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Gainsborough Lea Road railway station

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Title: Gainsborough Lea Road railway station  
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Subject: Gainsborough Central railway station, Sheffield to Lincoln Line, Swineshead railway station, Thornton Abbey railway station, Barrow Haven railway station
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Gainsborough Lea Road railway station

Gainsborough Lea Road
The station sign
Place Gainsborough
Local authority West Lindsey, Lincolnshire
Grid reference
Station code GBL
Managed by East Midlands Trains
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05   120,891
2005/06 Increase 132,747
2006/07 Decrease 106,634
2007/08 Increase 118,854
2008/09 Decrease 118,616
2009/10 Increase 136,284
2010/11 Increase 146,836
2011/12 Increase 154,100
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Gainsborough Lea Road from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Gainsborough Lea Road railway station serves the town of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, England. The town's other station is Gainsborough Central. The station is 14.25 miles (23 km) northwest of Lincoln Central.

The station opened in 1867 on a single line of the Great Northern Railway, who ran four trains a day from Gainsborough to Lincoln.[1]


  • History 1
    • Opening 1.1
    • Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway 1.2
    • London and North Eastern Railway 1.3
    • British Railways 1.4
  • Location 2
  • Services 3
    • Winter 1890 services 3.1
    • 2015 services 3.2
  • Signal Boxes 4
  • References 5



The first station at Gainsborough was the current Central station opened in 2 April 1849 by the Manchester Sheffield and Lincoln railway. Initially a terminus this became a through station when the line was extended to Woodhouse and Retford on 16 July 1849. On 9 April 1849 a single-track line built by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) from Lincoln to west of the station and GNR trains serving Gainsborough reversed here. Following the opening of the MSLR line to Retford, GNR services then ran to Retford although the reversal into Gainsborough Central was still required.

The GNR was keen to extend their line from Gainsborough to Doncaster and parliamentary approval for this line was received on 25 July 1864. As part of this scheme the existing Lincoln to Gainsborough line was also to be upgraded. On 1 December that year the line from Lincoln to Doncaster was closed and doubling took place. At this time the new station initially called Gainsborough was built and trains started calling there on 15 July 1867. On 1 March 1871 a line was opened from north of the station to the bank of the River Trent serving Ashcroft Saw Mill and an iron works.[2][3]

Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway

In 1879 the GNR and the Great Eastern Railway (GER) formed a committee to build a line linking the coal fields of south Yorkshire to London. This saw the building of a new line from Spalding North Junction to Pyewipe Junction near Lincoln which opened in stages in 1882. The station was transferred to the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway committee. Passenger facilities were improved in 1883 and 1884, and goods facilities expanded in 1886 and 1891 with a number of rail connected businesses operated in the station area. In 1909 the joint committee was abandoned and although the station remained in Joint ownership, it was managed by the GNR.[4]

London and North Eastern Railway

The GNR amalgamated with several other railways to form the London and North Eastern Railway on 1 January 1923. On 9 July the station was renamed Gainsborough North although this name was short-lived as the station was renamed Gainsborough Lea Road on 1 December.[5]

In the Second World War the joint line saw significant freight traffic and passenger services were reduced as a result.

British Railways

Following nationalisation of the railways in 1948 Gainsborough Lea Road became part of the Eastern Region of British Railways.

The goods yard remained active during the 1950s but falling traffic saw closure on 1 April 1967.[6]


Compared to Gainsborough Central, Lea Road is very inconveniently sited, being around a 20-minute walk from the town centre. Whilst there is a bus between the station and the town centre, this is not timetabled to connect with train services.

A number of years ago local councils were campaigning for a new Lea Road station to be built slightly further north of the current station.


Winter 1890 services

Passenger services in the Winter 1890 services included several express services operated by the Great Eastern Railway supplemented by local trains between Lincoln and Doncaster operated by the GNR. there was also a Peterborough - Doncaster local service (GNR) and march - Doncaster local service operated by the GER.

The express services were:
  • 2 x Liverpool Street - Doncaster
  • Harwich - Doncaster
  • March - Doncaster (portion from Harwich to Manchester North Country Continental service)

There were a number of goods services: GER services generally running between Whitemoor (a large marshalling yard located north of March in Cambridgeshire) and Doncaster. GNR goods services ran from Doncaster to/from a variety of destinations including Lincoln, Louth, Peterborough and Grantham.[7]

2015 services

Monday to Saturdays on the Sheffield-Lincoln Line there is generally an hourly service westbound to Sheffield and beyond and eastbound to Lincoln Central with a two-hourly service on Sundays.

On the Doncaster-Lincoln Line there are five East Midlands Trains per day Monday to Saturday direct to Doncaster northbound and Lincoln Central southbound with some trains extending to Peterborough run by Class 153 units.

There are plans for a new service which would see Lea Road Station linked directly with services to either London Liverpool Street or London Kings Cross.

Signal Boxes

When the station opened in 1877 a signal box called Gainsborough South was provided. there was also a signal box at Gainsborough North which controlled access to the goods yard and Trent branch (known as Lower yard) South signal box was renamed Lea Road in 1895 when it had a new lever frame made by Evans, O' Donnell & Co fitted. North box was replaced by a ground frame. On 11 February 2009 Gainsborough Lea Road signal box was badly damaged by fire.[8] The block section (this is the area that was controlled by the signal box) was split between Stow Park to the south, and Gainsborough Trent Junction to the north.

The route was upgraded during 2012 and 2013 as part of a £280m project to relieve the East Coast Main Line of freight. This included new colour light signalling and the signalboxes at Stow Park and Gainsborough Trent Junction officially closed in January 2014 with the new signalling is controlled from Lincoln Control Centre.[2]


  1. ^ Beckwith, Ian S. The Book of Gainsborough Quotes Ltd (1988)
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
Lea Road Station entrance
Sprinter train at the west platform
Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
East Midlands Trains
Mondays-Saturdays only
Northern Rail
Historical railways
Terminus Great Northern Railway
Line open, station closed

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