Friday, November 17, 2006

Biggest investment in Lincs rail for 50 years...

Fifty-five million pounds is to be spent on modernising rail services to Lincoln.

Track and signals at Lincoln have seen little or no investment for at least a generation and the shabby Victorian Central station belongs to the age of steam.

Signals are still set up for one-way steam trains which Beeching axed more than 40 years ago - not for today's trains which don't need a turn-table to reverse direction.

It's a dire welcome to a modern University city for visitors and hardly gives the impression of a city that's going places.

So I'm sure everyone will welcome the biggest investment in Lincolnshire rail services for half a century.

The work will be done in two phases - the first next year and the second the year after.

No doubt the work will cause road traffic problems for a while. But once it is finished, rail bosses say the modernised system will inceased train capacity as well as improving High Street traffic flows.

Not before time.

8 comments:

Brynley said...

The work is most welcome.

But we are still waiting for the direct trains: Lincoln to/from London.

fairdealphil said...

totally agree.

i don't know if the modernisation will affect the time-table for the next direct train, but i'm sure it will help.

despite the £55 million, the road barrier will still be there, albeit in a more modern format, causing less delay.

there was some talk a few years ago of a tunnel or bridge, but i always thought that was a non-starter on cost grounds.

likewise, i can't see nightmare Tallington crossing getting bridged anytime soon - particularly as the desginated route from the A1 into the Spalding food producing sector is now the dualled road round Peterborough to the A16 at Deepings bypass, rather than through Stamford and Tallington.

Anonymous said...

The investment by Network rail is more than welcome however long overdue it may be.It isnt the solution for Lincoln to London direct on its own but it is part of the very complicated jigsaw that brings it certainly a step closer.

Roy Kennedy said...

Yes, I agree with Phil, this investment is most welcome.

Well done.

Brynley said...

First Capital Connect are mulling direct Spalding - London trains (peak hours only, otherwise change at Peterborough).

It would be a fine old irony if they appear before the Lincoln direct trains, as seems distinctly possible.

Mark said...

Welcome news. It would be very substantially MORE welcome, though, if it included enough automatic crossings between Spalding and Sleaford so that more than one shift can be operated and we can get to Lincoln in time for morning meetings and back after afternoon ones (I know I'm whistling into the wind for evening trains!).

A decent County Council would have a transport plan for the County which included things like hourly or better train services throughout the day from rail-connected towns to Lincoln (limited-stop buses where no rails) and bus services that connect with trains.

I have been here over nine years and sometimes go to meetings in Lincoln. Only three times have I been able to do it by train, and even then I have to drive to Spalding to catch the train: still worth it for (a) the savings on expenses and (b) being able to work on the way and arrive relaxed for the meeting.

Now, if we had a Labour government ... oh, we have had one for the same nine years: when do we get our railways back?

Brynley said...

Mark is so right.

The position of the line north of Spalding has something of the third world about it, with a dedicated corps of very lonely and very untroubled level crossing keepers working a single shift.

Absurd, even slightly comic.

The job of local leaders is to make a noise about this. As Mark says, a minimum requirement is a service that covers the morning rush until the early evening.

I sense that Lincolnshire residents are beginning to get exercised by these concerns as the City of Lincoln becomes more lively and more congested.

We really do need a Lincs pro-public transport stance from all concerned.

fairdealphil said...

Mark and Brynley:

Totally agree.

The £55 million for Lincoln is only the start of what's needed to give railways in our county the new life they need, to get more people out of their cars as part of the envionmental challenge.