Lincolnshire loop line

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Lincolnshire loop line
Former station at Stixwould. The trackbed here is part of the Water Rail Way.
Dates of operation1848–1963
PredecessorGreat Northern Railway
SuccessorLondon and North Eastern Railway
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length58 miles (93 km)
Route map
River Trent
Left arrow Sheffield–Lincoln line Right arrow
Gainsborough Lea Road
Stow Park
Left arrow Brigg Branch to Retford
Foss Dyke
Left arrow Chesterfield to Lincoln Line
Pyewipe Junction
Boultham & West Holmes Jns
Left arrow Nottingham–Lincoln line
Lincoln St. Marks
Lincoln Central
Sheffield & Lincs Jcn Rly Right arrow
Sincil Junction
Left arrow Lincoln–Grantham line
Washingborough Junction
LowerLeft arrow Peterborough–Lincoln line
Five Mile House
River Witham
Louth to Bardney Line Right arrow
Woodhall Junction
Horncastle Branch Right arrow
Kirkstead and
Little Steeping Railway
Right arrow
East Lincolnshire Railway Right arrow
Left arrow Nottingham–Skegness line
The Haven
Algarkirk and Sutterton
Left arrow GN and GE Joint Rly
UpperLeft arrow
Midland and Great
Northern Joint Railway
St James Deeping
LowerRight arrow
Midland and Great
Northern Joint Railway
Down arrow GN and GE Joint Rly
UpperLeft arrow East Coast Main Line
Left arrow Midland Railway
Werrington Junction
UpperRight arrow
Midland and Great
Northern Joint Railway
Rhubarb Bridge
Wisbech Junction
Westwood Junction
Peterborough North
Peterborough Crescent
Right arrow Midland Railway
Down arrow East Coast Main Line

The Lincolnshire loop line was a 58-mile (93 km) double-track railway built by the Great Northern Railway, that linked Peterborough to Lincoln via Spalding and Boston.


The Lincolnshire loop line was authorised on 26 June 1846 as part of the London and York Railway bill.[1] The then renamed Great Northern Railway purchased the Witham Navigation and all navigation rights the same year and began construction of the new line, partly beside the river, in 1847.[2] The line opened in 1848 and was for a short period the main route to the north and Scotland until the line from Peterborough to Retford was opened in August 1852. Closure came in sections: the first was Woodhall Junction to Boston which closed to passengers and goods on 17 June 1963.[3][page needed]


The line from Lincoln to Boston was known as the Witham loop because it followed the course of the River Witham, passing through Washingborough, Five Mile House, Bardney, Southrey, Stixwould, Tattershall, Dogdyke, and Langrick. The line from Boston to Spalding passed through three intermediate stations, Kirton, Algarkirk and Sutterton, and Surfleet; much of this section is now under the A16 road. The final section to Peterborough also had three intermediate stations, Littleworth, St James Deeping, and Peakirk. This section is the only part of the line that remains in operation, although most of the stations have long been closed and disused.[3][page needed]

Six stations, Gainsborough Lea Road, Saxilby, Lincoln, Boston, Spalding and Peterborough North remain open, and are still part of the national network.[3][page needed]

List of railway stations[edit]

Water Rail Way[edit]

There is a variety of art along the cycle route. Much is whimsical sculpture, but this mosaic commemorates a Bronze Age Craft site archaeologists discovered on the South Delph

The trackbed from Boston to Lincoln is now part of National Cycle Route 1, and is also known as Water Rail Way, a punning reference to the route and the bird.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Great Northern Railway Company: Records". The National Archives.
  2. ^ "Disused Stations". Subterranea Britannica.
  3. ^ a b c Ludlam, A.J. (July 1995). Lincolnshire Loop Line (GNR) and the River Witham. Locomotion Papers. The Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0853614647.
  4. ^ "Water Rail Way". Sustrans. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  5. ^ "Photographs of Water Rail Way". Geograph project. Retrieved 2013-03-12.

Coordinates: 53°08′33″N 0°14′31″W / 53.1424°N 0.2419°W / 53.1424; -0.2419