by Danny Goodrum

Chettisham signal box
Photograph by David Stenning

The first box out on the March line, Chettisham controlled the busy road crossing on the old A10 trunk road also the private siding giving access to the Grain Silo and wartime Cold store depot. The photos date from early eighties - the once wheel-operated gates having been replaced by lifting barriers.

Signal box diagram at Chettisham
Photograph by David Stenning

Chettisham worked to Black Bank and Ely North Junction, which were both quite short sections. However Down trains from Ely North Junction via the Ely avoiding line (the West Curve) could take twice as long in section as main line trains. Ely North Junction would give 1-2 on the large brass bell (centre block shelf) to denote a train routed as such, to avoid the wrath of the motorist extra time would be allowed before lowering the barriers and pulling off.

The diagram shows the Grain siding in the bottom right corner leading off from the Down Refuge Siding; this was worked by a single lever ground frame released by an Annett's Key which was kept in the signalbox. Grain from Chettisham was sent to Scotland for use in the production of whiskey. The Cold Store was cleared out in the late eighties and converted to industrial units - it allegedly still contained wartime margarine.

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson