First weekday rail service in 26 years arrives at Gainsborough Central Station

Youngsters from Gainsborough Parish Church await the train's arrival
Youngsters from Gainsborough Parish Church await the train's arrival

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.

Pete Myers, stakehodler manager for northern Rail

Pete Myers, stakehodler manager for northern Rail

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.

"It also benefits Lincoln because the service from Lincoln to Sheffield and Leeds has now been sped up.

"We have been campaigning for the best part of three or four years, and the campaign started as a way to speed up the Lincoln service.

"After a lot of persuading, the campaign got to the right managers at Northern Rail.

"It's brilliant to see the train come in to what used to be the main line through Gainsborough."

Pete Myers, stakehold manager for Northern rail said: "This is fantastic news for Gainsborough, and for people in surrounding areas.

"We are proud to have worked alongside West Lindsay District Council, and the community of Gainsborough, who have put so much time and effort into bringing this service back."

Alison Shipperbottom, centre manager for Marshall's Yard welcomed the line, which would increase footfall to the shopping centre.

"Residents from neighbouring towns such as Worksop can now access Marshall's Yard, who might not drive, or might have seen the drive as too long can now get here by rail," she said.

"It will also be useful when we hold events such as our food and garden festival in June, so people can come and enjoy a drink in our outside bars without having to drive home."

"We also have office units here which house digital and creative businesses, and we hope to attract further business now this service is in place."

Mike Galey, director of Gainsborough Development Trust said the trust were pleased to donate to such a worthy project.

The trust donated £12,000 to the development of the new service.

Roger Eyre, secretary of the trust said: "The trust is beginning to wind up, and we are using the rest of the accumulated money to support various initiatives in the town that secures its economic and social regeneration.

Mr Galey added: "Good communication is absolutely vital to Gainsborough, and a new rail link between here and Sheffield opens up another avenue of communication, which has been closed for some time.

"This line has been woefully underused and a link to Retford is very useful - when I used to commute to London I had to drive to Retford or Newark.

"If this link has been there then, I could have walked out of my office and straight on to a train.

"It's always been a problem attracting people of all ages to come here, but transport links will help attract graduates and workers of all ages to Gainsborough."

As part of the train operator’s May timetable changes there will be a number of new services to provide new connection opportunities and more frequent services on existing routes.

The May 2019 enhancements will not only add new journey opportunities, they have also been designed to build on the reliability and stability introduced during the timetable changes in December last year.