A Brief History of the Line


The Barton to Cleethorpes railway line was opened by the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) in several stages between 1848 and 1863. The first stage opened in 1848 was between Grimsby and New Holland enabling a connection via a ferry across the river Humber to the city and port of Hull. The following year a 4 mile branch line was opened from New Holland to the town of Barton on Humber. In 1863 a further extension from Grimsby to Cleethorpes was added enabling through travel between Barton and Cleethorpes via New Holland. The MS&SR made major financial investment in the line providing port and pier facilities at New Holland, extensions to Grimsby Docks, and a major investment at Cleethorpes transforming a small fishing hamlet into a major seaside resort.


In the 1950s, like many railways throughout the country, the line started to feel the impact of road competition and goods and passenger traffic began to decline. Following the Beeching plan of 1963/64 the line was recommended for closure. However after consultation the line became exempt from closure mainly because of proposed industrial development of the area served by the line. The New Holland ferry also survived but did eventually close down with the opening of the Humber Bridge in 1981. Following the loss of the ferry the connection with Hull was maintained by a bus service from Barton. This service has remained ever since and has seen major improvement recently with a half-hourly service linking the towns of Scunthorpe and Barton with the city of Hull. The Stations along the line were all staffed until the late 1960s when all the staff was removed and Pay Trains were introduced, which still remain today. Eventually all the stations buildings were removed. The hourly train service on the line remained. However the service was cut back to two hourly in 1990. The all year Sunday service was also cut back to May to September. This remains today.






Text Box: 	Barton to Cleethorpes
	Community Rail
bccrp logophoto of Thornton Abbey station in 1912

Thornton Abbey station 1912

old photo of Thornton Abbey signal box 1913

Thornton Abbey signal box 1913

photo of Healing station in Edwardian times

Healing station in Edwardian times

photo of New Holland pier station in the 1970's

New Holland Pier station in the 1970ís

contacts box


First World War Centenary


During the First World War 1,304 Great Central Railway employees lost their lives. This figure includes 220 men who worked at locations along the Barton to Cleethorpes line and its vicinity. Ronald Sparkes has spent the last few months researching these men and where they worked and produced a roll of honour in their memory.


Valour Roll of Honour (pdf 205kb)