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East Lincs Line BB5

Louth to Grimsby

Opened in 1848, as part of the Louth-Grimsby-New Holland-Hull route (New Holland to Hull being by ferry), with the line being opened south to Boston very shortly afterwards.  The line is laid on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds where they meet the Lincolnshire Marsh.

Louth was a railway junction (and now the largest town in Lincolnshire without a rail connection), where the line between Grimsby and London meets the coastal loop to Mablethorpe, and the line to Bardney, reputedly the most beautiful route in Lincolnshire.  Louth had an engine shed in the era of steam (40C), and a very ornate station.  Behind the station on one side is the engine shed, and opposite the imposing ABM maltkiln built shortly after World War II (demolished January 2015.  The Maltkiln was the world’s first to be built from re-inforced concrete.  Heading off towards Grimsby, we pass the second maltkiln on the left, before the curve which leads to a dead straight line all the way to Grimsby, within a few hundred yards of Grimsby Town Station.

The first "station" is Fotherby Halt, one of a series of halts opened in 1905 for use of the railmotors service (the railmotors being very similar to the ones offered by Railworks).  Like the other halts, the platform is very low, and steps were kept at each for passengers to alight and to mount the railmotor.  Timetables show "normal" trains occasionally stopping at Fotherby, but the more common way was to request the stop at the previous station.  On the eastern side of the line is a circle of trees almost surrounding the small village of Little Grimsby (officially the town known as Grimsby is "Great Grimsby"), the trees being called "the Belt."

We pass the village of Utterby on the left shortly after leaving Fotherby, but Utterby Halt is some way off, right in the countryside, and for that reason very light on passengers, and doesn't normally appear on timetables.  In making the halt in the programme, I haven't populated it with passengers, as this would be completely unlikely.

Next up is Ludborough Station.  Again, well away from the village of Ludborough, as well as being some distance from Fulstow.  Note: this is the current southern end of the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway (see their website for diesel and steam hauled trains).

North Thoresby comes next, and was normally the only intermediate station between Louth and Grimsby where the London expresses stopped.

Grainsby Halt was built at the behest of a local well-to-do family, and in consequence, as it was nowhere near any village, it was hardly ever used.  Like Utterby, I haven't populated the station at all, and the milk churns there are not for milk, but for water for the gatehouse, which had no piped water.

Holton le Clay Station comes next, again only lightly used by passengers as it was well outside the village ..... but Holton Village halt was ironically more frequently used, being in the village!  Far over to the west can be seen the hangers of Waltham aerodrome.

Waltham is next up, with the Nissen hut for Bibby's animal feed distribution.  Waltham Station encouraged the growth of a new village, called New Waltham (the actual village of Waltham is a couple of miles away) but the station is called Waltham.  Waltham Windmill miniature railway is next to Waltham Windmill, (see here: http://www.gcmes.org.uk/index.html).

As you leave Waltham for Grimsby, over to the east (right) you'll see the masts of the Naval Wireless station, and then shortly approach Peake's Tunnel.  No, you'll not be able to see a tunnel - just a bridge, which is known locally by the name!  Weelsby Woods are to the right, and the next halt is Weelsby Road, followed shortly afterwards by Hainton Road Halt.  We are now getting to part of the industrialised area of Grimsby with the electricity works cooling towers on the left (west) and the gasworks on the right (east) with the Great Northern goods yard next to the gasworks.

The bend after 12 miles of dead straight track can catch drivers out and has a 15 mph speed restriction, though it can be negotiated at a maximum of about 30 mph by most locos.  Grimsby Town station now hoves into view.  If you have a long train, you will be unable to pull up there without blocking at least one of the level crossings each side of the station.

 

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