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90mph plan to slash rail times

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: March 08, 2010

Lincoln Central Train station

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Train journey times from Lincoln to Newark and Nottingham could be dramatically slashed under multi-million pound plans.

The radical proposals could cut travel times between Lincoln and Nottingham by 17 minutes – chopping a journey down from 52 to 35 minutes.

Trips between Lincoln and Newark could also be shortened to around 17 minutes – from around 25 at present.

And train speeds could surge to 90mph – far faster than at present – with level crossing barriers on the route kept down for shorter periods.

A £51 million cash pot has been provisionally allocated to allow the scheme to go ahead in 2014.

Under the plans, officials say the number of trains per hour between Lincoln and Nottingham could also increase from one to two.

The move would be the biggest improvement in rail services in the region for many years.

Cllr Roger Blaney, deputy leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said it could trigger a massive boost to the economy both in Lincoln and in the region.

"From a Lincoln perspective, it should be hugely welcomed," he said.

Statistics compiled by council officials show that while the 34-mile journey between Lincoln and Nottingham now takes around 52 minutes, other similar trips are far quicker.

For example, a journey from Crewe to Shrewsbury is of similar length – but takes 22 minutes less.

The fastest average speed between Nottingham and Lincoln is just 43mph – almost 30mph slower than a similar route between Stirling and Perth.

Officials behind the new scheme hope to improve journey times by ironing out inefficiencies in the way the system currently works.

The amount of time level crossings along the route are down for could be one of the things that are cut.

A detailed study to endorse the plans will be completed by January next year.

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    Ivor the Engine, Wales  |  March 08 2010, 5:58PM

    The accompanying photo shows a lack of trains in Lincoln Station. I wonder which will come first - Improved Rail travel, The Eastern Relief Road or a Blue Moon!

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    dean, lincoln  |  March 08 2010, 3:11PM

    do they still hv only two carriages cramped in like sardines i can remeber when there was more than two n there was plenty of room i went on train recently to notting ham u hv to fight to get a seat

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    Martin, Lincoln/London  |  March 08 2010, 1:39PM

    "I use the train daily because it is quicker and more cost effectve than commuiting by car" Which is true if you're going to Lincoln and back from Saxilby, and these works probably wouldn't affect that line - but if you're commuting from Lincoln to Newark or needing the ECML as I do fairly often, you couldn't drive that fast anyways all the way to Newark. You can't drive from Newark to London in 1:17, I can assure you. Actually line speed improvements are long overdue, we probably should get electrified lines while they're spending money so we don't have to do it later with another large wedge of cash.

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    welsh, highland railway  |  March 08 2010, 12:56PM

    Chris, there is another example of railway tracks crossing on the level at Porthmadoc.

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    Basic IT skills, please  |  March 08 2010, 12:41PM

    And why do you use lines containing a single full stop to separate your paragraphs? There's no need for it. Honestly. See?

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    Mick, Saxilby  |  March 08 2010, 12:19PM

    In a car...... . British Rail ceased to exist many years ago . I use the train daily because it is quicker and more cost effectve than commuiting by car. .

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    in a car, lincs  |  March 08 2010, 10:17AM

    last time i travelled with good old british rail was total nightmare dirty trains and waiting areas rude staff, and dreadfull pricing and poor time keeping...NO THANKS

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    Quentin Chalfon, Southwell  |  March 08 2010, 9:22AM

    Lower crossing closure times! Alledgedly. Believe it when I see it.

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    David Walsh, Lincoln  |  March 08 2010, 9:16AM

    So level crossing barriers will be down for less time? Surely this will be more than compensated by the running of extra services between Lincoln and Nottingham, so no respite for the High Street then.......

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    Chris, Lincoln  |  March 08 2010, 7:36AM

    This is good news. The current rail journey between Nottingham and Lincoln is poor and unattractive. However, there are a lot of unanswered questions here, even if the money is actually found. The officials are reported as saying they "hope to improve journey times by ironing out inefficiencies in the way the system currently works". This is where we need to see the big picture because Network Rail can't work on its own to iron out these inefficiencies, however much is spent on signalling. Transport is, or should be, integrated with other changes. Of course every Echo reader will have his/her own priorities in improving local transport. Mine would include: 1. The Lindongate development - is there any realistic chance of there being an integrated transport hub in the heart of Lincoln in the next decade ? 2. A replacement footbridge at the High Street crossing - is that in anyone's schedule ? 3. The Tentercroft Street extension to Pelham Bridge - when might this be opened and relieve pressure on the High Street crossing ? 4. North Hykeham station and the Whisby Road crossing. There seems to be plenty of land there which hasn't been used for a very long time. Couldn't a major local developer take an initiative here and develop a new road bridge before any new housing is started ? 5. And of course there is the flat crossing at Newark. To the best of my knowledge there is no other location in the British Isles where two routes cross at right-angles like this with the inevitable delays to the services between Nottingham and Lincoln which will always take second place to the East Coast Main Line trains. A new viaduct is back on the agenda, but until this is built, the biggest single obstacle to improved times will remain.