by Danny Goodrum

Ely North Junction box
Photograph by David Stenning

One of Dave's shots of the outside of the box working this complex junction..

Interior of Ely North Junction
Photograph by David Stenning

Ely North Junction was the busiest of the Ely boxes, controlling the triple junction and both ends of the West Curve which allowed trains to run direct between Norwich and Peterborough instead of reversing at Ely station.

The frame totalled 76 levers including 2 at the left end labelled A and B. In the upper photograph signalman Dick Desborough is seen answering the Padnal block instrument for the Norwich line. At the booking desk is box lad Mickey Wilson who is now a driver with Central Trains. Most box lads went on into the signalling grade, however in the eighties we lost some potentially good signalmen to the loco department.

Inside Ely North Junction box
Photograph by David Stenning

Ely North Junction supervised the operation of the three Queen Adelaide level crossings, Peterboro' Road, Lynn Road and Norwich Road - named after the lines they were on rather than the highway. At busy times it could take up to fifteen minutes to drive through the village passing over all three of them, which were all within a distance of about 800 yds.

Ely North Junction worked to Chettisham, Littleport, Padnal and Ely Station North. Separate routing bells were used between the Junction and Station North to denote which line a train was from or to, to avoid wrong routing or platforming. The Down Distant at the Junction was the Station North Down Starter and was I think unique in being a three way splitting colour-light signal. At the time of resignalling, it was understood this was destined for the National Railway Museum.

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson