The Robin Hood Line, which operates between Nottingham-Mansfield-Worksop, is to see operation on Sundays from December. The route, which carries around 3,500 passengers a day, was granted the required funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) at the end of last week.
The campaign for additional funding was lead by Nottinghamshire County Council who managed to attract 10,000 names on a petition of passengers who pledged to support the new Sunday service. Until at least May 2009 the initial cost of operating the new service will be met by the county council and that if patronage is as high as that pledged - around 1,800 passengers per day by 2010 is a figure being quoted - permanent funding from the DfT is likely to be awarded.
The timetable on Sundays will see trains operate between 0930-1930 with 10 hourly departures between Nottingham-Mansfield Woodhouse with 4 journeys extending to/from Worksop. Mansfield was quoted by its local MP as "the largest town in the UK not to have a Sunday rail service" and hoped it would aid the regeneration of the town.
The Robin Hood Line is one of the most recent additions to the rail network in England, having been reopened in the mid 1990s as a result of a jointly funded scheme by Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire County Council and Nottingham City Council with assistance from the now defunct Strategic Rail Authority. The line is now operated on a commercial basis by East Midlands Trains and provides a link between Worksop in the north of the county and Nottingham in the south via Mansfield - acting as a vital commuter link into Nottingham from Mansfield.
Photo: Neil Harvey