Since the North Notts & Lincs Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP) commenced in February 2017, it has achieved much without the benefit of an officer or money, writes Barry Coward.
The community rail officer post, part-time and for less hours than the group would like, has recently been filled after securing funding from two supportive councils –Bassetlaw West Lindsey – three train operating companies and GRaB – the rail and bus users group that spawned NNLCRP.
Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) are very mixed bunch.
Some concentrate on making station welcoming to passengers with gardening, making use of redundant rooms and the like.
Some focus on tourism. Some engage with members of their local communities that do not use trains.
Some are dynamic, some are comatose.
The Department for Transport recently published a community rail strategy to encourage CRPs to obtain greater community involvement in railways.
The Government are developing an accreditation scheme with additional funding available to CRPs that meet the accreditation standards.
In 2019 NNLCRP hopes to benefit from this scheme.
Early in 2019 Network Rail will start work on constructing a new platform at Lea Road station.
Once platform two is complete work will start on improving platform one.
A new hourly service between Gainsborough Central and Sheffield was due to start last May but well-known problems on the railway network prevented this happening.
NNLCRRP hopes it will commence in May 2019.
There are organisations waiting in the wings to make improvements in and around Central station.
Sadly strikes by members of the RMT union has resulted in there being no trains running Cleethropes since August and at present the strkes are set to continue into 2019.
I have just returned from experiencing rail travel in Canada.
My 60-year-old train from Toronto arrived in Vancouver just ten hours late.
Last May it even managed to arrive two days late.
It certainly puts late running trains in Britain into perspective.
Although the train is old and slow the on-board service was excellent and staff made passengers welcome.
I have to say that, for the most part, railway staff in our area are also attentive to passengers.