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Direct rail link puts Europe within reach

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: December 16, 2008

The train leaving Lincoln for London

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The gateway to Europe has been made even more accessible for Lincoln residents thanks to a new direct rail link to London.

About 50 passengers boarded the inaugural 7.08am departure from Lincoln Central to St Pancras International yesterday.

The station in London is also Eurostar's UK hub.

The train was due to arrive in London at 10am and depart at 6.30pm to be back in Lincoln at 9.24pm.

The daily East Midlands Trains' service takes almost three hours to reach the capital – nearly twice as long as the existing Newark to London train.

But passengers who were travelling mostly for leisure gave the service the thumbs-up.

Stephen Doy (67), of Brant Road, Lincoln, wanted to go to London to see the £800m transformation of St Pancras and was travelling with his wife Sheila (62).

"My wife got the tickets as an early Christmas present for me," he said.

"I think if I was travelling for business I'd go from Newark but this service means it's easier to get to London because there are no changes."

Another benefit of the service is the stop at Luton Parkway for Luton Airport.

For more on the rail link, including reaction from business leaders, see Tuesday's Echo.

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    Ivor, The Engine  |  December 17 2008, 10:25AM

    John: If you actually knew anything about the infastructure of the rail network in the County and the countless possibilities of green ecological transport in this area, then you would realise that as far as the East Lindsey area is concrned your reference to Mablethorpe and the east coast is actually quite a good idea. In 1970 under the Beaching cuts, aproimately 35 miles of track between Grimsby Town and Firsby nr Spilsby were closed. At that time a direct link to London did operate from Grimsby Town, through Louth. Alford, Boston, Spalding, Peterborough and down to London. In addition, Grimsby fish trains, malt wiskey trains and a lot of passengers and frieght used the line. Now saly as a result of the closure Boston and Grimsby Town stations only really lead to nowhere in particular. So, re-oppening that 35 miles or so would open out the entire eastern area of Lincolnshire to passenger travel and business. I am taking about openning a route fror Lincolnshire people, not just Lincoln people, to have a direct rail link. Its not rocket sciience.......

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    marc brooks, lincoln  |  December 16 2008, 7:05PM

    How come it takes 1 Hour and 20 mins to get from newark to London , but takes 3 hours from Lincoln. It's a joke. i will still drive to Newark and catch a train from there

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    S Morrissey, Lincoln (not ignorance)  |  December 16 2008, 3:44PM

    I agree, Ivor. And it is utterly unbelievable that there is no direct rail route between Lincoln and Grantham - the two main population centres in the county.

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    Justin Macartney, Withernsea  |  December 16 2008, 3:32PM

    Only in England could a train be direct, leave earlier and arrive later. This speaks volumes about the state of the nation.

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    john, Lincolnshire  |  December 16 2008, 2:52PM

    Ivor - good idea, but I think it should also call in at Morecambe on the way in and maybe Mablethorpe on the way back then more people would use it because of the seaside connection - don't you think?.

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    Ivor the engine, The Shed  |  December 16 2008, 2:43PM

    What is genuinely needed is for the uprating of a lot more track in the County. Then Gainsborough Central and Gainsborough Lee Road stations need a direct connection between the two Then, if the train starts at Grimsby Town, comes to Lincoln using the other route stopping at Brigg, Kirton Lindsey and Gainsborough Central, then down to Lincoln, down to Sleaford then back on to the East Coast Main Line at Peterbourough, then this would be a great service for the County, not just Lincoln. But going all the way round by Nottingham, Leicester, Kettering and Luton is sheer madness.....

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    Liechtenstein Larry, Vaduz  |  December 16 2008, 10:31AM

    S Morrissey.....I hear that it must be bliss for you. You know, living in ignorance.

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    S Morrissey, Lincoln  |  December 16 2008, 9:56AM

    These comparisons to travel times from Grantham or Newar are irrelevent - I live in Lincoln! Of course, it is faster to get a different train from Lincoln and change at Newark, but this direct service is additional to all the existing ones. It is nothing but good news.

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    Dave, Lincoln  |  December 16 2008, 9:31AM

    The train link is what we need, but what we need now is an increase in time, sub 2hrs & a more frequent timetable. Rumours joining the East-Coast Link in 2009, the sooner the better.

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    Train Man, Lincoln  |  December 16 2008, 9:09AM

    How is this linking us to Europe any more than before? Get the train an hour quicker to Kings Cross, St Pancras is literally next door to Kings Cross, they share the same tube station, and walk across. Its similar to the train that goes to Lincoln being moved to the Stonebow (assuming a station was built there) and people saying, wow now I can go to the Stonebow where as before going to Lincoln train station put it out of reach. However, I will say once again, I am very pleased we have this service, lets up the frequency and speed of it.