Established in the 1846 London and York Railway Act for a line to run between the two. The first section of track opened on the 1st March 1848 between Louth and Grimsby and the following year a line between Peterborough and Doncaster via Lincoln was opened. Thomas Brassey was the engineer. The main line between Doncaster and London opened in 1852. The companies main revenue was industry derived, mainly from coal freight. In the 1923 grouping it became part of the LNER.