Lincolnshire’s transport heritage

Words by:
Alan Middleton
Featured in:
November 2012

The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is a charming venture, which will transport you back in time 160 years and is well worth a visit.
The Louth to Grimsby railway line opened for passenger traffic on 1st March 1848. The interim stations were Ludborough, North Thoresby, Holton le Clay and Waltham. For many years the line was very popular but the service came under close scrutiny in the 1960s and the passenger trains ceased running in 1970. The line remained open for goods traffic for about ten years but finally closed in 1980. After the closure, British Rail quickly lifted the track and bulldozed all the buildings, making the job of rebuilding the line so much more difficult. The Grimsby-Louth Group was formed towards the end of the 1970s to fight the closure of the line, but after that campaign failed they became the Grimsby-Louth Railway Preservation Society. The original goal was to reopen the line from Grimsby to Louth. Work started in a small way with signal boxes at Hainton Street, Grimsby and Keddington Road, Louth. In 1984 an operating base was established at Ludborough, the line leased from British Rail and, following a public enquiry in 1991, a Light Railway Order was granted. This allowed them to develop the line and they bought the trackbed between Louth and Waltham from British Rail. Since then Ludborough station has been redeveloped, the signal box rebuilt in the original Great Northern style and a waiting room and an engine shed have been created. In 2001 work started on the north platform and in 2004 this was complete with a toilet block, garden and seating area. Tracklaying continued north from Ludborough and in 2009 the first passenger train in nearly forty years arrived at the newly reopened North Thoresby station. Steam trains now run regularly for most of the year. The next objective is to take the line south towards Louth. For more information telephone 01507 363881 or visit the website at

The Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society was founded by a group of local businessmen in 1959 with the aim of preserving local vehicles of historic interest. Former Lincoln Corporation bus number 5, Registration VL 1263, was the Society’s first vehicle and this was soon joined by others. Vehicles were initially kept at the Sobraon Barracks on Burton Road, but in 1962/63 land on Whisby Road, North Hykeham was acquired and the Society moved into what is now the Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum. The first building to be erected on the site in 1966 was a wooden former NAAFI building. In 1993 the Society received a grant from North Kesteven District Council and together with its own funds and financial support from Beckside Construction the old NAAFI building was demolished and the new museum erected. The museum was granted Registered Museum Status, followed by Accredited Museum Status in 2009 and now houses a collection of over sixty-five vintage cars, buses and commercial vehicles spanning over eighty years of road transport history, painstakingly restored by skilled enthusiasts. Displays around the museum capture scenes from yesteryear as well as artefacts that complement the vehicle collection. This is a destination certainly worth visiting, whether it is for a trip down memory lane for the seniors or a peep into the past for the younger visitor. For more information telephone 01522 500566 or go to the website

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