The Beginning of the end for the Robin Hood Line, or a new less frequent era?

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robbeech

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On the EMR timetable it shows hourly during the day until December along the full route.
I suspect it will remain hourly and the others will be removed in due course (not until a few people have bought tickets for longer journey to find their train doesn’t exist and then miss their connections and end up an hour late at their destination for their delay repay to be rejected because the train didn’t exist. I speak from experience of this on this exact route of course.

What a typically British fudge. Is it self-contained? If so why can't it be offset a bit to make the connections useful?
Yes and no. I’m not sure at the moment but a diagram when it’s 2tph Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse, 1tph being extended to Worksop tends to do NOT>MSW>NOT>WRK>NOT and so on, I’m believe it’s a 4 train diagram. Or is it 3?

It has always been terrible to connect at either end, especially on the Worksop to Nottingham service as it’s that one that always makes everything at both ends. It used to be 40 minutes at Worksop for a Lincoln/Retford or Sheffield bound train and 40-50 minutes at Nottingham for a Norwich/Grantham or Skegness and about 30 minutes for a Derby unless it was running a few late and about 25 minutes for the SLOW London Meridian that got in only 15 minutes before the next fast. Then people wonder why it’s largely unused. I drive to and use Worksop or Kiveton Park more often, though I do still frequently have tickets to and from Whitwell for the stats if nothing else.

Edit to add : Nice to see the Merge function back.
 
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wallan

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I suspect it will remain hourly and the others will be removed in due course (not until a few people have bought tickets for longer journey to find their train doesn’t exist and then miss their connections and end up an hour late at their destination for their delay repay to be rejected because the train didn’t exist. I speak from experience of this on this exact route of course.


Yes and no. I’m not sure at the moment but a diagram when it’s 2tph Nottingham to Mansfield Woodhouse, 1tph being extended to Worksop tends to do NOT>MSW>NOT>WRK>NOT and so on, I’m believe it’s a 4 train diagram. Or is it 3?

It has always been terrible to connect at either end, especially on the Worksop to Nottingham service as it’s that one that always makes everything at both ends. It used to be 40 minutes at Worksop for a Lincoln/Retford or Sheffield bound train and 40-50 minutes at Nottingham for a Norwich/Grantham or Skegness and about 30 minutes for a Derby unless it was running a few late and about 25 minutes for the SLOW London Meridian that got in only 15 minutes before the next fast. Then people wonder why it’s largely unused. I drive to and use Worksop or Kiveton Park more often, though I do still frequently have tickets to and from Whitwell for the stats if nothing else.

Edit to add : Nice to see the Merge function back.
40 Mins at Worksop , just enough time to have a Full English at the Station Cafe
 

robbeech

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40 Mins at Worksop , just enough time to have a Full English at the Station Cafe
A very very nice one at that. Or a pint in the Mallard in the other direction. Couldn’t wish for a better cafe and pub on the same station to be honest.
I did wonder if custom would go up at the cafe when they increased the service or not as people would not have the long wait. Positive overall with more people travelling.
we will see what comes of the RRBs but I suspect if they don’t happen many people will just use the 77 to Worksop (they tend to anyway as it goes through the village and the station is right on the outskirts). I often do.
 

soccermad

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Rob are you based in Whitwell ?

I have emailed EMR re the skip stopping at Whitwell and only got a response saying its because of low passenger numbers.

They don't understand that less trains will make it even worse
 

ChrisC

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This new timetable is to last until early December. If passenger numbers begin to get back to normal for leisure travel I can see there being big overcrowding problems south of Mansfield on Saturday afternoons.
Trains from Worksop to Nottingham were nearly always standing room only on departure from Mansfield after picking up crowds of passengers at Shirebrook and Mansfield Woodhouse. Without the additional trains between Mansfield Woodhouse and Nottingham if passenger numbers get anything like normal there will be problems.
 

robbeech

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Rob are you based in Whitwell ?

I have emailed EMR re the skip stopping at Whitwell and only got a response saying its because of low passenger numbers.

They don't understand that less trains will make it even worse
Yes. They are having reliability issues with late trains causing problems on the single line section. It’s always been a problem, but I suppose now every penny counts.

Last weekend standing room only from Mansfield already
Completely unsurprising. No plans to bring back the extra service either until at least December. It’s very rare I’ve used morning peak services in the up direction as I either travel very early or later.
 

ChrisC

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Yes. They are having reliability issues with late trains causing problems on the single line section. It’s always been a problem, but I suppose now every penny counts.
The first phase of the line reopening from Nottingham to Newstead was very much completed as cheaply as possible. The line did need to be singled between Bulwell and Hucknall to make room for the tram lines but from immediately north of Hucknall station, through Linby to Newstead, did not need to be singled. Both sets of rails had been left in place following the closures of Linby and Newstead Collieries but for the reopening one set was removed. Would it actually have cost very much more to have left these 3 miles of double track in place instead of having to later put in passing loops at Moorbridge and Newstead which are only mainly used when there is any late running.
 

edwin_m

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From what I remember the original track was pretty much life-expired and only re-used because of uncertainty about whether the tram would go ahead. So it would probably have needed replacement quite soon anyway.
 

bunnahabhain

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The first phase of the line reopening from Nottingham to Newstead was very much completed as cheaply as possible. The line did need to be singled between Bulwell and Hucknall to make room for the tram lines but from immediately north of Hucknall station, through Linby to Newstead, did not need to be singled. Both sets of rails had been left in place following the closures of Linby and Newstead Collieries but for the reopening one set was removed. Would it actually have cost very much more to have left these 3 miles of double track in place instead of having to later put in passing loops at Moorbridge and Newstead which are only mainly used when there is any late running.
The original track was life expired and not up to a 70mph passenger service. As originally reopened Phase 1 was worked by a staff from Bestwood Park Jn signalbox, trains had to draw forward at Newstead onto a level bit of track for the driver to change ends. The only part of the Robin Hood Line that has been singled is the section between Bulwell South Jn and the station itself, there did used to be 2 platforms but the line singled shortly thereafter. When the tram was built the single line was extended by a out 1/4 of a mile to the South. Admittedly it is this which has caused the problems and the reduction in service to Newstead and Bulwell as previously the services would pass in Bulwell Station.


 

ChrisC

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The original track was life expired and not up to a 70mph passenger service. As originally reopened Phase 1 was worked by a staff from Bestwood Park Jn signalbox, trains had to draw forward at Newstead onto a level bit of track for the driver to change ends. The only part of the Robin Hood Line that has been singled is the section between Bulwell South Jn and the station itself, there did used to be 2 platforms but the line singled shortly thereafter. When the tram was built the single line was extended by a out 1/4 of a mile to the South. Admittedly it is this which has caused the problems and the reduction in service to Newstead and Bulwell as previously the services would pass in Bulwell Station.
I was referring to the long approximately 3 mile stretch of straight double track that was in place north of Hucknall station right up to Newstead. If that had not been singled prior to the line being reopened as the Robin Hood Line there may not have been so many problems with time keeping. I hadn’t realised that the track was so life expired but they did continue to use the original track for a number of years, on the single line which wasn’t lifted, with I think a 50mph limit before it was eventually relaid and the line speed raised to 70mph. The line had to be singled south of Hucknall and through Bulwell to make room for the tram but perhaps singling the line north of Hucknall was in the long term a mistake if a reliable half hourly frequency is to be maintained.
 

robbeech

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It does very much seem like the folk with the hourly service are being disrupted (bus or not) because of the area with the half hourly service. But I appreciate the massive difference in passenger numbers.
 

bunnahabhain

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I was referring to the long approximately 3 mile stretch of straight double track that was in place north of Hucknall station right up to Newstead. If that had not been singled prior to the line being reopened as the Robin Hood Line there may not have been so many problems with time keeping. I hadn’t realised that the track was so life expired but they did continue to use the original track for a number of years, on the single line which wasn’t lifted, with I think a 50mph limit before it was eventually relaid and the line speed raised to 70mph. The line had to be singled south of Hucknall and through Bulwell to make room for the tram but perhaps singling the line north of Hucknall was in the long term a mistake if a reliable half hourly frequency is to be maintained.
The double track could not be retained because of the method of signalling use for phase 1. One train working with a train staff from Bestwood Park Junction signalbox.
 

ChrisC

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The double track could not be retained because of the method of signalling use for phase 1. One train working with a train staff from Bestwood Park Junction signalbox.
Which brings it back to my original point. Phase 1, including the signalling, was done as cheaply as possible and the double track was removed, which has had consequences since the opening of Phases 2 and 3.
 

bunnahabhain

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Which brings it back to my original point. Phase 1, including the signalling, was done as cheaply as possible and the double track was removed, which has had consequences since the opening of Phases 2 and 3.
Well not really, it was the removal of the second platform at Bulwell and the short section of double track north of there which had the consequences which we now suffer from. Ideally a dynamic passing loop between Hucknall and the North end of Newstead Loop could be created in the future. If you retain Newstead as 1 train per hour the non-stopping trains could use the relaid up line bi-directionally and you don't need to reinstate the platform on the up side.
 

MichaelAMW

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Well not really, it was the removal of the second platform at Bulwell and the short section of double track north of there which had the consequences which we now suffer from. Ideally a dynamic passing loop between Hucknall and the North end of Newstead Loop could be created in the future. If you retain Newstead as 1 train per hour the non-stopping trains could use the relaid up line bi-directionally and you don't need to reinstate the platform on the up side.
Or even make it double track throughout from Kirkby in Ashfield to the south end of Newstead loop - you'd even save two sets of points in the process, although I'm going to guess that the line runs down the middle of the intervening tunnel, which would require a bit of extra messing about. Based on what I've read in this thread, all that is needed is a bit of easing of the pressure on the ocupancy of the single line, and this would gain you a useful 5ish minutes. You could, of course, solve the problem by using the passing loops all the time, but that would lead to an increase in journey time in at least one direction.
 

bunnahabhain

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Or even make it double track throughout from Kirkby in Ashfield to the south end of Newstead loop - you'd even save two sets of points in the process, although I'm going to guess that the line runs down the middle of the intervening tunnel, which would require a bit of extra messing about. Based on what I've read in this thread, all that is needed is a bit of easing of the pressure on the ocupancy of the single line, and this would gain you a useful 5ish minutes. You could, of course, solve the problem by using the passing loops all the time, but that would lead to an increase in journey time in at least one direction.
I'm not entirely sure the tunnel was fully excavated when phase 2 was constructed, you definitely run down the centreline of the tunnel and the roof doesn't feel very high compared to others.
 

