Grimsby and Immingham Electric Railway

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Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway
Grimsby and Immingham Tramway plan.png
The Grimsby and Immingham Light Railway
Locale England
Dates of operation 1923–1961
Successor Abandoned
Length 5 miles
Headquarters Grimsby

The Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway was an electric tramway linking Great Grimsby with the Port of Immingham in Lincolnshire, England. The line ran predominately on reserved track.


In the early 1900s the Great Central Railway (GCR) began work towards developing a new dock near Immingham The GCR reached agreement for the purchase of the land required and presented two Bills in Parliament of which the second was accepted as the Humber Commercial Railway and Dock Act 1904.

An application for a Light Railway Order was drawn by the GCR's solicitor for a link between the dock estate and Grimsby. The railway portions were built first as to carry the goods necessary for the construction of the street tramway. Originally it was planned to use electric traction between Corporation Bridge, Grimsby and the Pyewipe Depot, where a change would be made to steam powered trains. The plans were amended in 1909 and electric traction was to be used throughout.

In Immingham Dock was opened in 1912.

The line closed in summer 1961, with services replaced by buses.

Post closure[edit]

The route of the line was re-used for industrial freight traffic, as part of the development of large scale industry on the South Humber Bank is the post second world war period. (see Industry of the South Humber Bank)

Infrastructure and rolling stock[edit]

The network[edit]

The main line ran from Immingham Town electric railway station to Grimsby (Corporation Bridge) electric railway station and to this was added a short line from Immingham Town to Immingham Dock electric railway station (not to be confused with the main line railway station, Immingham Dock railway station), to serve the workers who lived there and to take them and their families to Grimsby.

The Immingham Dock – Town line was double track set on its own reserved way but becoming a street tramway once reaching the village. Trams reversed towards Grimsby and the line and once on their reserved way maintained a south-eastward course across the marshes on a near straight five-mile stretch to Pyewipe depot. Along this section were constructed seven passing points, three closing in 1917. They named numerically, for example, "No.4 Passing Point" etc. The system also included a short Immingham branch to serve the new locomotive depot and a station was opened in Queens Road near the footpath linking the line to the depot (Immingham (Queens Road) electric railway station). This line had "an occasional and irregular service".[clarification needed]

At the depot, the line veered to the right to become a street tramway, using Gilbey Road and finally Corporation Road. This was single track with three passing points. A waiting room and parcels office were built next to Corporation Bridge as the Grimsby terminus.

A projected extension over Corporation Bridge was authorised but never built, as work on the reconstruction of Corporation Bridge took too long, finishing only in 1928. The Corporation Road and Gilbey Road section was cut back in 1956. The section from Corporation Bridge to Immingham was closed in 1961

Grimsby & Immingham Electric Tramway at Immingham Dock in 1958


Direct current electric power was supplied by two substations. The first was built three miles from Immingham by Siemens Brothers whose contract included the construction of the overhead line and the installation of 184 Baltic Redwood fir poles which would run alongside the line. Two Westinghouse 250 kW rotary converters produced 500 V DC for the trams. Traction feeders were installed every half-mile. The substation itself was a redbrick construction, built by Dennis Gill & Sons of Doncaster for £507.

The second substation, continuously manned, was also built by Dennis Gill, for £707, next to the car sheds at Pyewipe. It contained three 250 kW Westinghouse rotary converters. One converter was used for lighting, one for traction and the third as a standby.

Pyewipe Car Sheds[edit]

The Pyewipe sheds, taking their name from the local marshes near the Grimsby Borough boundary, serviced all the trams. Pyewipe was built by H. Marrows for £1464. The sheds did not house the cars, which spent all their life outdoors, only entering the workshop if repairs were needed. The workshop had the capacity to hold three trams on two tracks and the depot the rest of the fleet. It also housed a machine shop and store.


The railway used four types of single-deck bogie tram:

  • 12 long trams designed by the Great Central railway and constructed by Dick, Kerr & Co. of Preston. They were 54 feet in length, the longest non-articulated trams in the country.
  • 4 short trams, numbered 5 to 8, purchased in preparation for operations in the streets of Grimsby. These vehicles were scrapped in the early 1930s.
  • 3 trams purchased from Newcastle Corporation arrived on the line in 1948 but were scrapped in 1957
  • 18 trams, built in the 1920s, were purchased from Gateshead and District Tramways in 1951 although only 17 went into service, one being damaged during delivery. These were painted in British Railways electric locomotive green, a bright shade of the colour, by all accounts. One of this class is preserved at the National Tramway Museum in Crich, and another, Grimsby and Immingham 26, is preserved at Beamish The North of England Open Air Museum, now operating as Gateshead 10.

See also[edit]


  • Feather, T. (February 1993). "Great Central Inter-Urban". Forward (Great Central Railway Society). ISSN 0141-4488. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]