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Proposed Community Rail Partnership
Community rail partnerships (CRPs) bring local communities and train operators together to improve the rail environment through community awareness and involvement. They have been instrumental in achieving spectacular increases in use of rail through innovative marketing, improved services and better station facilities.
Their work includes improving bus links to stations, developing walking and cycling routes, bringing station buildings back to life, art and education projects and organising special events which promote the railway and its relevance to the community.
We would like to see our work to improve awareness of rail within the wider community carried on through a CRP.
Keep up to date by reading our CRP News
Changes at the AGM
The GRaB AGM on May 28th approved a change of name for our
group to Gainsborough, Retford and Brigg rail and bus users grpoup.
This title better reflects the area we serve. Of course we shall
continue to be known as GRaB. Our Constitution was
The 2016-17 committee consist of:-
Bring back bus 116 Gainsborough - Kirton-in-Lindsey -Brigg
Sign our petition to
bring back bus 116 Gainsborough-Kirton-Brigg.
Since this route was withdrawn in 1974, RAF Hemswell has become Hemswell Cliff now designated an enterprise zone, but before many new businesses can arrive there needs to adequate public transport including a bus connection with Gainsborough. It is also the site of the country's largest boot fair each Sunday morning.
The former RAF Kirton Lindsey is now the subject of a major development plan which will significantly increase the population of this delightful old town, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lindsey.
Surveys we have conducted in Brigg demonstrate that folks from
Brigg and Barton want to reach Lincoln. Bus 116 could be timed to
connect with bus 103 at Hemswell Cliff so an easy connection with
Lincoln is made.
Sign our petition to bring back bus 116 Gainsborough-Kirton-Brigg.
Go by bus return by train
Time for Lincolnshire's railways to help grow the local
Over the past 70 years
railways in Lincolnshire have been decimated. The North kept its rail
network only due to the port of Immingham being the county's largest
port in terms of tonnage. The East of the county has become a
Time for Lincolnshire to
catch up with the rest of the
North and turn around its rail network. The County lags behind
its neighbors in terms of economic growth. Its relative isolation is
part of the reason for stagnation.
Northern franchise shows the way with regular Sunday trains due in
2017 and from 2019 a semi-fast service form Lincoln to
GRaB has now submitted its Lincoln Taktfahrplan as a response to Lincolnshire County Council consultation on the East Midlands rail franchise to be re-let in 2018. We are also in discussions with the new franchisees for Northern and TransPennine services.
The map shows the extent of railways in
Lincolnshire at the
time British Railways was created (1 Jan 1948) compared
with today - the lines in bright red. Principal stations are shown with
We have asked if the Virgin East Coast empty train that travels between Leeds and Lincoln on its way to and from King's Cross can call at Gainsborough Lea Road. Watch this space for their reply.
We have expanded our Brigg Line Action Plan to include the
Sheffield - Lincoln Line with focus on Gainsborough Lea Road and
Retford Low Level stations. A revised plan will be considered in May
2016 and posted there by the end of the month.
Arrival, who take over running trains through Gainsborough from Northern Rail on 1 April 2016 have announced they will lease new Spanish built trains to replace Pacers in 2018. They cannot come soon enough for our passengers.
You can now show the train conductor your ticket on your mobile phone. The service is currently only available at a limited number of Northern stations. Below are the journeys available form Gainsborough Central . For details visit Northern Rail's Mobile page.
Minor changes to the times of buses on routes 97, 98 and 106 take effect from 3 January. The changes are:-
Travel the Pilgrim Line is
a companion to our
Brigg Line guide. It features the Lincoln-Gainsborough-Doncaster
service that is operated Monday to Saturday by East Midland Trains.
It is now available to download, just
click on the cover image.
For families with children the Family & Friends Railcard is good value.
From April 2016 until 2025 most trains in our area will be run
by Arriva. This company used to operate in the North before the current
Northern franchise was let in 2004.
