not wide enough for most baby buggies
- Transport spending per head is currently £864 in the East Midlands
- Lincoln & District Model Railway exhibition is to be held at Newark Showground on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24 between 10am -5pm (16.30 Sun.). There will be around 20+ layouts. Free buses are available from Castle station with details available from www.ladmrc.co.uk Posters are also in the shelters at Carlton. East Midlands Trains are one of the supporters of the event.
- I have heard on the grapevine that the Gedling station buildings on Shearing Hill have been saved for community use
- Cancelled trains. There are 23 franchised train operators and statistics for 2017/18 show that EMT had an average of 1 in 76 trains cancelled. The best company was 1 in 83 and the worst 1 in 23, so EMT came out third best. Quite often the reason for a train cancellation is not the fault of the railway company
- Tied in with the proposed new station at Toton is a train service from Mansfield to Toton via Pinxton. The cost for this being estimated £lO million and it would give more than 100,000 people fast access to H82. Funding has now been approved to undertake a more in depth study. Interestingly the first rails to Mansfield were laid in 1819 from the canal wharf at Pinxton, operated by horses.
- This year being the 200th anniversary, some local organisations have been awarded £89,000 to celebrate the opening of this early railway, and these will take place on April 13th. More details in my next column.
FROM MY DAILY NOTES
On Tuesday, December 11, the 08.19 Lincoln arrived at Carlton and off steps a person who has got on the wrong train. He should have been on the Mansfield train so I take him to Netherfield for the 08.33. This train pulls in and just as it leaves, a person asks how he can get to Nottingham. He had come from Norwich and was going to Mansfield. He had mistaken Netherfield for Nottingham as he’d been on his mobile and the train was seven minutes late, so thought, “This must be Nottingham as its 08.40”. By the time he had realised his mistake it was too late, so I took him to Carlton for the 09.05.
I made a similar mistake a few years ago. I went on the old 08.23 to Nottingham to collect some timetables and planned to return by boarding the 08.45 to Netherfield. I managed to miss the announcement on the platform that owing to a broken rail the train would be diverted and the first stop would be Sleaford! I was back in Nottingham at 11.30.