Start of new rail service will be landmark day for Gainsborough

Happy members of the NNLCRP at Gainsborough Central, from left,  Dave Skepper (Stagecoach), Grant White (West Lindsey Council). Rick Brand and Barry Coward (both NNLCRP). Photo: Rachel Atkins.
Happy members of the NNLCRP at Gainsborough Central, from left, Dave Skepper (Stagecoach), Grant White (West Lindsey Council). Rick Brand and Barry Coward (both NNLCRP). Photo: Rachel Atkins.

This coming Monday at 7.55am the first train since October 1993 to arrive at Gainsborough Central on a day other than Saturday will mark the start of a new service between Gainsborough, Retford, Worksop and Sheffield, writes Barry Coward.

It is the result of a partnership between the North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP), West Lindsey Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the train operator, Northern.

Trains will depart hourly Monday to Saturday calling at all stations between Gainsborough Central and Sheffield.

The new timetable is available to view here.

Until June 15, Northern is offering reduced price off peak fares.

The first off peak train departs Gainsborough at 9.17am and a day return to Sheffield is just £10.

Also, look out for the first of three Northern vouchers in the Gainsborough Standard this week.

Collect all three vouchers and go anywhere on Northern for just £10 (£17.50 at weekends).

From Monday at Lea Road station, off peak trains to and from Sheffield will be nine minutes faster by running non-stop between Worksop and Sheffield.

In December brand new trains will run between Lincoln and Leeds serving Lea Road station .

By then the station will have a brand new platform two and in 2020 a new platform one will follow, hopefully in time for all the visitors expected to come to Gainsborough during Mayflower 400.

Currently, NNLCRP is talking to its bus company partner, Stagecoach, about plans to improve connections between buses and trains at Central Station and Lea Road.

Experience elsewhere suggests that once transport improves it stimulates the local economy.

Improvements also result in communities taking a pride their stations.

Just look at Worksop station which underwent restoration last year.

Now the community is so proud of their gateway to the town it will play a significant role in the town’s Pride event in July, attracting visitors to travel by train from other towns.

In my last column I asked for volunteers to adopt Central station.

I am pleased to report I have received positive responses and I expect passengers will soon appreciate their efforts.