Major improvements that will see the introduction of 120 brand new trains and enhanced services on the railway line between Gainsborough and Sheffield have been announced.
The multi-millon pound changes are afoot after multinational public transport company Arriva was awarded the new franchise for the route from April 2016.
Along with the introduction of brand new trains, an enhanced Sunday service is to be launched along with the installation of Wi-Fi for passenger use.
Barry Coward, secretary of Gainsborough Rail and Bus Group, said: “It’s great to see that so many changes we have been campaigning for, such as a Sunday service, are on target.
“The railways around Gainsborough have been neglected for a good 30 years, so this is excellent news for the town.
“Now that improvements for the line that runs through Gainsborough Lea Road station have been secured, we can begin working towards the improvement of Gainsborough Central station, which still needs some work.”
Matt Boles, mayor of Gainsborough, hopes the changes will attract visitors to the town and improve journeys for residents who use public transport for leisure or work purposes.
He said: “These enhancements have been long overdue and provide a welcome boost to the offer of Gainsborough.
“Enhanced weekday and Sunday services are a huge benefit. Hopefully, this is the first step in the long journey in providing Gainsborough and its residents the public transport they need and deserve.”
“At Gainsborough Town Council, we are committed to working with partners such as West Lindsey District Council and the Gainsborough Rail and Bus Group to do what ever we can to improve public transport for Gainsborough.
The announcement has also been welcomed by Lincs County Council, who have been working in conjunction with 30 other councils to demand improvements for the line, which is currently operated by Northern Rail.
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for Transportation at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We are continuously lobbying for better rail services to improve our links with major cities.
“Extra trains create new opportunities for our residents for both work and leisure and they also encourage people to visit the county, work here and invest in the local economy.
“Personally, I am delighted to see the new trains will have greater capacity and Wi-Fi – it is important that trains can meet the demand and are comfortable for all passengers.”
Council leaders say it is expected the improvements on the route will come into full play from December 2016 onwards.
Improvements to the line will include:
1) 30-year-old Pacer trains to be replaced with 120 new trains
2) Enhanced Sunday service, with trains starting in the morning and running hourly
3) Improved weekday services - service will run every 30 minutes throughout the day, with 20 additional trains added
4) Wi-Fi installed on most trains