Great Central Railway


Opened: 1905

Closed: 1977

Location code: E40/07

Blind Lane signal boxBlind Lane box was located on the Great Central's main line a few miles out from Marylebone, at the end of a four-track section of line from Neasden. The road by that name is known as Park Lane today (the name would have changed with the opening of the King Edward VII Park in 1914), and crosses the line just south of the box's location.

The box is a small cabin constructed to the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire's 1894 design, similar to Orgreaves Colliery, but unusually built entirely in timber. The MS&L became the Great Central, of course, just before the turn of the century.

This design of cabin was superseded by a type illustrated at Firbeck Junction "B".

Inside Blind Lane signal boxThis section of line was not part of the original London Extension contract which had all the signalling provided by the Railway Signal Company. That route had reached London via a joint arrangement with the Metropolitan Railway, but later an alternative route was achieved by providing a link from Neasden across to the Great Western at Northolt Junction. The contract for this small job was awarded to Saxby & Farmer, and their interpretation of the Great Central standard lever frame (see also Worksop West) varied in that the levers leant slightly back when in the "normal" rather than standing exactly vertical.

The signalling equipment here has been brought up to date with BR standard block instruments and a BR (LMR) signal repeater unit.

Notice the interesting style in painting the black and white chevrons on the detonator lever. The T-shaped lever badges are original.

By the date of this photograph, the four-track arrangement had been abandoned, and the box was retained purely as a break-section block post - hence the large proportion of white levers.

The box was abolished, after a spell of disuse, on 17th August 1977. It was then carefully dismantled and re-erected on the Great Central steam railway at Rothley.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated