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North Lincolnshire Light Railway

The railway that never was.

Published : 22 February 2018


The railway that never was.

An application was made in November 1898 to the Light Railway Commissioners by the Railway Corporation of Great Britain Limited in pursuance of the Light Railways Act 1896 for an Order to authorise the construction of a light railway between Lincoln and Scawby.

Too many words, skip to the end.

This was authorised and confirmed by the Board of Trade who ordered that Benjamin Willans, William Pering Paige, John Samuel, Arthur Wilkes, James Charles Bolton, Francis J. Horrocks, Charles Courtney Cramp, Fredrick George Barrat and all other persons who had already subscribed or were going be proprietors and their executors administrators successors and assigns respectively to unite into a Company for the purpose of making and maintaining the railway and be incorporated by the name of the “North Lincolnshire Light Railway Company” and by that name to be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and with power to purchase take hold and dispose of lands and other property for the purposes of the Order.

Light Railway

Light Railway

They further stipulated that there was to be between three and seven directors and that to qualify as a director you had to have not less than £250 in share capital in the company. Two of the directors, William Pering Paige and Charles Courtney Cramp, were previously directors of the Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways Company. The Company was empowered to compulsory purchase any land for the use of the railway for a period of three years, after which that power was to cease. What is more, they had five years in which to build the whole 21¾ miles before their mandate expired, so the clock was ticking.

The railway hereinbefore referred to and authorised by the Order was :- A railway 21 miles 6 furlongs and 9 chains or thereabouts in length wholly situate in the County of Lincoln commencing in the City of Lincoln near the "Spa" by a junction with the Market Rasen branch of the Great Central Railway and passing thence through the parishes of Monks Liberty in the City of Lincoln, Greetwell, Nettleham, Scothern, Dunholme, Welton, Hackthorn, Cold Hanworth, Spridlington, East Firsby, Saxby, Owmby, Normanby, Caenby, Glentham, Bishop Norton, Snitterby, Waddingham and Redbourne and terminating in the parish of Hibaldstow by a junction with the Great Central Railway at a point about 83 yards south west of the signal box at Scawby Station.

The railway was to be constructed on a gauge of four feet eight and a half inches and the motive power was to be steam or such other motive power as the Board of Trade approved of. There were several pages of small print dealing with the erection of fences and the prevention of cattle and horses getting onto the railway line, they then went on to detail the price of transport.
For the conveyance on the railway of small parcels not exceeding five hundred pounds in weight by passenger trains the Company may demand and take any charges not exceeding the following, (that is to say):
For any parcel not exceeding seven pounds in weight three pence;
For any parcel exceeding seven pounds but not exceeding fourteen pounds in weight five pence;
For any parcel exceeding fourteen pounds but not exceeding twenty-eight pounds in weight seven pence:
For any parcel exceeding twenty-eight pounds but not exceeding fifty-six pounds in weight nine pence;
For any parcel exceeding fifty-six pounds but not exceeding five hundred pounds in weight the Company may demand any sum they think fit:
Provided that articles sent in large aggregate quantities although made up in separate parcels such as bags of sugar coffee meal and the like shall not be deemed small parcels but that term shall apply only to single parcels in separate packages.

The maximum rate of charge to be made by the Company for the conveyance of passengers upon the railway including every expense incidental to such conveyance shall not exceed the following, (that is to say):
For every passenger conveyed in a first-class carriage three pence per mile.
For every passenger conveyed in a second-class carriage two pence per mile.
For every passenger conveyed in a third-class carriage one penny per mile.
For every passenger conveyed on the railway for a less distance than three miles the Company may charge as for three miles and every fraction of a mile beyond three miles or any greater number of miles shall be deemed a mile.
Every passenger travelling upon the railway may take with him his ordinary luggage not exceeding one hundred and twenty pounds in weight for first-class passengers, one hundred pounds in weight for second-class passengers and sixty pounds weight for third-class passengers without any charge being made for the carriage thereof.

Raising finance from the council

Raising finance from the council

The small print continued with the Capital requirements. The capital of the Company shall be one hundred and twenty thousand pounds in one hundred and twenty thousand shares of one pound each. The Company shall not issue any share nor shall any such share vest in the person accepting the same unless and until a sum not being less than one-fourth of the amount of such share is paid in respect thereof. One-fourth of the amount of a share shall be the greatest amount of a call and three months at least shall be the interval between successive calls and three-fourths of the amount of a share shall be the utmost aggregate amount of the calls made in any year upon any share. If any money is payable to a shareholder or mortgagee or debenture stockholder being a minor, idiot or lunatic the receipt of the guardian or committee of his estate shall be a sufficient discharge to the Company. Then came the restrictions on how much the Company could borrow which is a bit long winded. They then went on to see how much they could get out of the local councils in the districts the line was to pass through.

TL;DR - Conclusion.

And then they didn't build it. The North Lindsey Light Railway from Frodingham to Whitton and Winteringham Haven got built, but the North Lincolnshire Light Railway that could have put Waddingham and Snitterby on the map just evaporated. Whether they ran out of time, or money or inclination is a mystery, I can't find a reason for it not being built, not on the internet or in a book. Agatha Christie might have written, "Murder on the Waddingham Express", whilst sipping cocktails at the Snitterby Station Hotel, it sounds like a good night out, but I guess some things are not meant to be...


Click here for the unsolved murder of Charles Copeman (1817-1847) as related in the newspapers of the day.


Click here for Sister Ellen Andrew, ARRC., from Wrawby, killed in action on the Western Front during a bombing raid in 1918.


Click here for the Kirton in Lindsey entry from the 1835 edition of Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directory.

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