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· Castle Line links Nottingham with Newark and Lincoln
· Over £2m of local and government funding providing significant increase in East Midlands Trains services
· Passengers will benefit from more services and faster journey times
· New services start Monday 18th May
Rail passengers using Nottingham will soon be enjoying extra services and quicker journeys, following the confirmation of the new timetable for the Castle Line this week.
As announced by East Midlands Trains in September, services between Nottingham, Newark Castle and Lincoln Central will see significant improvements following more than £2million of local and government funding. Passengers using Nottingham will benefit from:
· Additional 25 trains every weekday between Newark Castle and Nottingham
· Faster journey times on the majority of services to Lincoln
· Extending the majority of the current Matlock to Nottingham services to Newark Castle
· More trains for all stations, with intermediate stations enjoying more weekday services than ever before
A combination of extra carriages and improvements to the timetable will allow faster journey times introduced on many services between Nottingham and Lincoln and additional trains between Newark and Nottingham. The new timetable also provides a major boost in services for all neighbouring stations, with intermediate stations enjoying more services than ever before. For example, there will be a 76% increase in weekday services at Carlton, 29% increase at Burton Joyce, 24% increase at Lowdham, 28% at Thurgarton and 18% at Bleasby.
The new services start on Monday 18th May 2015.
The improved Castle Line will help support communities across Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire and is perfectly timed to support the nation’s celebrations of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the reopening of Lincoln Castle following a £22million investment and the opening of the Newark’s National Civil War Centre in May.
The increase in services is also a further boost to Nottingham, following the award winning, £60million improvement scheme at the station, completed last year.
East Midlands Trains proposals have been developed and funded in partnership with the Department for Transport, Nottinghamshire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, City of Lincoln Council, Newark & Sherwood District Council, Newark Business Club, North Kesteven District Council, Gedling Borough Council as well as the Local Enterprise Partnerships for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) and Lincolnshire.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This government has worked hard and made significant investment to see improvements come to the Castle Line. I welcome today’s announcement which means passengers will soon benefit from these additional services and faster journey times.
“Good rail links are vital to connect communities in the East Midlands to jobs, services and amenities. This is why we are investing huge amounts to deliver better services across the region as part of our long-term economic plan.”
Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our passengers in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire will soon be enjoying significantly improved services, with more trains and faster journey times.
“The Castle Line is a vital rail corridor and this major increase in services will give the communities along the route the service they deserve, making it much easier for passengers to travel to work, get together with friends and family or visit the exciting attractions along the line.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the numerous local authorities, local enterprise zones, the Department for Transport and our local Members of Parliament for their tireless support and hard work, which has helped to deliver these major improvements.”
Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning at Nottingham City Council, said: “This investment will make travelling between Nottingham and Lincoln, and all stations in between, easier and will encourage more people to use trains as a sustainable way to travel.”
Councillor Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Businesses, politicians and interested parties have been seeking investment in this line for many years and the County Council, along with other partners, has worked long and hard to help bring this about.
“The economic importance of the Nottingham to Lincoln corridor has been recognised by East Midlands Councils, the D2N2 LEP and the All Party Parliamentary Group, all of which have identified upgrading this railway line as a priority.
“An improved service will cut down journey times, help unlock the full potential of business in our county and bring economic benefits to communities along the line and the local area as a whole. “I’m told that the planned new service of 37 trains per day will be the most frequent service at Carlton since the station opened in 1846!”
Keith Laird, Head of Business Development, Experience Nottinghamshire: “The new Castle Line development is very timely, improving transport links with Newark to coincide with the opening of the National Civil War Centre, a high profile attraction set to deliver new visitors to the county.
“This is a welcome addition to our existing rail network, linking two of our major visitor destinations, Nottingham and Newark, and a great asset for the visitor economy.”
Steve Hughes, area director for Network Rail, added: “These additional services are great news for passengers and we are delighted the first trains will soon be running.
“Network Rail has recently completed the new car park at Collingham station and by the end of this year we will have renewed the signalling systems between Nottingham and Newark, making rail travel easier and more reliable for passengers.
“Longer term, we are working with partners to try and reduce journey times between Nottingham and Lincoln and will continue to work with East Midlands Trains to provide the best possible train service for passengers on the Castle Line.”
Percentage increase in services for all Nottinghamshire intermediate stations:
· Burton Joyce – 5 extra trains, 29% increase
· Lowdham – 8 extra trains, 24% increase
· Thurgarton – 4 extra trains, 28% increase
· Bleasby – 3 extra trains, 18% increase
· Fiskerton – 19 extra trains, 111% increase
· Rolleston – 3 extra trains, 20% increase
The new timetable is available via the journey planner on www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk