Brigg has gained a new addition to its main road network.
Following three successive weekends' hard work by contractors, Network Rail's barrier crossing has now replaced the old gated version on the A1084 where Bigby Road meets Bigby High Road.
The first lifting barrier crossings with flashing lights to warn approaching motorists were installed by British Railways in the early 1960s - one of earliest being in Lincolnshire, near Stallingborough.
In an extensive rolling programme throughout the remainder of the 20th century and beyond, traditional crossings across the UK were replaced.
But despite modern barriers appearing long ago at Hibaldstow level crossing just a few miles along the line, Brigg's gates remained... until now.
On Saturday/Sunday March 14/15 they were finally removed; March 21/22 saw the new lifting barriers appear; and finally on Saturday, Sunday & Monday, March 28/29/30, the installation was completed.
Road closures were in place during these periods while the contract continued, meaning that drivers faced a detour via Kettleby Lane, Wrawby, to rejoin the A1084.
Brigg Blog took some of these pictures on Sunday afternoon (March 29) as work was nearing completion.
Volker Rail established a temporary depot nearby in the former car lot on Bigby Road.
"Samantha, The Signaller" took some video footage of the latter stages of the installation which someone else, a rail enthusiast, has kindly forwarded to us.
Still evident on Sunday was a copy of the official road closure notice pinned to a lamp-post adjoining the crossing.
It advised drivers that the diversion they needed to follow was via Barnard Avenue in Brigg, the A15, Caenby Corner and Caistor - well over 30 miles! This instruction also appeared online.
Hopefully all car drivers were aware of the Kettlelby alternative or proceeded via Elwes Street, Cadney and Howsham to rejoin the A1084.
Sadly, at present, very few - if any - trains are using the Brigg line. So we look like having to wait a while to picture the lights flashing, the barriers lowering and a diesel unit eventually proceeding past the old wooden signalbox, which Network Rail has retained.
The old gated crossing was long past it sell-by date, and towards the end of its life all trains had to observe a 'walking pace' mandatory speed restriction - now a thing of the past.
We gather Brigg's wooden gates are being put up for sale. Some parts were still on-site on Monday morning.
Note that current pedestrian access over the crossing is alongside the road (see picture here) and not through small gates to the side. Whether this is a permanent arrangement we will look to establish.
|Footpath access over the new crossing on Monday, March 30.|
|Old wooden gates stored near the Brigg line on Monday morning, awaiting removal.|
|Sunday afternoon scenes as the project neared completion.|
|One of the newly-installed road signs advising drivers.|
|A van (centre) using the new barrier crossing on Monday morning.|