Tomnick

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I'm not entirely sure the tunnel was fully excavated when phase 2 was constructed, you definitely run down the centreline of the tunnel and the roof doesn't feel very high compared to others.
You definitely climb higher than the original alignment as you go through the tunnel in the Down direction, necessary to get the line onto the new alignment that was constructed between there and Kirkby Lane End. If I’m not mistaken, the lane that you pass over just as you start to drop down into Kirkby used to go over the original Midland line, to give some idea of the difference in levels!
 

bunnahabhain

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You definitely climb higher than the original alignment as you go through the tunnel in the Down direction, necessary to get the line onto the new alignment that was constructed between there and Kirkby Lane End. If I’m not mistaken, the lane that you pass over just as you start to drop down into Kirkby used to go over the original Midland line, to give some idea of the difference in levels!
Grives Lane? Yes I believe it did, so there's a gain of probably 15ft minimum there.

There's an old approx 1913 map extract here showing the layout of the lines in the area, the present day Robin Hood Line comes in as the lower of the two lines bottom left (the Midland), then takes over the trackbed of the upper of the two lines (the Great Central) where they intersect but at a much greater height and crosses over Lindley's Lane, whereas the Great Central passed underneath Lindley's Lane.
 

Tomnick

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Grives Lane? Yes I believe it did, so there's a gain of probably 15ft minimum there.

There's an old approx 1913 map extract here showing the layout of the lines in the area, the present day Robin Hood Line comes in as the lower of the two lines bottom left (the Midland), then takes over the trackbed of the upper of the two lines (the Great Central) where they intersect but at a much greater height and crosses over Lindley's Lane, whereas the Great Central passed underneath Lindley's Lane.
Apologies, disregard the above - I've just checked and I'm speaking nonsense! It was Lindleys Lane that I was thinking of, and of course it was the GC alignment that the lane used to go over. I'm still sure that you're higher than the original alignment as you come out of the tunnel - the roof certainly gets closer and closer as you're going through!
 

robbeech

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They can't close Whitwell.
Where will the local teens go for their mini rave?
If closing Whitwell station stopped things like this I would recommend immediate closure. I’ve got a bus stop a 15 second walk away and a selection of vehicles to drive to Worksop / Kiveton Park / my destination.
 

spinba11

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The original track was life expired and not up to a 70mph passenger service. As originally reopened Phase 1 was worked by a staff from Bestwood Park Jn signalbox, trains had to draw forward at Newstead onto a level bit of track for the driver to change ends. The only part of the Robin Hood Line that has been singled is the section between Bulwell South Jn and the station itself, there did used to be 2 platforms but the line singled shortly thereafter. When the tram was built the single line was extended by a out 1/4 of a mile to the South. Admittedly it is this which has caused the problems and the reduction in service to Newstead and Bulwell as previously the services would pass in Bulwell Station.


Anyone know which tram stop is shown? I know it says Basford but it’s not as Basford has facing platforms.
 

WesternLancer

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Anyone know which tram stop is shown? I know it says Basford but it’s not as Basford has facing platforms.
The Branch to the old Bestwood Colliery seems to go from very near Moor Bridge stop
The Branch to the old Calverton Colliery goes from a little but further north, just south of Butlers Hill tram stop.

Where was that signal box located and which of those branches did it control? both of them maybe?
 

robbeech

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Is the Diversion around Whitwell Tunnel still Planned
I wouldn’t have thought so, I’ve never actually grasped the reason for this in the first place.

Edit : actually it was the quarry wasn’t it I remember now. Not heard anything recently though.
 
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LowLevel

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The Branch to the old Bestwood Colliery seems to go from very near Moor Bridge stop
The Branch to the old Calverton Colliery goes from a little but further north, just south of Butlers Hill tram stop.

Where was that signal box located and which of those branches did it control? both of them maybe?
Bestwood Park box's site was under the tramway, I believe in the vicinity of Moor Bridge tram stop. Here is a photo of the box when it still controlled the early stages of the RHL and the Calverton Branch in 1997 https://www.flickr.com/photos/tractionart/8087142871

The site of the concentration sidings etc is still cleared with piles of sleepers etc, you can view the site on Google Earth.
 

WesternLancer

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Bestwood Park box's site was under the tramway, I believe in the vicinity of Moor Bridge tram stop. Here is a photo of the box when it still controlled the early stages of the RHL and the Calverton Branch in 1997 https://www.flickr.com/photos/tractionart/8087142871

The site of the concentration sidings etc is still cleared with piles of sleepers etc, you can view the site on Google Earth.
Thanks!
 

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