Skip to content

A Grantham Railway Timeline

Our Timeline covers the period from 1850 to the present day and includes "interesting and notable" events that occurred along the railway lines in and around Grantham. We still have lots of research to carry out, so with your help we will be able to fill in some of the gaps. If you have anything "interesting and notable" that we could perhaps include within this section and want to share it with us on this website, then just let us know - use the 'Comment' box below.

1850In March 1850 work started on Spittlegate Hill cutting.
On 15th July 1850 Ambergate Wharf Station opened.
1851In April 1851 manpower used in the construction of the GNR line through Grantham reaches a peak of around 1,800 men of which most were labourers.
1852On 15th July 1852 Opening of the Towns Line for Goods traffic.
In July 1852 by this time there were four trains daily each way at Grantham.
On 1st August 1852 Opening of the Towns Line for Passenger traffic.
On 1st August 1852 A GNR locomotive was detained at Nottingham following the first run from London via Grantham. The loco was stored in a disused shed and remained there for seven months.
On 2nd August 1852 Ambergate Wharf Station closed.
1855In 1855 an agreement was reached for the GNR to run the Ambergate Line.
6th September 1855 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert paused at Grantham station on their annual journey to Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands.
In 1855 the roof of Stoke Tunnel fell in causing delays to traffic.
In 1855 Gonerby Road Bridge needed a major rebuild after it was found that the girders were too weak for traffic passing over it.
1857On 13th June 1857 Opening of the Grantham to Sleaford Line by the GNR.
In 1857 King's Cross to Manchester (via Sheffield) expresses averaged 42 mph over the GNR line.
In 1857 Robert Wilkes, originally a driver on the Ambergate line, was appointed Loco Superintendent at Grantham GNR shed.
1858In 1858 there were eight trains daily at Grantham plus a further six using the Nottingham line.
1859On 12th April 1859 Opening of the Sleaford extension to Boston Line by the GNR.
1861In 1861 the Ambergate Line was absorbed into the GNR.
1862In 1862 drinking fountains installed at Grantham Station for those who could not afford both travel tickets and refreshments.
In 1862 to increase the available area for handling goods at Grantham, land to the west of the station on which the old Workhouse stood was purchased.
1867On 15th April 1867 Opening of the Honington Line to Lincoln by the GNR.
On Tuesday 23rd April the first accident was recorded when the chimney of the locomotive of a special horse train struck a bridge near Lincoln and was knocked off.
In 1867 there were thirteen trains daily at Grantham plus eleven on the Nottingham line, five trains each way on the line to Boston and five trains each way to Lincoln via Honington.
In 1867 John James Ford was appointed Grantham’s first station master at the age of only 21.
1870In 1857 Patrick Stirling's Eight Foot Singles appeared on the GNR line through Grantham.
1874On 19th January 1874 Grantham Yard & Grantham South signal boxes opened.
1875In 1875 Patrick Stirling's Singles were now hauling the fastest services in the world on the GNR line through Grantham.
On 26th October 1875 Grantham North signal box opened.
1878In 1878 the station buildings were more or less completed as they are today.
1879In 1879 the first dining car services to be seen in Britain were operating on the GNR line through Grantham.
1880In 1880 there were twenty two Up trains and twenty one Down trains with eighteen more each way to Nottingham, eight each way to Lincoln, six each way to Boston and four each way to Melton Mowbray via the LNWR line.
1881On 24th April 1881 a new signal box at Grantham North was opened with 70 levers.
1888In 1888 the start of the Races to the North on the GNR line passing through Grantham.
1895In 1895 the Races to the North continued on the GNR line passing through Grantham.
1896On 7th March 1896 a derailment of the Night Scotsman due to faulty track occurred at Little Bytham south of Grantham.
1898On 7th July 1898 a collision near the Yard Box occurred involving a Manchester to London train.
