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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 14:57 GMT
Battle to save 'seaside special'
Statue of jolly fisherman at Skegness train station
Effective rail services are "vital" to the resort's success
Fully upgrading a rail link to the Lincolnshire coast is too expensive to consider, according to Network Rail.

It comes after a private firm tried to revive the Skegness summer service but was told, through track deterioration, heavy trains have to be restricted.

East Lindsay District Council said effective rail services are vital to the future prosperity of Skegness.

Network Rail said it had drawn up plans for the Boston-Skegness line, but ruled out running unlimited heavy trains.

It said the lines cannot handle a full service by the heavier locomotives, and the cost of upgrading the tracks to allow this is not justified.

However, the firm will consider a plan for restricting the run of the trains to 20 round trips per year, with speed restrictions on the route.

Test train

BBC Transport Correspondent Alan Whitehouse said: "There's a company based in Derby called FM Rail, they saw a gap in the market, and they were going to run full-length trains to carry holiday-makers in from places like Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.

"Except that when they ran a test train, the rail joints started breaking under the weight of the locomotive and the carriages because they'd not been maintained for so many years."

Network Rail said it has drawn up a proposal for the Boston-Skegness line and is evaluating the responses to it.

Poor roads

In a statement it said: "We cannot justify the cost and greater disruption that would be needed to enable unlimited running of heavy trains."

The council has written to Network Rail opposing the planned restrictions, pointing out Skegness has a very poor road infrastructure, making the rail link vitally important.

Lincolnshire County Council has offered its support.

County leader Councillor Martin Hill said: "It is a long way from the Midlands and roads also need to be improved but having a proper function rail network would be certainly be a great help."


SEE ALSO:
Bypass considered around resort
20 Sep 05 |  Lincolnshire
Train firm in overcrowding pledge
26 Jun 05 |  Nottinghamshire


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