Sunday, 23 April 2017

Brigg Line Blog 22/4/17

Here is the blog for the Brigg Line for Saturday 22nd April 2017

Service Route and Pricing

With some people still on an extended holiday train services were well used again with customers using the services to travel to Cleethorpes, Brigg for the farmers market, and Lincoln via Barnetby.

1601 Sheffield Midland to Cleethorpes service at Brigg (David Barrett) 

There is now an increasing number of new travelers who have found out about this unique line on social media and come to ride the line and see the views, on Saturday this including a chap from Stevenage.

Kirton In Lindsey


With increasing numbers using the train most of them new travelers the complexity of the railway face structure both confuses the customer and the guards, there is a situation where anyone with a North Lincolnshire Bus Pass can receive 50% of an adult ticket to certain destinations, however the datebase on the guards new ticket system does not seem to have been updated and the old ticket guides that Northern Rail guards have date back to 2008.

e.g cutomers with a NLC Bus Pass can travel from Brigg to Gainsborough Central and back for £4.55

Out of date ticket information.

New customers are picking up again that the Brigg Line has no advance tickets, and that Gainsborough Lea Road offers this but Gainsborough Central does not, train operating companies whoever they are should always look at reducing empty seats on services that are quiet, at Grimsby a poster can be found promoting a cheap add on ticket for the tram for Sheffield.


The postersboard have been updated to include an illumnated advert to catch peoples eyes on what is on offer on the Brigg Line, these will be added to a number of station during the next few weeks.


Sadly passenger numbers were not as good as the record 71 of last week, but there was still a substantial amount who came to visit the farmers market, there is as always each week a number of cars awaiting at the entrance to pick up customers of the trains.

Gainsborough Central 

A visit recently by Ian Prosser ( Chief Inspectors Of Railways ) confirmed that the foot crossing was " safe " and that the footbridge didn't needed to have been built,
On Saturday a couple of new customers traveled on the Brigg Line making there way home via the foot crossing and exit.

Sadly the approach to the foot crossing via the platform is uneven and full of potholes, despite this been reported 4 years ago remedial work still has not happened.


Passenger numbers are now climbing up as we approach the summer months, customers still quiz what there is a single car unit parked up at Cleethorpes when this could be used for an improved Saturday service, sadly as you speak to people in the railway industry who have worked in the sector for years, they will tell you that when it comes to the Brigg Line its been missed opportunities years after years for the people that have little.

Railway Walks

The railway walks arranged by the Penistone Line Partnership have selected the Brigg Line again for a walk.

The details are below

Saturday JULY 15th 2017 - Another Windmill On The Hill !

Supporting the Saturdays-only limited service on the ‘Brigg Line’, we’ll stroll around Barnetby before heading on footpaths up to visit the last remaining postmill in the north of England at Wrawby, then during the afternoon, explore the delightful town of Brigg, with its selection of independent shops, before catching the return train to Sheffield.

Start: 9.55am at BARNETBY station. Finish: BRIGG
Distance: 7 miles. 
Leader: Stuart Parker
Depart: Sheffield 08.03, Worksop 08.34, Retford 08.44, Gainsborough Central 09.01, Kirton in Lindsey 09.15, Brigg 09.26 to BARNETBY.
Return train departs: Brigg at 15.53 all stations to Sheffield.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Brigg Line Update Saturday 15th April

Here is the update for the Brigg Line for Saturday 15th April.

Service & Route

The Brigg Line was back in full swing after the industrial action break of last week.

With many schools still off on holiday a noticeable increase in customers was noted using the train to go to Cleethorpes including 26 customers boarding the 0803 Sheffield Midland to Cleethorpes service at Gainsborough Central.

The Brigg Line is blessed with some wonderful Northern Railway staff who are very customer focused for the Brigg Line, many of which are first time travelers, they were on hand on Saturday to pass on information about the line and railcards that were available in future for them to use.