In 1898 14-year-old Frank Pinchbeck began work on W H Smith’s bookstall on Grantham railway station.
1903In 1903 the GNR installed a new Down Goods line around the western side of Grantham Station.
1906On 19th September 1906 the derailment of the 8.45pm train from King's Cross occurred on the Nottingham curve. This became known as The Grantham Accident
1911In 1911 Grantham Shed had sixteen large Atlantic locos and many small Atlantics.
On 1st October 1911 Mr H.N. Gresley was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer of the GNR. His engines became synonymous with the GNR line through Grantham.
1916In 1916 a single track line was built just south of Belton Lane bridge near Peascliffe Tunnel to link the main line with a large army camp at Belton, home of the Machine Gun Corp.
1919On 3rd March 1919 the High Dyke to Stainby iron ore branch was opened.
1923On 1st January 1923 The GNR lines through Grantham became part of the LNER.
1925In 1925 GWR Castle Class loco, Pendennis Castle, ran on the LNER line through Grantham
1926In 1926 railway operations in and around Grantham were affected by the General Strike.
1927In 1927 the inaugural run of the Aberdonian through Grantham took place.
1934On 30th November 1934 Gresley A4 Pacific No 4472 Flying Scotsman passed through Grantham with a King's Cross to Leeds test train. During the run the loco became the first to reach a speed of 100 mph.
1935On 27th September 1935 The Silver Jubilee streamlined high speed passenger service, hauled by Gresley A4 Pacific 2509 Silver Link. on a demonstration run between King's Cross and Grantham, ran at 112.5 mph. 25 miles of this journey was covered at 100 mph.
1936On 19th January 1936 two light engines running from Peterborough to York, collided with the rear of a ballast train travelling from Grantham to Newark near Barkston.
1937In 1937 the concrete coaling tower appeared and remained a landmark for 26 years.
In 1937 a relay room was built adjacent to the south end of the North Box.
On 17th October 1937 new automatic colour light signalling came into effect between Grantham North and Barkston South Junction.
In 1937 the 800 feet long down platform was extended by 150 feet.
1938On 3rd July 1938 Gresley A4 Pacific 4468 Mallard starting from Barkston Junction, passed southwards through Grantham, before going on to achieve a world speed record for a steam locomotive of 126 mph between Little Bytham and Essendine.
1939In 1939 The Silver Jubilee service through Grantham was withdrawn.
1943On 10th May 1943 the Goods line at Grantham Station was made bi-directional and became known as the Up & Down Goods line.
1948On 1st January 1948 The LNER line through Grantham became part of British Railways (Eastern Region).
In 1948 loco exchanges took place on BR regions with a variety of types being seen on the main line through Grantham.
1949In 1949 the inaugural run of The Capitals Ltd through Grantham took place.
1950In 1950 the inaugural run of The Tynesider through Grantham took place.
1951In 1951 the inaugural run of the Heart of Midlothian through Grantham took place.
1952On September 28th 1952 the Centenaries Express from Kings Cross to York headed by A4 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley passed through Grantham.
1953On 27th September 1953 ‘The Plant Centenarian’ paused at Grantham on its way from Doncaster to Kings Cross. The locomotives were GNR Atlantics No. 990 piloting No. 251.
1954In 1954 Mr H Scampion the Grantham Station Master reported that 434 trains had been dealt with by Grantham North signal box in one working day.
On 8th June 1954 railway carriage hits the end wall of the down side refreshment room.
1955In 1955 Diesel multiple units began work on Lincolnshire lines and marked the first replacement of some steam services in the Grantham area.
In 1955 the old Barrowby Road Bridge at Grantham was replaced in a 30 hour period.
In 1955 Barkston Station north of Grantham closed.
1956In 1956 the inaugural run of The Talisman through Grantham took place.
1957In 1957 Sir Robert Fossett's Circus arrived in Grantham by train.
1958On 26th April 1958 the first appearance of a main line diesel loco (D201) at Grantham with a train from King's Cross.
