Abellio East Midlands Railway have launched a public consultation for their December 2020 timetable. The consultation may be viewed at:



The main changes to affect our area are as follows:

Services will no longer be planned to run as one-car trains.

Refurbished trains with air conditioning and up-to-the-minute passenger information will be introduced in 2020, ahead of a full refurbishment, including WiFi and plug sockets, that is planned for 2021.


Services from Leicester to Lincoln will now extend through to Grimsby Town every two hours.

More services will run from Lincoln to Grimsby Town throughout the day with more consistent timings

Services from Grimsby Town will extend to Leicester every two hours, providing the first direct service to Nottingham and Leicester in over 10 years.


The deadline for responses to the consultation is Friday 14th February 2020. Therefore, there will be an opportunity to discuss this at the OGM on Wednesday 15th January 2020 at the Number One Inn, Cleethorpes at 19:00. I would encourage all members to have a read of the consultation document and raise points at the meeting, or alternatively you can post your comments on this thread of the message board or contact me by email at chairman@bartonrail.org.uk I would also encourage members to submit their own personal responses to the consultation, indeed the form seems more geared more towards this than responses from groups such as ourselves.


Some personal observations that I would make:

This is just the first part of the regional service revisions. There is a second timetable revision in December 2021, which should see the introduction of the hourly Grimsby - Leicester direct service.

Grimsby - Lincoln has been underserved for many years. It is pleasing to see that this is finally being reversed.

Through services to Nottingham are to be welcomed, although pedantically these are not the first in 10 years as there is a summer Sunday Cleethorpes - Nottingham service, as frequently mentioned by an FBL member.

It appears that there will no longer be a direct service from Grimsby to Newark North Gate for East Coast connections. Based on times in the December 2019 timetable, it appears that connection times at Lincoln for the Lincoln - London LNER trains will be upwards of 50 minutes. An FBL member queried connections at Lincoln into this new LNER service at the November OGM, it is to be hoped that they turn out better than this.

For passengers travelling through to Leicester, based on December 2019 timings, it is actually quicker in most cases to change to a St. Pancras train at Nottingham than stay on the through train. The through service seems to be for operation convenience in order to avoid too many through trains clogging up the station at Leicester.

It would be good to see these services running through to Cleethorpes.

Having seen the supplemental track access request, it appears that Abellio East Midlands Railway intend to run the following from the December 2020 timetable change:

2 Leicester - Cleethorpes via Nottingham and Lincoln Mondays - Fridays, 1 on Saturdays

6 Leicester - Grimsby Town via Nottingham and Lincoln Mondays - Fridays, 1 on Saturdays

1 Newark North Gate - Cleethorpes via Lincoln and Market Rasen, Saturdays only (the existing 1 weekday and 2 summer Sunday paths are withdrawn - these are replaced by other services)

The current Newark North Gate - Grimsby Town via Lincoln and Market Rasen service is withdrawn. There are currently 4 on weekdays, 3 on Saturdays

3 Nottingham - Cleethorpes via Newark Castle, Lincoln and Market Rasen on Sundays. This replaces the 1 train on summer Sundays only.

1 Nottingham - Grimsby Town via Lincoln on Mondays - Fridays

1 Cleethorpes - Leicester via Lincoln and Nottingham on Saturdays

2 Cleethorpes - Lincoln via Market Rasen on Mondays - Fridays, with 1 on Saturdays and Sundays. This is up from the present 1 on Mondays - Fridays only.

The current 1 Cleethorpes - Newark North Gate via Market Rasen and Lincoln Mondays - Fridays and 2 on Sundays service is withdrawn.

1 Cleethorpes - Nottingham via Market Rasen, Lincoln, Newark North Gate and Newark Castle on Mondays - Saturdays, 2 on Sundays. This is up from the present 1 on winter Sundays only

8 Grimsby Town - Leicester via Lincoln and Nottingham Mondays - Fridays, 4 Saturdays

The current 6 Grimsby Town - Newark North Gate via Market Rasen and Lincoln Mondays - Saturdays services are withdrawn

The current 1 Grimsby Town - Lincoln via Market Rasen Saturday only service is withdrawn

1 Lincoln - Cleethorpes via Grimsby Town Mondays - Saturdays

1 Lincoln - Grimsby Town via Market Rasen, Mondays - Fridays only. Down from 2 Mondays - Fridays, 4 Saturdays


On the core section from Grimsby - Lincoln, that appears to give 11 services Monday - Friday,  7 on Saturdays and 3 on Sundays throughout the year.


All services are to be timed for class 156s.


All of this is subject to change.


Noting that the December 2020 timetable revision has been pushed back to May 2021, largely as a result of delays to the Corby electrification project and cascade of suitable electric multiple units to work the St. Pancras - Corby service, Abellio East Midlands Railway have released the results of the timetable consultation:


In our area, there will be an increase to the Grimsby Town - Lincoln Central train service such that 11 daily services are provided. The bulk of this service will be provided by extending the Leicester Midland - Lincoln Central service through to Grimsby Town every two hours during off peak periods. These services will also call additionally at Attenborough.


As a result of the consultation, connections at Newark North Gate between EMR Lincoln services and trains to/from London Kings Cross will be improved - the FBL consultation had called for good connection at Lincoln for passengers to change out of the Grimsby - Leicester service, whilst this is not what FBL connected and won't provide a seemless journey, at least it is better than nothing.


There is a statement that there will be significant improvements to Sunday Regional Railway services from December 2021, although no specifics are to the lines which will benefit.