AreaThe Lincolnshire Branch covers Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and services on the East Coast Main Line from Retford, Newark Northgate and Grantham.
News24th May 2019 - Weekday trains return to Gainsborough Central after 25 years
16th May 2019 - Obituary - Paul Jowett
5th February 2019 - Major Improvements Announced for Spalding Station
Railfuture Lincolnshire magazineLincolnshire Branch members receive three copies a year of our local magazine, Rail Lincs, which keeps you up to date with local rail campaign news and issues.
Rail Lincs issue 88, October 2020: click on view or download.
View or download all Rail Lincs newsletters here.
Lincolnshire – the forgotten County:Rail services in Lincolnshire were decimated between 1960 and 1970 culminating with the closure of the East Lincolnshire Railways on 5th October 1970 leaving wide areas of the County with no rail service.
There were hopes of improvement in 1975 with the reopening of stations at Ruskington and Metheringham but these hopes were short lived. Instead of celebrating more reopenings or service improvements we were by the late 1980’s fighting a vigorous campaign to prevent the closure of the Brigg Line (Gainsborough Central to Barnetby). Closure was prevented but in 1993 services were reduced to just three return trips on Saturdays only. It was not until 2015 that we started to see service improvements.
Recent Campaign Successes
- Major infrastructure improvements to the Joint Line (Peterborough – Sleaford – Lincoln – Doncaster) so it can become the principal route for freight trains from Felixstowe Port to Yorkshire and the North East.
- Major service and infrastructure improvements to the Castle Line (Lincoln to Nottingham). See Castle Line campaign.
- Improved Sunday services between Lincoln and Sheffield.
- Our campaign for hourly services, seven days a week, on all routes substantially succeeded in April 2019 with the promise, in the East Midlands Railway franchise award, of major service improvements by December 2021.
- There had been a long standing aspiration for a better service to London Kings Cross beyond one early morning train to London and an evening return. 2-hourly services finally started in stages during Autumn 2019.
- In May 2019 weekday services to Gainsborough Central returned for the first time in 25 years. Weekday trains return to Gainsborough Central after 25 years
- All TPE services to call at Habrough (for Immingham).
- Passenger lifts at Spalding and Retford stations.
Current Active Campaigns
- We still await confirmation that EMR will introduce all day Sunday services on all their routes throughout the year.
- Extension of some Lincoln to Grimsby services through to Cleethorpes.
- Restoration of seven days a week passenger services on the Brigg Line (Gainsborough Central-Barnetby) and via Brocklesby to Barton; see June 2020 bid to DfT fund, in conjunction with NNLCRP.
- Replacement of the footbridge at Lincoln station with one that meets modern standards and links directly with Tentercroft Street and the Sincil Bank area of Lincoln.
- A station for Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield airport at Finningley.
- Restoration of direct services from Lincoln to the West Midlands.
- Infrastructure and signalling improvements to increase capacity between Sleaford and Skegness.
- A direct service from Cleethorpes to Leeds via Pontefract.
- A grade separated junction with the East Coast Main Line at Newark to replace the flat crossing.
Longer Term Goals
- New or reopened stations to serve Cherry Willingham/Fiskerton, Washingborough/Heighington, Donington, Pinchbeck and the Deepings.
- Support the Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy starting with electrification of the Joint Line and from Newark to Lincoln.
- The safeguarding of disused railway land for future rail purposes, especially where freight transfer sidings could be sited.
Castle Line (Lincoln to Nottingham) campaign:For a short period after rail privatisation Lincoln had a good service on the Castle Line with direct trains, operated with 100 mph rolling stock, from Lincoln to various West Midlands destinations and to Cardiff. However to facilitate the splitting up of the Central Trains franchise these ceased in 2006 and were replaced with a Lincoln to Leicester service. Not only did this remove all our direct links to the West Midlands but the journey time to Leicester was increased by 25 minutes due to 75 mph rolling stock being used and the trains stopping at more stations.
After the success of a Stakeholder Board to campaign for extra rolling stock on the Liverpool to Norwich route the Nottingham to Lincoln Stakeholder Board (NLSB), with Railfuture involvement, was formed to campaign for improvements to the Castle Line. Targets included higher line speeds, shorter journey times and better service at intermediate stations.
Additional rolling stock was secured so that from May 2015 a new Monday to Friday service pattern was introduced with a basic hourly pattern from Lincoln of Hykeham, Swinderby (alternate hours), Collingham, Newark Castle then fast to Nottingham. At the same time the hourly Matlock branch service was extended to Newark Castle providing an enhanced service for intermediate stations and giving Newark Castle 2 trains per hour to Nottingham. Since then enhanced Saturday and Sunday services have been introduced. Car parks have been provided at Swinderby and Collingham and the Hykeham car park has tripled in size.
The changes have resulted in a substantial increase in passenger numbers at all stations, most by at least 100% in 5 years. Hykeham has seen a spectacular success with an increase from 49,972 passengers in 2015 to 176,244 in 2019.
Despite the successes the campaign continues as the route has already been partly resignalled, with the last section at Swinderby due to be completed by December 2022, but 75mph maximum speed on most of the route is still to be confirmed. We are also looking for increased speed limits between Newark and Nottingham with a target of 90mph.
MediaThe Chairman of Railfuture Lincolnshire is: David Harby 6 Carral Close, Brant Road, Lincoln, LN5 9BD. Tel: 01522 874513
For urgent media enquiries only, please contact david.harby at railfuture.org.uk tel: 07913 884815 or phil.mason at railfuture.org.uk tel: 01476 405959
Events and key Rail dates for rail campaigners
Lincolnshire rail user groupsRail user groups in Lincolnshire, some of which are affiliated to Railfuture, are shown on Railfuture's Regional List of Rail User Groups. The Regional List can be viewed, or downloaded in PDF format, here.
Please email david.harby at railfuture.org.uk if you have any questions or comments about issues in the Lincolnshire area.