Some Early Lines
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway
Bourne & Sleaford Railway
Billingborough & Horbling Station (remains)
View southwards, towards Bourne; ex-GN Bourne – Sleaford branch. Station and line closed to passengers 22/9/30, to goods 28/7/56 (from Sleaford) 15/6/64 (from Bourne).
© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, (M&GN) was a joint railway owned by the Midland Railway (MR) and the Great Northern Railway (GNR) in eastern England, affectionately known as the ‘Muddle and Get Nowhere’ to generations of passengers, enthusiasts, and other users.
The main line ran from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth via South Lynn and Melton Constable. Branches ran from Sutton Bridge to an end on junction with the Midland Railway branch from Saxby, at Little Bytham near Bourne, Lincolnshire; from Melton Constable to Cromer; and from Melton Constable to Norwich. There was also a short spur connecting South Lynn to King’s Lynn and its docks.
Bourne and Sleaford Railway
Station architecture on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway at Bourne, which was the junction for the Sleaford and Essendean branches of the Great Northern Railway. Bourne signal box had a huge deflector screen at the corner to prevent the headlamps of cars using the crossing from blinding the drivers of oncoming trains.
The Bourne and Sleaford Railway was a 18-mile (29 km) long Great Northern Railway built single track branch railway line that ran between Bourne, on the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway main line between the Midlands and the Norfolk Coast, to Spilsby, on the Peterborough to Lincoln Line via four intermediate stations, Morton Road, Rippingale, Billingboro and Horbling, and Aswarby and Scredington.
Nene River crossing
The view from a train from Spalding to Yarmouth Beach showing the complex arrangements made to take road and rail over the river Nene. The bridge swings open to take river traffic when required, the line being protected by two signal boxes, one at each end. The bridge itself has a box to operate the bridge and signal to ships when the river is clear.
The line was first proposed by the Great Eastern Railway as part of their plan to create a line from Cambridge to York. This plan failed to obtain parliamentary authorisation and was eventually built by the Great Northern Railway, opening in 1872. Although operated by the same company, the line was run separately from the Essendine line, and had its own goods yard. The line closed to passengers in 1930, although the section from Bourne to Billingborough remained open for goods until 1964.
The Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway terminated at a place called Yarmouth Beach, an undistinguished terminus at the back of the town.