Slowdown of timetable changes is one delay rail passengers will actually welcome

Train operators, including Northern, have decided to scale back their next timetable overhaul, planned for December 2018, to avoid a repeat of the rail disruption that took place in May.

Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, said “The railway industry has taken a long, hard look at its plans for the next timetable change in December and, taking into account recent painful lessons, the industry has scaled back its ambition and tempered it with a more cautious, phased approach to introducing the new timetable.

Network Rail is scaling back the rate of timetable change following the disruption cause to services earlier in the year. Photo: Barry Coward

Network Rail is scaling back the rate of timetable change following the disruption cause to services earlier in the year. Photo: Barry Coward

“The railway is too vital for the health and wealth of our country to risk a repeat of the mistakes of May, and this more balanced approach of ambition and caution is absolutely the right thing to do for the millions who rely on our railway every day.”

David Brown, managing director of Arriva Rail North who operate Northern trains, added: “The additional services that had been due to be delivered in December 2018 will now be rolled out during 2019, with specific timings to be considered now that the timetable decision has been made.”

This means that the new hourly service between Gainsborough Central and Sheffield will be delayed possibly until May 2019.

However, this gives time to promote the new service so that it will attract lots of passengers from day one.

The delay will also allow time to form a station adoption team of volunteers to look after Gainsborough Central and make it an attractive gateway to the town.

The North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP) has been in contact with the three companies bidding for the new East Midlands rail franchise, due to start in August 2019, and supplied them all with a document listing its expectations for the franchise.

The NNLCRP wish list can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/2u806M4

This summer represents a chance get out and about with Stagecoach’s bus walks, one of which starts at Lea Road Station.

Find out more by visiting Marshall’s Yard on Tuesday, July 24 between 11am and 3pm.

Stagecoach will be there with one of the new buses that serve route 100 and there is a chance to win a £100 Go Outdoors voucher and more.

The walks have been devised by Stuart Parker, well known for his Penistone Line Partnership Rail Walks.

You can discover all the rail walks for this summer, complete with train times to and from Lea Road Station at https://bit.ly/2JfpqnR