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British Industrial History

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Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway

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A railway owned by the Great Northern Railway and its rival, the Great Eastern Railway.

1879 joint company established

The joint company built a line between Spalding and Lincoln to complete a new, primarily freight, route between Cambridge and Doncaster, a distance of about 123 miles. The main purpose was to move Yorkshire coal into East Anglia, a highly profitable enterprise.

1882 The direct line from Spalding and Lincoln was opened; the GER started operating coal trains over this route.

Access to the coalfields in Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire was finally achieved by the GER in 1896.

1909 The joint committee ceased operation when the Great Eastern took over management of the south end of the line and the Great Northern took on the north end.

1923 after the grouping the management of the line was handled by the London and North Eastern Railway.


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