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
TypeHeavy rail
SystemNational Rail
LocaleEast Midlands
OwnerNetwork Rail
Rolling stock
Line length~24 mi (39 km)
Number of tracksTwo
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV AC OHLE (part of the ECML at Peterborough)
Peterborough–Lincoln line
& Retford
Branston and Heighington
Nocton and Dunston
Scopwick and Timberland
Sleaford-avoiding line
Donington Road
St James Deeping
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] Between Lincoln and Spalding, the line follows the route of the former Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway.


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 being built from September 2018 to allow freight and passenger services to cross the East Coast Main Line.[9] It is expected to be open in 2021.[10]


  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. ^
  10. ^ Milner, Chris, ed. (November 2018). "Network Rail prepares for £200m Werrington upgrade on ECML". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 164 no. 1, 412. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 6. ISSN 0033-8923.