Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

North Thoresby

North Thoresby


The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is a heritage railway based at Ludborough station, near Grimsby. On 16 April 1845, the East Lincolnshire Railway published their proposals for a railway. Many influential people, including the Earl of Yarborough and several of the MPs supported this in the area. There were several ties [including two common directors] between the London & York Railway [later the Great Northern] and the East Lincolnshire Railway. Both had proposals to run into Boston, but with separate termini. A compromise was reached, and a common station was built. In Grimsby the ELR wanted a terminus at Pasture Street, but an agreement with the Manchester Sheffield & Lincoln Railway [MS & L] allowed them to run into Grimsby Town.This was made simpler after a curve from Catherine Street to Garden Street was laid. Both the ELR and GN proposals received royal assent on 26 June 1846.


Work started in early 1847, with an estimated expenditure of less than £9,000 per mile for double track. [Current costs estimated for the rebuilding of the line are £250,000 per mile for single track]. Work even continued on Sunday. The local clergy disapproved, and local newspapers condemned the practice. Some of the workmen were eventually fined when this practice continued. The first train to run along the line was for Directors and other VIPs on 17 September 1847 and covered the 14 miles distance from Louth Keddington Road to Grimsby in 20 minutes.


The line opened for passenger traffic on 1 March 1848. The original stations between Louth and Grimsby were Ludborough, North Thoresby, Holton-le-Clay with Tetney, [later called simply Holton-le-Clay, and Waltham for Humberstone, [later simply Waltham]. These intermediate stations had ‘staggered’ platforms, with the train passing over a level crossing before stopping. The Line was extended South from Louth and reached Firsby during September of the same year. The line became known as The East Lincolnshire line, and was operated by the Great Northern Railway Company. This was the first section of the railway operated by the Great Northern Railway. At this time there was an agreement between the MS & L and GN regarding running between New Holland and Grimsby, each being allowed to use the other’s line, with ticket revenue split on a mileage basis.


The Great Northern’s hopes of co-operation with opening its London terminus [Kings Cross] were dashed in a dispute with MS & L (later the Great Central). The MS & L did an about-face and aligned itself with the ‘Euston Square Confederacy’ (The London North Western, the Midland and the Lancashire & Yorkshire), in their campaign to block the GNR. The MS & L refused to water the GN engines at Retford, and only a High Court injunction restored common running rights. By mutual agreement this ended in 1851. Other intermediate halts were opened between Louth and Grimsby in preparation for a railmotor service, which started in 1905.


Fotherby Gate House opened 1852, but was used only on market days, but closed in 1872, re-opening in 1905 as Fotherby Halt. Utterby Halt, Grainsby Halt, Holton Village Halt, Weelsby Road and Hainton Street also opened at the same time. Grainsby Halt and Weelsby Road closed during the war but re-opened afterwards. In 1923 the Great Northern Railway became part of the London Northern Eastern Railway [LNER]. During 1924 most of the Grimsby fish trains were routed on the East Lincolnshire line when it was realised that the line was less congested and the fish could arrive more quickly at its final destination. In 1948 the line became part of British Railways following nationalisation. Grainsby was a small Victorian Halt, probably one of the smallest halts that passed in BR hands. It closed in 1952. All the intermediate stations except North Thoresby, between Grimsby and Louth closed to passenger traffic on 11 September 1961, although some were still open for goods traffic for a few more years. The extension of the station building now includes a dedicated museum area which has enabled us to display this unique collection of local railway memorabilia going back over 150 years. There’s an array of cast iron notices, railway lamps, tickets, uniform buttons, advertising signs, name boards which used to be seen on station platforms and paper ephemera, all from an era that is now just a distant memory.


For a calendar of special events please click here. Running days are Wednesday and Sunday in August. Access to the trains are via a small step and a ramp is available for wheelchairs to access the train. The toilet block is situated on the North Platform which is a little way from the main platform and trains. There is a disabled toilet fitted with grab rails, hand sink with lever taps, paper towels, hand soap and sanitizer. At present there is no hot water available. There is also a baby changing unit in the disabled toilet. On most steaming days there are Engine Shed Tours – the pathway to the shed is partly accessible but is not suitable for wheelchairs at the present. Dogs are welcome both on the station and train and water is always provided. Assistance dogs are welcome in the Steaming Kettle Buffet. They have one wheelchair available for the use of those who require it whilst visiting.


Location : Ludborough Station, Station Road, Ludborough, North East Lincolnshire DN36 5SQ

Transport: No Public Transport.

Opening Times : Hourly trains 10:45 to 17:45

Tickets : Free admission to Museum

Tickets : Adults £7.00; Seniors £5.00; Children £4.00

Tel: 01507 363881