Passenger on the Brigg Line Train given details of the Two Together Raillcard

One station that is excelling with new customers is Brigg, on Saturday 71 customers used the railway station, this was an outstanding figure to say that it was a non Farmers Market day, the total of passengers at this point last year was 181 using the station, as of the 15/4/17 the passenger numbers at Brigg are 398, with the promotion of using the 0926 departure and changing at Barnetby for the 0939 EMT service to Market Rasen and Lincoln and the 0952 service to Meadowhall and Sheffield Midland the numbers at Brigg should break all levels.

1147 service to Sheffield Midland
Feedback came back via the Brigg Line facebook page that a number of passengers who used the train for the first time on Saturday to travel to Lincoln via Barnetby was they would like to see a later service from Lincoln to Brigg via Barnetby, sadly it was explained to them that a Sheffield via Brigg service and a Lincoln to Grimsby service passed each other a Wrawby Junction around 1902 pm, attempts had been made to make the Brigg Line service run latter so a connection would be made at Barnetby, as of yet this still has not been done.

Sheffield Midland

The new Gainsborough posters printed by East Midlands Trains to advise customers on a Saturday that anyone who has " Gainsborough " marked on their tickets can use either Northern Railways Gainsborough Central or East Midlands Trains Gainsborough Lea Road if travelling on the Sheffield line, this poster has now been placed in the posterboard on platform 1b.

Kiveton Park

After a road accident demolished the waiting shelter customers have now been left with the razor blade seating but no cover, there seems to be a cloud over if this platform will get a new waiting shelter again ?


A new Northern Railway poster has been placed at the entrance to the station to inform passengers of new customer satisfaction targets, this bemused the customers using Brigg as its replaced a Northern Rail information poster that has all the contact details and phone numbers on.

Elsewhere the Tourist Information Center at Brigg has a wide range of railway timetables including the new Gainsborough Travel Guide published by Stagecoach Lincolnshire which includes the Brigg Line services.

Gainsborough Central

As word gets around about the Brigg Line and its unique services and situation it finds itself in, people are now travelling far and wide to visit the line and photo the trains.

On Saturday Gainsborough Central had a new tenant in the form of a cat, named " Pacer " the cat arrived to see the 1212 arrival which had come from Cleethorpes and Grimsby, pacer the cat must have a good nose to smell the fish.

Photo Barry Coward

Photo Barry Coward 

Retford Low Level

East Coast Trains have erected new information points on the platforms, this is a welcome improvement however the signage has been removed about pressing the button so that staff can take customers over the foot crossing, there now seems to be confusion on what customers need to do ? 

Gainsborough Model Railway

Situated just a 10 minute walk from Gainsborough Central the Gainsborough Model Railway is a O gauge railway that is based from London Kings Cross to Leeds Central via Retford, open most Bank Holiday weekends the GMR also has a 1950's sign for Gainsborough Central in the cafe.

Details and pictures are below.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Brigg Line Update 8th April 2017

Here is the update for the Brigg Line for Saturday 8th April 2017.

Service, Route & Ticketing

Due to industrial action no Brigg Line services ran on Saturday, people on social media picked up on this quickly asking if a replacement bus service was going to run from Retford to Barnetby to plug the gap between the missing train services, sadly the answer was no which came as a great disappointment for families wanting to head to Cleethorpes in the school holidays on a line that has seen substantial increase in usage over the last few years .

One service that did run was an empty coaching stock which was the 1832 service from Cleethorpes to Sheffield, the unit ran down the Brigg Line on the passenger timetable slot to be refueled at Sheffield Midland
1832 Cleethorpes to Sheffield Empty Coaching Stock passing Brigg  .D Barrett.

As highlighted before, East Midlands Trains who do not run services or look after the stations on the Brigg Line seem to be going that extra mile to help the people on the line who have had nothing to shout about for many years.

Some new posters have been printed again advising people in Gainsborough that on a Saturday if their ticket shows " Gainsborough " as either a starting of finishing point they can use either Gainsborough Central or Lea Road, the posters are slowly going up around the town.

Apart from Saturday, when there was no Brigg Line trains, the new East Midlands Trains ticket from Kirton In Lindsey or Brigg to Market Rasen or Lincoln Central are going down well with people in the towns that are discovering they have a train service.

Sadly the issue of the new £400000 non ramp Network Rail footbridge has reared its ugly head again, with Brigg classed as a retirement town many wish to use the train but the lack of ramps is putting off people doing this as seen in a screenshot below.

Comment above about the issues of the new footbridge


Full details of the Lincoln ticket offers can be found in Nigel Fisher's Brigg Blog in the link below.
Brigg Blog Lincoln Rail Ticket

The footbridge also came under attack this week by Lady Tanni Grey Thompson , ex paralympian, who now sits in the House Of Lords and highlights the issues with the disabled, Brigg Line Blog brought to her attention the issue of the new Brigg footbridge, she retweeted it to her 53000 followers on twitter and made the following comments below.

An idea has been put forward by the newly formed Community Rail Partnership of which the Brigg Line is under their remit, this is the present East Midlands Train services from Nottingham to Worksop been extended to Cleethorpes via Brigg under the new franchise.

For some unacceptable reason the Department for Transport did not see it fit to rubber stamp improvements to the Brigg Line under the present Northern Railways franchise.

A survey has now been done by the CRP to see who would travel to were and when.

Please click on the link below, fill in and share.



Sunday, 2 April 2017

Brigg Line Update 1st April

Here is the update for the Brigg Line for Saturday 1st April

Strike Action Saturday 8th April.

There is planned strike action across the Northern network for Saturday 8th April.

Strike Action Poster Woodhouse

With the exception of Gainsborough Central, all stations have received details of the strike action, where the affluent areas of the railway will have some form of replacement bus services areas like the Brigg Line have received nothing, with local coach operators in the area a Retford to Barnetby replacement coach service could have been achieved connecting the people that have little, thus benefiting the customers.

Service & Route.

The Brigg Line was once again busy with a number of visitors using the line from outside the area.

Early in the week the Brigg Line Group had contacted the Retford branch of the Doncaster Rovers supporters, they were playing at Grimsby Town and around 15+ fans used the 0844 departure from Retford Low Level to travel to Cleethorpes direct.

At Brigg, a family who had traveled down from Berwick On Tweed to visit family decided to catch the 1147 service to Sheffield, they were aware of a Saturday service but were not aware that Sheffield could be reached using the first eastbound train and changing at Barnetby, sadly this meant they only had 2hr and 45 minutes in Sheffield.

Family from Bewrick reads the easy to read timetable in the rail group posterboard

East Midland Trains have introduced a new ticket to show a proactive view to a demand, the new Kirton In Lindsey or Brigg to Market Rasen or Lincoln Central ticket will go down well, with a change at Barnetby customers with a North Lincolnshire senior citizen can have a return trip to Lincoln Central for just £5.

The biggest feedback from travelers over the years is why is there a lack of a early Cleethorpes to Sheffield and later Sheffield to Cleethorpes, this could have been achieved, sadly lack of productiveness and the location of the line means the rich will get richer and the poor always gets poorer.

153 unit sits at Cleethorpes 

Incredibly a unit has always been available, a single car 153 unit sits a Cleethorpes all day Saturday, this unit will have worked the Cleethorpes to Barton On Humber all week, on a Saturday it is attached to the rear of a Brigg Line service with its engine running to be taken to Sheffield 72 miles away to be refueled before making its way back to Cleethorpes on Monday morning.

The community rail partnership still await a response from Northern Railway over the timetable planning for the Brigg Line and how to get the present timings more realistic which will lead to greater productivity.

Kiveton Park

 After a road accident which lead to a car mounting a platform, the broken waiting shelter has been removed and the fence has been mended, its not known if a new waiting shelter will be forthcoming but the open air situation goes hand in hand with the Gainsborough Central situation and they have waiting shelters of some description .


