The Poacher Line is an initiative of Lincolnshire County Council’s Strategy & Development Team within the Development Directorate.
The Nottingham to Skegness line is part of the National Railway network operated by the train operating company, ‘East Midlands Trains. In 2004 the Council were seeking ways to develop the rural railways in Lincolnshire to arrest the decline in services and infrastructure and recommended a Community Rail Partnership between local authorities Network Rail and Central Trains (predecessor to ‘EMT’) and the local community as the best way forward.
The Grantham to Skegness Community Rail Partnership was set up in July 2005 and after a local newspaper competition to give the line a name, The Poacher Line was chosen and officially launched, this reflects characteristics of the line in Lincolnshire. Given the natural flows along it made sense to extend the Partnership to Nottingham. Nottinghamshire County Council was invited to join the partnership and became full members in 2007.
Since the inception of the Poacher Line, Network Rail has committed to investing millions of pounds (by 2010) improved the station environments through programmes of station adoption and review the train services to the timetable track renewals. EMT and previously Central Trains arranged for trains to stop at additional stations to attract local patronage, improved the station environments through programmes of station adoption and review the train services to the timetable.
The Poacher Line continues to be proactive and its members from all parts of the local community help to promote and improve the Nottingham to Skegness Railway. For the future we strive towards longer trains, a new station at Skegness, improved line speeds and track renewals, all costly schemes, but which must happen to ensure a prosperous growth for the railway. We will continue to invest in and promote access to all stations along the route and to improve all transport links with the Poacher Line.
The Partnership is funded by Lincolnshire County Council as the lead partner, Nottinghamshire County Council, the East Midlands Development Agency, East Midlands Trains, East Lindsey District Council, North Kesteven District Council and the DfT.