THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Great Northern Railway

HIGHDYKE

Opened: 1882

Closed: 1977

Location code: E4/22

Highdyke signal boxHighdyke box was to be found on the Great Northern's main line between Peterborough and Grantham. This was the junction for the mineral branch to Stainby, although that did not exist when the box first opened.

The box is an all-timber design comparable with Biggleswade South and Claypole of the 1870's but with later features such as the glazing reaching up to the eaves and less roof overhang at the gables.

When Highdyke was built in 1882, it was little more than an intermediate block post, controlling just a few siding connections from its 12-lever frame. An Up Goods line from the Grantham direction was later added, increasing the box's strategic importance. This goods line was never extended southwards owing to the bottleneck created by Stoke tunnel.

In 1916, the box was enlarged (the extension is clearly visible in the above view) to accommodate a 40-lever frame of the standard Duplex tappet frame that the GN were then using. Although these were primarily a Tyer design (see Spalding No1) some examples were made by other manufacturers and Highdyke's was built at McKenzie & Holland's factory.

The substantial increase in the number of levers required is explained by the opening of the branch serving Colsterworth and Stainby. This mineral line developed substantial traffic and extensive sidings were laid out at Highdyke.

The Grantham area was resignalled in 1972 and Highdyke became the fringe box to the panel provided in the former Grantham Yard cabin. Meanwhile, resignalling from the south came in 1975 and Highdyke became a fringe box to Peterborough. This curious position lasted for two years despite the fact the branch had closed - the only piece of remaining layout was the Up Goods to Main connection.

The logical conclusion of closing Highdyke and allowing Peterborough and Grantham panels to interface directly occurred on 24th October 1977.


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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated