MAJOR improvements on the cards for Worksop-Sheffield railway line after franchise takeover

Changes are afoot at Worksop Railway Station
Changes are afoot at Worksop Railway Station

Major improvements that will see the launch of Worksop Railway Station’s most frequent service since its opening in 1849 along with the addition of 120 brand new trains have been announced this week.

The multi-millon pound changes are afoot after multinational public transport company Arriva was awarded the new franchise for the rail service between Worksop, Retford and Sheffield from April 2016.

The announcement has been welcomed by Nottinghamshire County Council, who have been working in conjunction with 30 other councils to demand improvements for the line which is currently operated by Northern Rail.

Councillor Kevin Greaves, chairman of the County Council’s transport and highways committee, said: “I am delighted Arriva has committed to extra improvements in addition to the important new features that we have campaigned for over the last few years. These improvements will greatly improve transport links into and out of Worksop for the benefit of almost half a million rail passengers and Arriva’s extra commitments will mean Retford residents will also benefit from the faster hourly train service.”

Arriva has made an extra commitment for a half-hourly service along the route to replace the existing timetable, which is mainly hourly, with 20 additional trains travelling between 7am and 7pm on weekdays.

Most of the trains currently used on the line are 30-year-old Pacer trains, which will be replaced by 120 new trains while existing Sprinter trains are being refurbished.

Plans to introduce an enhanced Sunday service which more than double the current number of Sunday trains have also been announced, along with improved weekday services.

The current Monday to Saturday service is every hour with one extra train at peak periods. The new specifications will see the number of trains between Sheffield and Worksop doubled, so that by December 2019 the service will run every 30 minutes throughout the day.