grab gainsborough and district rail and bus users group improve and promote public transport in and around gainsborough

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Gainsborough Travel Guide July 2016

Gainsborough Travel Guide

A gudie with all train and bus times has been published by GRaB with help from Stagecoach graphic designers. For the first time bus and train information is contained in one easy leaflet.

Click on the Travel Guide  image to download a PDF file

Click here for easy accesss to all timetables and maps

This guide is featured in a whole page article in Buses magazine for September 2016

buses magazine article

Proposed North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership

North Notts and Lincs CRP diagramm

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 here.

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 suitably amended.

The 2016-17 committee consist of:-

  • Keith Panter (chairman)
  • Richy Doran (deputy chairman)
  • Diana Ward (treasurer)
  • Barry Coward (secretary)
  • Paul Johnson
  • David Passmore
  • Trevor Smithson
  • Cllr Michael Hopper (Gainsborough Town Council nominee)

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Since this route was withdrawn in 1974,  RAF Hemswell has become Hemswell Cliff  now designated an enterprise zone, but before many new businesses can arrive  there needs to adequate public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.

Bus timetables from the 1960s

Timetable May 2016

New Rail Timetable

A new timetable for trains serving both Gainsborough stations starts on May 15 . Some improvements in the journey time for Brigg Line trains have been achieved

Click on the timetable image to download a PDF file containing all trains serving Gainsborough

Travel the Brigg Line guide May 2016

A revised guide to the Brigg Line, valid from May 15, 2016 is now available to download, just click on the cover image.

Most fares on the Brigg Line have been reduced but the Duo Ticket offer has been withdrawn. For families with children the Family & Friends Railcard is good value.

table of fares from 2 January

Time for Lincolnshire's railways to help grow the local economy

Railways in Lincolnshire 1947 and 2016

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 wilderness.

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.

The new Northern franchise shows the way with regular Sunday trains due in 2017  and from  2019 a semi-fast service form Lincoln to Leeds.

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 blue dots.

Will Virgrin East Coast stop their train at Lea Road

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.

Brigg and Lincoln Lines Action Plan Update

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. Download the he revised plan dated May 2016.

New Trains from 2018

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.

Northern Rail introduce mobile tickets

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. Mobile tcktets are available form Gainsborough Central to Bardon Mill, Darnall, Leeds, Sheffield, 
Brampton,Garforth, Metro Centre, Wakefield, Cross Gates, Halitwhistle, Newcastle, Woodhouse.

Connections with Brigg Line trains

We have produced a timetable showing connections with Brigg Line trains from all directions.
Click on the timetable to download a PDF version. brigg line timetable with connections

Changes to Bus Timetables from 3 January

Minor changes to the times of buses on routes 97, 98 and 106 take effect from 3 January. The changes are:-

  • Service 97 - Gainsborough to Retford The 0730 journey from Gainsborough will depart 5 minutes earlier at 07.25
    route 97 timetable
  • Service 98 - Gainsborough to Doncaster The 06.00 journey from Gainsborough will depart 5 mins earlier at 05.55
      route 98 timetable
  • Service 106 - Lincoln and Saxilby to Gainsborough Intermediate timings will be revised on most journeys.
    route 106 timetable
    route 106 timetable

Travel the Pilgrim Line Guide

Travel the Pilgrim Line guide January 2016

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.

Arriva Returns

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.

Historic Photos of Central Station

The Gainsborough Heritage Association has kindly made these photos available.

Interior circa 1910
Gainsborough Central station interior complete with book stall

The entrance on Station Hill. The station was reached via a subway
Gainsborough Central entrace on station hill

The station buildings in British Railways days
Gainsborough Central station buildings

Gainsborough Central station buildings

Another Town Bus Route?

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

More signs to Gainsborough Central

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

Central railway station sign post Central railway station sign post

Gainsborough Central and Sheffield rush hour proposals

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.
monday to 
 friday timetable changes

Gainsborough has the worst station declares The Times

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.

Progress Report on Upgrading Our Railway

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.

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GRaB  8 Woods Terrace, Gainsborough, DN21 2RP Tel 01427 678169 e-mail
updated 28 July 2016