East Lincolnshire Railway
|Successor||Great Northern Railway|
|Founded||26 June 1846|
The East Lincolnshire Railway was a main line railway linking the towns of Boston, Louth and Grimsby in Lincolnshire, England. It opened in 1848. All intermediate stations, with most of the route, were closed to passengers in 1970.
The East Lincolnshire Railway was proposed as one of a group of allied railway bills during 1845 and 1846 as part of plans by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) to gain a link between London and Leeds / York. The line was built in a perfectly straight line with no heavy cuttings. There were ten bridges, three over the line and seven under the line. The contractors were Messrs. Waring and Sons, of Louth. The architects of the station buildings were John Grey Weightman and Matthew Ellison Hadfield of Sheffield. Original Plans for the railway had proposed a terminus at Pasture Street in Grimsby but an agreement with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway had allowed the Great Northern Railway to use Grimsby Town instead.
The section between Louth and Grimsby was opened on 1 March 1848 quickly followed by Louth to Boston on 1 October 1848. The line was leased to the GNR from the beginning.
In 1897, there was an ambitious plan for the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway to join the loop (at that time known as the Sutton and Willoughby Railway) making a junction at Thurlby and running to Sutton on Sea where a new North Sea port and harbour would be built.
The line south from Louth to Firsby Junction was closed on 5 October 1970. The Grimsby to Louth line remained in use for freight to the Associated British Maltsters in Louth, with final closure in 1980. The line north of Waltham was used for the construction of the A16 Peaks Parkway.
Preservation, reopening and future plans
In 1978, a small preservation group called the Grimsby-Louth Rail group was set up with aims to preserve the entire section, however the Grimsby attempt is no longer possible as the Waltham-Grimsby section is now a bypass, so the group was renamed and changed to Grimsby-Louth Railway preservation society. A new company was formed to purchase the 11-mile (18 km) trackbed from Louth to New Waltham as BR would not sell to a society. The company's name was the Great Northern and East Lincolnshire railway co. plc. The trading name of the company is now the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway.
In 1991 A light railway order was granted to Great Northern & East Lincolnshire Railway plc who then bought 11 miles (18 km) of trackbed between Keddington Road, Louth and Waltham. Since then the section of track was relaid between Ludborough and North Thoresby in 2008 and in August 2009 North Thoresby station reopened nearly 30 years after complete closure by BR in 1980. A section of track is now currently being relaid south of Ludborough towards Utterby.
There are still plans to eventually extend the LWR itself north to Holton-Le-Clay and south to Louth as part of the 8-mile (13 km) re-instatement project in the future.
- "History of the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway - History of the line". Retrieved 14 March 2009.
- "General Remarks". Hull Packet. England. 3 March 1848. Retrieved 3 March 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (. ))
- Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway. Plans and sections. 1890. Lincolnshire Archive [LIND DEP PLANS 1/177.]
- "Lincolnshire Railways Gallery". Retrieved 14 March 2009.