The New Line
The New Line was “new” in 1913, but forever kept its title! It completed the lines in Lincolnshire, which was at its greatest passenger route length until the North Lindsey Light Railway closed to passengers in 1925.
Before the New Line was built, the growing holiday-trade saw trains from the Midlands industrial areas head through Lincoln to Boston, reverse, head to Firsby, reverse, and then set off to Skegness! With the building of the New Line and the triangle at Firsby, these trains could simply turn off the Lincoln-Boston line at Coningsby Junction, and head for the East Lincolnshire line at the isolated Bellwater Junction. Before reaching Firsby, they took the Skegness line.
The line was built as double track, but almost as soon as it was up and running, the Great War broke out, and it was decided to use one of the lines for railways in France, meaning the whole line was singled. They could have saved the effort ..... the ship carrying the lines to France sank in the English Channel! The second line was reinstated in 1923.
The line travelled almost exclusively through very flat fenland countryside, where fields frequently had no hedgerows, and trees, between Tumby Woodside and Bellwater Junction were a rare sight! Most of the trees that did, and still do exist, hid farms and other houses, sheltering them from the bitter east winds. Coningsby was, and is, an RAF base. During the Second World War the station saw many shipments of bombs for the base.
You will notice that there is no crossover at Coningsby. Although it was the busiest for passengers on the line, the Lincoln-Coningsby and return trains had to be extended to Tumby Woodside (a very quiet station) where the trains could reverse onto the appropriate line.
After Tumby, came New Bolingbroke Station. Although New Bolingbroke village, starting at the station and running north, is on a dead-straight road, it was designed and built as a “model village.”
Stickney (with the only road overbridge on the line) and Midville, completed the route. Local trains were mostly fairly quiet, but the route had always been built to shorten the journeys of goods and special holiday trains.