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Friends Of Collingham Station
Nottingham blockade 20 July – 25 August 2013
East Midlands Trains have now published their plans for the above dates, while Nottingham Station is being re-organised, which means there will be no trains into or out of the station during most of the period. Full details are on the EMT website but a few points for Collingham residents are summarised here.
- Trains between Lincoln and Newark (both Northgate and Castle stations) will run normally.
- Only buses will run between Newark Castle and Nottingham; these will mimic the stops by their equivalent trains, so journeys may be quite slow, particularly if the train would be an all-stops one!
- There will be an express bus between Newark – East Midlands Parkway, which is where mainline trains from Leicester and beyond will terminate.
- Trains which normally run from Nottingham to Derby, Birmingham and Cardiff, will start at Beeston. The Norwich to Liverpool service will continue throughout, but will miss Grantham and Nottingham stops; it will call at East Midlands Parkway instead. There will be a frequent bus service from Nottingham Station to Beeston and East Midlands Parkway.
- From 10 August to 23 August, there will be a limited Lincoln – Nottingham rail service between 0800 and 2000 hours. Outside these hours, the bus service will operate.
- The line has its own logo, courtesy of Lincolnshire County Council
- We are involved in a Stakeholder Board for the Nottingham-Lincoln railway line, chaired by East Midlands Trains’ chief executive, David Horne, which is building partnerships to get new improvements, including:
- increasing maximum line speed to 90 mph, about double the current average speed!
- replacement of the level crossing gates at Swinderby Road and Station Road by 2014.
- removal of the Cross Lane level crossing, and its replacement by gates which will allow crossing by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. Although this may not seem part of our remit, its removal could lead to the removal of the signal just north of the station, which leads to all trains which stop at Collingham having to stop again for Cross Lane gates to be closed.
- the construction of a 58 space car park in the field behind the Newark-bound platform (due to be completed before the end of March 2014).
- improvement in train stops at Collingham.
- We are an informal group, most discussion is by email, but we always welcome new members. Contact details are below.
Collingham is a busy station, with the highest usage, apart from Newark Castle, on the line between Lincoln and Nottingham:
This data is from the annual statistics of the Office of the Rail Regulator www.rail-reg.gov.uk.
I have omitted Newark figures because there is some doubt as to allocation of tickets to Northgate and Castle Stations.
We came into being in 2005 when Central Trains cut the timetable savagely, which led to a packed public meeting in Collingham. As a result Central Trains not only reinstated the lost services but added more. The Collingham data for the period 2002 – 2012 are available here as a spreadsheet.
- Our main roles are:
- to ensure that the station remains an attractive place, and also
- to campaign for an improved train service.
- Successes so far:
- 21-22 trains every weekday compared with 7 in 2005;
- Collingham station formally adopted by our group;
- Close links with East Midlands Trains to sort out problems, and
- Involvement in franchise discussions.
- For the future, we want to:
- get funding to put planters along the platforms, behind the fences,
- establish CCTV protection, and
- improve the train service, including to and from Newark Northgate.
We are keen to increase the number of committee members (duties are not onerous – most discussions are by email!) particularly if you are a daily commuter (either to Nottingham or Lincoln).
If you have anything to report to us, whether about good or bad train performance or about damage to the station environment, do contact us:
Chair of Friends of Collingham Station
4 Rio Drive,
The launch of our station adoption:
The launch of our station adoption on the 8th September 2006 was a great success – the weather was good, and there were no heavy goods trains while the speeches were under way!
Jim Bamford (Notts County Council) said he was delighted that we had got this far, and he was hopeful of further developments – his feeling was that all trains should stop at Collingham.
Nigel Carlisle (Central Trains) said that his company was delighted to support Collingham, and although he couldn’t promise what Jim wanted, there would be gradual improvements, as the rest of the network improved.
Patrick Mercer OBE MP congratulated us on our initiative and warned the rail companies that they upset Collingham at their peril. He said it was vital that communities kept up the pressure on government to ensure that decisions are made locally, not in London.
Photo: From left to right, Alan Walker (of Decent Chaps), Jim Bamford (Notts CC),
Nigel Carlisle (East Midlands Trains), Bob Imrie (Chair of FoCS)
and Patrick Mercer OBE MP.
History of the line
The Midland Railway opened its line between Nottingham and Lincoln on Tuesday 4th August 1846. Royal assent had been given in June 1845, and by the following month, the route had been staked out. The engineers were Robert Stephenson and Frederick Swanwick.
t seems likely that some track through Collingham was in place by December 1845 but there was bad Winter, including some Trent flooding, which delayed completion of the line. In May 1846, contracts for all the buildings on the line were put out to tender (although none was completed before the line was open). We know that a train was seen at Collingham that month because the Nottingham Journal of 22nd May 1846 reported that
On three several days last week, some evil-disposed person laid pieces of wood and iron on portions of the railroad at Collingham, by which considerable damage had been done to the engine, and the life of the driver considerably endangered.”
However, the engine couldn't have been seriously damaged because it was used on 29th May to haul the first train to Lincoln.
The first train along the whole line was reported by the Nottingham Journal to have happened on Wednesday 1st July, but the first passenger train, albeit a special, was run on 3rd August when a 20 carriage train pulled by two engines travelled over the line, starting at Derby. Passengers included the Mayors of Derby and Nottingham, George Hudson (the famous York railway pioneer) and other directors of the Midland Railway. At Nottingham, gates blocking the Lincoln line were thrown open, and the train progressed, to the music of the band of the 4th Dragoon Guards. On arrival at Lincoln, (which newspaper reports of the time suggested was in just over 2 hours, meaning that the train would have travelled at over 60mph, which seems unlikely!) church bells throughout the city were rung, and shops were closed for an official holiday.
First services consisted of four trains each way on weekdays, and two on Sundays, but Bradshaw's January 1847 timetable shows six trains each way, with three on Sundays.
Royal Mail was carried over the line almost immediately, with a stop at Collingham being added in October 1848. One of the mail trains was derailed near South Scarle on 6th June 1928 because of faulty track. It crashed at about 60mph and one person was killed and 16 others injured.
It is also known that there was a considerable fruit and vegetable trade carried on via sidings in Collingham Station Yard although it seems likely that this dried up early in the 1900s.
There was a proposal in 1963 to close the line, because of falling receipts at the village stops, but this threat reduced with the building of the connection to the mainline at Newark Northgate which allowed services to Lincoln from the mainline.
Over the last few years, services through Collingham were operated by Central Trains and were gradually run down, leading to a fall in passenger numbers, with only seven trains per weekday in 2005. However, Central Trains were forced to reconsider after they were heavily criticised at a public meeting in the village. In the Summer 2006 timetable there were 13 trains each weekday, and after East Midlands Trains took over, this increased to 19 a day, with annual usage has increased to over 30,000 a year, having been down to 22,000 in 2005.
With thanks to information in “The Railways of Newark-on-Trent” by Michael Vannis (Oakwood Press 1999).