Midland & Great Northern Railway


Opened: c1920

Closed: 1962

Location code: E57/16

Massingham signal boxThe Midland & Great Northern Railway was a joint operation owned by, not surprisingly the Midland and the Great Northern. It was a deliberate, costly attempt to infiltrate Great Eastern territory.

Signalling between Peterborough and Sutton Bridge was provided by the Midland Railway, and whilst at first glance Massingham (seen here, rather derelict, long after closure) is a perfectly standard example of the Midland's 1884 design (see Bolsover) there is one significant difference. The base of the cabin is built in stone, although the Midland generally used all-wood construction.

Another factor that throws a spanner into the works on the history of this box is that it isn't actually on the Peterborough line, but on the former Eastern & Midlands Railway (taken over by the M&GN in 1893) between Lynn and Fakenham. The box was not original to the line, but ertected in 1895. It was originally all-wood in usual Midland style, but underwent rebuild in 1920 with a typical M&GN lower storey built of concrete blocks.

Massingham lived a peaceful existence, controlling a crossing loop, level crossing and single goods yard connection from a 20-lever frame, through to closure of the line in 1962.

Massingham signal box, restoredAlthough in poor condition when I photographed the box in the 1970's, Charles Tallis sent this marvellous picture showing the state of the box in 2000. Somebody certainly loves it, and has carefully restored it. How nice to be able to report good news for once.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated