Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway


Opened: c1875

Closed: 1983

Location code: E43/07

Blackmoor Crossing signal boxThis grimy cabin was located on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway's busy route between the two cities in their name.

Apart from the dirt (which is probably mostly brake dust from heavy freight trains descending the gradient from Woodhead) the box is a fine example of the MSL's first design, introduced in the 1873.

Notice the box is exactly square in shape - not an uncommon feature in early boxes throughout the country. At the apex of the roof would have sat a large ball and spike finial, although most of these had fallen off with age in the boxes' later life.

Blackmoor Crossing signal boxDistinct features of this design are the windows that are split into vertical panes only, and the additional glazed area down to operating floor level in the centre sections of the front wall. All boxes of this type were of all-timber construction, utilising battened boarding. Locking room windows are usually in the end walls.

Another example of this type of box is illustrated at Worksop West. In 1880, a new gabled-roof design was introduced; an example is shown at Friargate Crossing.

The MSL built its own frames for these boxes, although the one at this box was replaced around World War Two with a second-hand McKenzie & Holland frame of twenty levers when additional sidings were provided.

In later years, the box had no pointwork remaining, and with the crossing reduced to occupation status it became possible to switch the box out at light periods. At the time of these photographs, use of the Woodhead route was in decline and the box was no longer regularly manned.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated