SLEAFORD - The first railway in Sleaford was the Boston, Sleaford and Midland Counties Railway which opened from Barkston Junction, north of Grantham on the Great Northern Railway main line on 16 June 1857 and on to Boston on 13 April 1859. This railway became part of the GNR in 1864, which opened a line from Bourne on 2 January 1872. Next came the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway which opened from Spalding through Sleaford to Lincoln in 1882. Finally the line to RAF Cranwell opened in 1917.This line closed in 1956, followed by the line to Bourne in 1964. The Grantham to Boston and Spalding to Lincoln lines remain open, as does the freight avoiding line bypassing the station. This has recently been refurbished by Network Rail and returned to full operation after several years of disuse (as part of the plan to route more freight trains onto the latter & away from the busy East Coast Main Line). Sleaford is one of only a few places still to have signal boxes named 'North', 'South', 'West' & 'East' around the area. The station boasts a train service of 4 trains an hour, 2 on each of the lines, and handles about 350,000 passengers per year. Despite losing all of its semaphore signals, the station is in nice vintage condition, as seen here on 22/07/15.