On 15th September 1958 the start of intensive diesel hauled services through Grantham.
1959In 1959 the inaugural run of the Tees Thames through Grantham took place.
1961In 1961 The Tees Thames service through Grantham was withdrawn.
1962On 19th May 1962 A3 60066 Merry Hampton passed through Grantham with a LCGB Great Northern Rail Tour to Doncaster and a tour of the works.
1963In June 1963 the Royal Train conveying the Queen Mother arrived at Grantham Station after spending the previous night at Leadenham.
In 1963 Grantham Station came second in the best-kept station competition.
On 7th September 1963 Grantham locomotive shed closed.
1964In January 1964 the old Grantham coaling tower was demolished.
In March 1964 associated track and signalling at Grantham was taken out of operation, including that specifically provided to facilitate locomotive changes.
In November 1964 a closure hearing was held for the Grantham to Lincoln via Honington line.
1965On October 30, 1965 the final passenger trains ran on the Grantham to Lincoln via Honington line.
1966On April 4th 1966 D9012 Crepello passed through Grantham as part of a PR exercise and hauled an eight coach demonstration train 1Z10 weighing 286 tons.
On April 18th 1966 following the PR run on 4th April, the new Kings Cross to Leeds ‘Flyer’ services were introduced.
On 11th September 1966 Grantham Station closed on Sundays during the Winter months.
1968On 4th August 1968, on the Nottingham line, Barrowby Road signal box closed, along with the next signal box to the west at Gonerby.
1970In February 1970 the Nottingham line was singled from Grantham North to the site of the former Barrowby Road box. The Up line was taken out of use, the former Down Nottingham line becoming the Up & Down Nottingham line.
In April 1970 a new link 500m long opened between the Up & Down Nottingham line at Barrowby Road and the Down Main line near the bridge over Gonerby Road.
In 1970 the pedestrian tunnel from Station Road, often used by trainspotters in the days of steam, was temporarily closed for repairs.
1971On 27th June 1971 Grantham Yard signal box box closed so that the building could be converted into a panel signal box to be named 'Grantham'.
1972Great Ponton signal box closed on 5th February 1972.
On 20th February 1972 Grantham North and Grantham South signal boxes were abolished. Control passed to the new Grantham panel signal box from which signals and points were operated remotely, from an electric switch panel, over a wide area - initially extending from Highdyke to Barkston South Junction. This marked the end of semaphore signalling and mechanical lever frames in that area.
Barkston South Junction signal box closed on 30th March 1972.
In 1972 Spittlegate Hill railway bridge was closed for 6 months whilst rebuilding took place.
1975Stoke signal box closed on 6th July 1975.
1977On 24th October 1977 the area covered by Grantham panel signal box was extended and Highdyke signal box was abolished.
1979On 13th August 1979 all unaccompanied trainspotters under 14 years old are banned from Grantham Station by Area Manager Mr Bernard Short.
1980From 3rd February 1980 signalling at Grantham was controlled from Doncaster Power Signal Box.
1981In 1981 Grantham panel signal box (formerly Grantham Yard) was demolished.
1982In February 1982 a speaking timetable was introduced at Grantham Station.
1990On 12th May 1990 the Train Crew Depot closed.
1991In 1991 The Talisman service through Grantham was withdrawn.
1998In October 1998 Grantham voted Station of the year by Railtrack.
2006In October 2006 the Allington Chord opened.
2008In August 2008 National Express East Coast install lifts at Grantham.
2009In May 2009 National Express East Coast installed ticket barriers.
2013On September 7th & 8th 2013 Grantham Station was the venue for the Story of Speed Festival as part of the Mallard 75 celebrations.

Return to Grantham Railway History

Copyright note:  the article above is published with the appropriate permissions.  For information about copyright of the content of Tracks through Grantham please read our Copyright page.

1 thought on “A Grantham Railway Timeline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *