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Author Topic: Gainsborough to Grimsby - a sad case with a possible light ahead?  (Read 3722 times)
grahame
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« on: April 19, 2014, 08:27:44 pm »

It was glorious to see the new 17:36 train from Swindon to Westbury two thirds full on Maundy Thursday when it arrived in Melksham.  Not bad going for a new service from a standing start in December.

Looking back a couple of years, to when we were making a case for an "appropriate" service, we looked for precedents, and for also for other services in a similar predicament to we were in.  That allowed us to link into their experiences and data, and to provide comparative evidence in various directions.  One such line was the line from Gainsborough Central via Brigg and Kirton Lindsey to Barnetby ... services from Sheffield via Retford to Grimsby and Cleethorpes cut to just 3 return trips per week some 20 years ago.  Kirton Lindsey and Brigg between them have a population just a little less than Bradford-on-Avon (2 trains per hour each way);   Gainsborough also has a station at Lea Road.  So I know of the line, and something of its metrics ... and that surely it's an underutilised resource.

I'm delighted to see that the local community feels the line has a future, have set themselves clear objectives and they're looking to flows of passengers rather than purely stations (people need to go somewhere!) http://e-voice.org.uk/friendsofbrigg-lincolnlines/our-aims/ . They have further background at http://grap.eavb.co.uk/ including an action plan, and a study of Gainsborough Central at http://grap.eavb.co.uk/ .  I note other similarities between Lincolnshire and Wiltshire in talk of major increases in population - looking at a a doubling of population over the next twenty years. 

I would be delighted to see trains running every day via Gainsborough to Barnetby and beyond ... and loading well in a similar way to is happening for us on the TransWilts.  If you would like to see that too, and want to support them, they have a petition running at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/gainsborough-rail-action-plan .
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eightf48544
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 09:09:03 pm »

Interesting line, and as you say a bit like Melksham in that it was/is primarily a freight route with as you say a diabolical passenger  train service. However it  proved its worth after the Hatfield slip as diversionary route. So i can't see it being closed any time soon so long as Immingham is a major import port for coal for power stations.

So it might as well have a usuable passenger service.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 04:36:12 pm »

Update ...

https://railwayworld.net/2018/01/21/back-to-brigg/

... 25 years since the service was reduced to "parliamentary" but I suspect we'll see some improvements at least at one of the stations well well WELL within the next 25 years!
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2018, 09:19:03 am »

Update ...

https://railwayworld.net/2018/01/21/back-to-brigg/

... 25 years since the service was reduced to "parliamentary" but I suspect we'll see some improvements at least at one of the stations well well WELL within the next 25 years!

Now official (my source says so!) - from my mailbox

Quote
Its now official. BBC Look North carried an item this week announcing that Northern were finalising the timetable for the new Gainsborough Central service to commence in December. By the time the service starts it will have been 25 years and two month since Gainsborough Central last saw trains operating there six days a week and never at  an hourly frequency.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2018, 11:36:54 am »

From the Gainsborough Standard

Quote
Following years of campaigning it was revealed a regular train service would be coming to Gainsborough Central - however this has now been delayed.

Back in April it was announced by Northern Rail that trains would begin to run six days a week from Monday to Saturday at hourly intervals from December calling at all stations between Sheffield and Gainsborough Central. This is something the station in Station Approach, Gainsborough, has never experienced since it opened in 1849. However it is now believed this service will now be starting until May.

Barry Coward, chairman of the North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership, said: “The planned introduction of trains, hourly, between Gainsborough Central and Sheffield, fell foul of the collapse of the new timetable nationally. “The diesel trains needed to run the service are still operating in the Manchester area as the planned electrification of the line to Preston is two years behind schedule. “Northern tells us that they will know by February if the new service to Gainsborough can commence in May 2019.

“Meanwhile the Saturday only service to Cleethorpes from Gainsborough Central has not carried passengers since August due to Northen guards taking strike action on Saturdays.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2018, 10:23:49 pm »

Always though Gainsborough was a make of electric showers, did not think of it being a place.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2019, 07:39:01 am »

From the Gainsborough Standard

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A regular weekday rail service has started running at Gainsborough Central Station for the first time in 26 years.

Gainsborough Central will see an hourly service to and from Sheffield, providing the station’s first weekday service since it was suspended in 1993.

Northern already operates a service from Leeds to Lincoln Central via Gainsborough Lea Road, however, this change will mean that there will now be two trains per hour from Gainsborough to Sheffield.

