Peterborough–Lincoln line

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Peterborough–Lincoln line
Lincoln MMB 02 Peterborough to Lincoln Line.jpg
The line heads away from Lincoln toward Sleaford
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale East Midlands
Termini Peterborough
Stations 6
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) East Midlands Trains
Rolling stock Class 153 Super Sprinter
Class 156 Super Sprinter
Line length ~24 mi (39 km)
Number of tracks Two
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification 25 kV AC OHLE (part of the ECML at Peterborough)
Peterborough to Lincoln Line
Doncaster to Lincoln Line
& Sheffield to Lincoln Line
& Retford
Nottingham to Lincoln Line
to Newark North Gate and Nottingham
Lincoln Central
Sheffield to Lincoln Line
to Grimsby Town and Cleethorpes
Branston and Heighington
Potter Hanworth
Nocton and Dunston
Scopwick and Timberland
Poacher Line
to Grantham and Nottingham
Poacher Line
to Boston and Skegness
Sleaford avoiding line
Donington Road
St James Deeping
East Coast Main Line
to Grantham and Doncaster
East Coast Main Line
to Stevenage and London King's Cross
All minor stations closed on Sundays

The Peterborough–Lincoln line (marketed as The Redwing Line) is a railway line linking Peterborough and Lincoln Central, via Sleaford and Spalding.[1]


The section between Peterborough and Spalding closed to passengers on 5 October 1970 and re-opened on 7 June 1971. North of Spalding, Ruskington re-opened on 5 May 1975. Metheringham followed on 6 October 1975.[2]

Intermediate stations south of Sleaford did not re-open (see diagram). There has been agitation by local communities to re-open Littleworth on a park-and-ride basis for Peterborough. In 2016 this was costed at £4.3 million as it would need a footbridge and car parking availability.[3]


The towns and villages served by the route are listed below;[4]

After an upgrade in 2015, the route through to Lincoln (and beyond to Doncaster) has a regular role as a diversionary route for trains from the East Coast Main Line mostly for slower freight services, but occasionally for passenger trains too. As a result the route is now open 24 hours per day.[5]


The line is not electrified.[4] The line is controlled by Lincoln signalling centre from Werrington Junction to Lincoln, worked under track circuit block regulations (TCB). However, Sleaford East box remains for now: resignalling is due around 2019/2020, when the whole area will switch to York rail operating centre (ROC) along with Lincoln signalling centre.[6]


  • Werrington Junction (excl) to Spalding: 70mph (Down – toward Doncaster) 75mph (Up – toward Peterborough)
  • Spalding: 50mph
  • Spalding (excl) to Sleaford South Junction: 75mph
  • Sleaford avoiding lines: 55mph
  • Sleaford to Lincoln: 75mph


One person died and 30 people were injured in the Nocton rail accident when a train hit a vehicle on the tracks at the site of a removed bridge, on 28 February 2002.[7]

On 6 December 2004 two people died in a collision between a car and a class 153 DMU on a user operated crossing south east of Helpringham.[8]

Proposed developments[edit]

A new grade separated junction at Werrington is to be built around 2019 to allow freight and passenger serves to cross the East Coast Main Line.[9]


  1. ^ "Route 11 South Cross- Pennine, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire" (PDF). Network Rail. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Slater, J N, ed. (December 1975). "Choral celebration at Metheringham". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 121 no. 896. London: IPC. p. 583. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  3. ^ "New station hopes for South Holland fade as bill rockets to £4.3 million". 21 February 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Brailsford, Martyn (2016). Railway track diagrams 2: Eastern. Frome: Trackmaps. pp. 24–26. ISBN 978-0-9549866-8-1. 
  5. ^ Mawson, Tim (June 2015). "Joint Line Joy". The Railway Magazine. Horncastle: Mortons Media. 161 (1,371): 42–45. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  6. ^ Rhodes, Michael (2015). "7: East Coast Main Line". Resignalling Britain. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-909128-64-4. 
  7. ^ "Rail crash victim's final call". BBC News. 1 March 2002. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "BBC News – Inquiry starts at rail crash site". 7 December 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  9. ^