The restoration of the Grimsby to Louth railway was the long-term objective of the preservation group which was formed when the line was closed by British Rail in 1980.
Ludborough station became the group’s base and then the long haul began to rebuild this historic line as a heritage railway. Since then much progress has been made, and in 2009 a milestone was reached when steam trains started running to North Thoresby.
The plan now is to extend the line in stages, as funds become available, southwards towards Louth. The LWR owns the trackbed as far as the industrial estate on the outskirts of Louth – a distance of 5 miles.
Our first target is to reach Pear Tree Lane, which is close to the site of the former Utterby Halt station. The picture below shows the site in 1982, not long after closure. Our volunteers have already started work on this three-quarter-mile section: the trackbed has been cleared and levelled, drainage has been installed, and a fence has been erected across the southern perimeter of the site. Vital works were also carried out south of Ludborough station between December 2018 and March 2019 during the period when trains aren’t running to relay the existing track and upgrade it to passenger-carrying standards.
In May 2019 our fundraising appeal topped the £50,000 mark. This enabled us to purchase 30 lengths of rail and another 300 sleepers at a cost of £25,000. Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we will have enough materials to reach the half way mark. Two wagon-loads of sleepers have already been moved on site and a hard standing area is being built at the Pear Tree Lane end for storing materials.
In early July 2019 three lorry-loads of concrete sleepers were delivered to Pear Tree Lane. In all, 264 sleepers, each weighing 290 kilos, were unloaded at the site. This was followed by the arrival of the 60ft lengths of rail, each weighing around a tonne.
The running, restoration and maintenance of the railway are all carried out by volunteers at LWR. They are the lifeblood of our organisation. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life and gain new skills. There is a wide choice of jobs covering every aspect of the railway’s activities.
The enthusiasm of our volunteers has allowed us to secure the future of LWR.