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This railway was opened in 1897, principally to link the coalfields with deep water ports, and was intended to run from Sutton on Sea in Lincolnshire to Warrington in Lancashire. 
Only the section between Pyewipe Junction, near Lincoln and Chesterfield Market Place station, with some branch lines, was ever built.
It was purchased by the Great Central Railway (GCR) on 1 January 1907, providing a better link between the London main line and the east coast.