It also allows Northern to speed up the service between Sheffield and Lincoln.

One of the first trains of the new service arrived at Gainsborough Central at 10.52 today (May 20), and was welcomed by members of West Lindsay District Council, guests from local businesses, residents and campaign groups.

Rail campaign groups and retailers say this will lead to an increase in footfall in Gainsborough's shops, and attract families to live and work in the area.

Chris Brown of campaign group Travelwatch East Midlands said: "This service is very important, it gives residents a station that is actually in Gainsborough, rather than Lea.

Note this as a positive step for the economics of the area served.

It's a 55 minute run from Gainsborough Central on to Cleethorpes - so with a single extra train an extension to Grimsby and Cleethorpes would be possible - alternate trains from Sheffield turning back at Gainsborough and Cleethorpes.  Don't think there are likely to be any capacity issues - though I'm not sure where the line is single track, so whether they could simply extend with a 25 minute turnaround at Cleethorpes rather than Gainsborough, or if it would be more complex.

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 12:50:44 pm »

Taking today as an example, only three freights are showing on RTT as using the line, and at least one of those is a Q path, so it doesn't look like capacity is likely to be an issue.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/GNB/2019/05/21/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt

My only concern about this is that as these trains only run to Gainsborough Central, and not on to Barnetby and Cleethorpes, it seems rather odd that they aren't using Lea Road station instead, because now you have the situation where 50% of Gainsborough to Sheffield services start from Central and the other 50% from Lea Road, but that said, "Central" in this case more accurately describes its position within the town, and there might be capacity issues at Lea Road anyway. Even so I would be a little concerned about confused passengers, especially if they're coming into Gainsborough and find themselves at an unfamiliar station, albeit in the right town.

I can't comment about traffic potential over the Gainsborough to Barnetby section, although I did use one of the SO trains last summer from Sheffield to Cleethorpes  and it didn't appear to pick up much trade over that section of line.

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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 03:55:12 pm »

A very welcome step in the right direction, I think?

Attached map shows the town with "C" Central and "L" Lea Road about 1.5km to the south.  On current urban area,  Central looks like it has a far wider resident population within easy walking distance than Lea Road which is very much on the southern outskirt.    I do agree that there's a balance to strike between a good frequent service from one station and a service split between two, giving extra catchments.

I agree direct capacity to Barnetby and Grimsby and - probably - to Cleethorpes isn't an issue.  Single line sections and where the train coming from Sheffield passes the one that came 2 hours earlier and is on its way back in to Sheffield is ... is the line 10 minutes to the east of Gainsborough single or double track?   At a pinch, schedules could have a 10 minute wait at Central but you are REALLY not going to want to do that as it would irritate the heck out of passengers and lead to a need for a brisk turn around at Cleethorpes.

Like you, Robin ... no personal knowledge of operation stuff at Lea Road, and even less knowledge than you on the current traffic and opportunities.


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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 08:12:10 pm »

Quote from: grahame
  At a pinch, schedules could have a 10 minute wait at Central but you are REALLY not going to want to do that as it would irritate the heck out of passengers and lead to a need for a brisk turn around at Cleethorpes.

I was going to post about my experience of sitting around at Gainsborough Central for 6 minutes waiting time went I went up there last summer, but then I thought that before I did that I'd check what the timetable is for this Saturday for the same train. Here it is:

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y63647/2019/05/25/advanced

As was the case last summer, there is 5 minutes recovery time of one sort or another built into the schedule between Retford and Gainsborough which, barring any out of course delays that couldn't be clawed back out of a fairly pointless 5-minute stop at Retford, almost inevitably means that the passengers will be treated to a prolonged view of Gainsborough Central station.

From Google Street View the line onwards appears to be mainly single track between Gainsborough and Barnetby with a dynamic loop north east of Kirton Lindsey tunnel (unfortunately the OS doesn’t distinguish between single and double track as it once did). That might raise capacity issues for the reintroduction of a frequent passenger service, although it is only 20m 14c from Gainsborough to Barnetby.

Capacity might be much more of an issue between Barnetby and Cleethorpes, as a cursory glance at today’s planned services (below) will show.  A possible solution might be to just run trains up the line as far as Barnetby and rely on onward connections to Grimsby and Cleethorpes, but the fly in that particular ointment is that connections would generally be into other TOC’s trains.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/BTB/2019/05/21/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt
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