Unlike their previous franchise, which required the management of
a static railway, the new franchise is dynamic and will see the end of
the dreaded Pacer trains (by 2020), the introduction of an hourly
Sunday service (2017) and through trains between Lincoln
and Leeds as
part of the new Northern Connect network (2019).
Arriva was the only company bidding for the franchise that met with GRaB on a number of occasions and we were impressed by them. Their managing director, Chris Birchall, has spent 19 years in the rail industry and ran Southern, a railway with an intensive service . Traditionally railways in Lincolnshire have been run a very slack manner. We suspect Arriva will tighten up the operation of trains to the benefit of all. They will however have to cope with Network Rail and the Government's puppet organisation Rail North, both capable of derailing Arriva's good intentions. However we wish Arriva well well and are happy to co-operate fully with them.
The Gainsborough Heritage Association has kindly made these photos available.
Interior circa 1910
The entrance on Station Hill. The station was reached via a
The station buildings in British Railways days
GRaB has asked West Lindsey District Council to help start a new town bus route serving the leisure centre, Corringham Road, the bus station, Lea Road Station and Lea Green. West Lindsey need to know the extent of demand for such a route. GRaB has produced an on line survey. Please complete the survey if you want to use a bus in these parts of town.Take our Online Survey
Like buses you wait for ever and then they come all at once. Hot on the appearance of Gainsborough Central's first sign outside Marshall's Yard, Lincolnshire County Council Highways have placed two signs on the main A158 in the town centre
GRaB has submitted to Northern Rail the following
changes to the existing
Monday to Friday services that would enable one train in the morning
and evening peaks to start and terminate at Gainsborough Central
instead of Retford as these trains do at present.
Sir Edward Leigh MP in a debate on rural affairs held on
January 9th 2014 said:
" Famously, in my constituency in north Lincolnshire, we have the train service between Gainsborough, which I represent, and Cleethorpes, which runs once a week. Imagine a train that runs once a week—it is truly bizarre.”
This in the same week as The Times declared Gainsborough Central to be the worst station in the UK.
On October 9th 2013 Network Rail engineers made a presentation to Gainsborough Town Council on the up grading of the line that passes through Lea Road station, known as the GN/GE Joint line.
The Line from Peterborough to Doncaster via Spalding, Sleaford, Lincoln and Gainsborough is being upgraded for the first time since the 1880s to be able to take modern freight trains away from the East Coast Main Line . Freight trains run at a maximum of 75 mph on the main line while passenger trains can reach speeds of 125 mph. Diverting freight trains to our line will enable more passenger trains to run direct from London to the North East.
Work totalling £140 million, now well behind schedule due to the Hatfield land slip, includes replacing the Victorian signalling and manual level crossings with automated equipment controlled from Lincoln, improvements to drainage and track bed before new continuous welded rail is laid, strengthening and replacement of bridges to take heavier freight trains, raising of over bridges to allow double deck container trains to pass and to permit electrification in the future, and improvements to Ruskington and Metheringham stations. The Sleaford loop line, disused for the past 25 years, will be reinstated and likewise the disused oil sidings at Gainsborough will be connected to the upgraded line.
Running times from Peterborough to Doncaster will be reduced by 15 minutes and the new track will allow a smoother ride. There will be increased capacity on the line allowing two more trains per hour to be run. Whether these are passenger or freight is not Network Rail's responsibility it will be for train operators to agree the use of these paths.
Discussion following the presentation centered on the consequences of diverting freight away from the mail line to the GN/GE Joint line. The logistics industry has been quick to grasp the opportunity of planning a "food hub" at Spalding where Lincolnshire produce can be transferred to rail for its onward journey and incoming fruit from Spain can be delivered to the hub for distribution across the area. This makes more effective use of local haulers trucks which will have loads in both directions. Network Rail are in discussions with the logistics industry for some form of distribution hub using Lea Road oil sidings for engineering raw materials inward and finished products outwards.
Early train to Donny
Our request to East Midlands trains for an early morning
service direct to Doncaster is being considered by the train
operator, but don't hold your breath.