Vistors using the train were greeted with the annual rubbish left by the market traders.

 On a positive, Station Road was been repaired with a number of large potholes professionally repaired by the contractors.

The BT phone in the Cleethorpes waiting shelter had come under attack again and was reported to the British Transport Police.

Elsewhere in Brigg more promotion details of the Brigg Line services and places you can visit have been highlighted in the Tesco and on a number of bus shelters again.

 The ongoing issue of the new £400000 non ramp Network Rail footbridge did not fail to cause issues again on Saturday with a number of travelers from the retirement town struggling to get over.

On the Cleethorpes platform 1 of the broken noticeboards have been replaced and the easy to read A3 size Brigg Line poster

Gainsborough Central

The 1304 service to Cleethorpes which is normally quiet is getting rather busy with visitors to the iconic Brigg Line, on Saturday a few non league football fans used the train to travel to Brigg after stopping off at Gainsborough, the service is also used for travelers who want a short trip to the seaside before returning on the 1520 or 1832 back to Sheffield Midland.

East Midlands Trains have gone that extra mile by supporting the Brigg Line by producing a number of posters advising customers that on a Saturday Gainsborough Central is open, and anyone having a ticket marked " Gainsborough " can use either Central or Lea Road.

This was picked up on social media and praise heaped on EMT as they were promoting a station and services that they did not run, thus again benefiting the customers.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Brigg Line Update 25th March

Here is the update from the Brigg Line for Friday 24th and Saturday 25th March.


On Friday 24th a meeting was arranged with First Trans Pennine Express to view Barnetby station which connects the Brigg, Scunthorpe and Market Rasen Lines.

Details discussed at the station was car parking, better waiting shelters, better signage, posterboards, taxi arrangements to Humberside Airport and a mobile catering facility, another meeting is planned in May, with the station classed as an interchange station some help could come the way for the Brigg Line.

Service, Route and Pricing.

On Platform 1B at Sheffield Midland station a new poster has arrived from Northern telling customers about advance ticketing, its been placed next to the Brigg Line poster a line that does not have advance ticketing, despite a number of requests for some reason the line has never been added, advance ticketing would help the line especially between September and April when the line is quiet, better to have bums on seats paying something than nothing at all.

It was a very busy day on the Brigg Line with the nice weather bringing customers out to use the line, the Farmers Market on at Brigg plus a new phase of advertising lead to Brigg having the highest passengers using the station upto this year.

1114 Cleethorpes to Sheffield Midland at Brigg at 1147
0926 arrival from Sheffield Midland to Cleethorpes
Sadly the new £400000 new Network Rail non ramp footbridge caused all sorts of problems again for a retirement town with a number of new customers struggling to use it.

The £400000 non ramp footbridge

Still at Brigg and it was nice to see a number of cars at the front of the car park awaiting for customers arriving by trains, sadly our battle with North Lincolnshire Council over road and pedestrian signage to the station from the town doesn't get any better but we await to see if the local councilors will fund them instead.

At Gainsborough, Gainsborough Trinity were playing Darlington, around 25 fans changed at Retford and came into Gainsborough using Gainsborough Central.


The potholes on Station Road and in the station area have been reported to North Lincolnshire Council again, new posters have gone up in the 3 main bus shelters advising customers how to get to Sheffield and Meadowhall on the train using the first service via Barnetby and the last via Sheffield.


Posterboard space has been found and Brigg Line timeables and ticketing prices have been posted, sadly there is a very poor bus service connecting the station with Immingham (pop 12000)

Retford High Level

The popular Gainsborough Travel Guides which are published by Stagecoach Lincolnshire are now on display again in the ticket office area at Retford Station, these guides have both Brigg Line and Lincoln Line rail information as well as local buses between Doncaster/Retford and Gainsborough / Lincoln / Scunthorpe, the guide also has rail pricing but has received no support from Arriva Northern Rail .