Great Northern Railway


Opened: c1877

Closed: 2009

Location code: E60/32

Gainsborough Lea Road signal boxGainsborough Lea Road is a fine all-timber example of the Great Northern's design found between March and Doncaster that later became part of the Great Northern & Great Eastern Joint Line. Although much of the structure is hidden (annoyingly) by the brick wall of the extended platform, the important features can be compared with the brick-built example at Haxey. There were originally two boxes here, Gainsborough South and North, but the North box closed as early as 1924 and was replaced by a ground frame.

Inside gainsborough lea Road signal boxThe 36-lever frame was installed by Evans O'Donnell & Co. in 1895, although it is not to their standard design as the levers in that type stood vertically when in the normal position.

Above the frame is an array of block instruments, indicators and controls, whilst the signal repeaters can be seen mounted on a board above these, level with the signal diagram.

The carpet on the frame quadrants is a non-standard feature - to keep the draught out!

Makers plate on the front wall of the boxEvans & O'Donnell left their mark in 1895 by mounting a cast plate on the front of the box. Many contractors would provide these on new work (although many were subsequently removed), but the provision of one during frame renewal, and its survival, is unusual.

The box continued in use until 2008, after which it was rarely manned. It was destroyed by fire on 11th February 2009, and was scheduled to be formally abolished soon afterwards.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated