Great Northern Railway


Opened: 1902

Closed: 1989

Location code: E4/03a

New England East "A" cabinNot a great amount now remains of the extensive marshalling yards that existed at Peterborough know as New England. However, one of the cabins that controlled it survived until relatively recently.

This box, with its rather complex nameboard arrangement, was erected in 1902 but was never of full signal box status. It was simply a shunters cabin, a means of concentrating the control of all the points in the area that would be more commonly worked on hand levers.

The box demonstrates one of the small range of standardised boxes that emerged from the architectural chaos of early Great Northern days. This type only existed in all-timber form and first appeared in 1893 although brick boxes continued to be built to varied designs for many years. Standard features of these boxes included four-pane deep main windows, two-high locking room windows and windows in the gable ends (concealed by the array of nameboards here!) along with vertical timberwork. Usually, this timberwork was cheaply battened (see Tempsford) but here the neater but more expensive tongue and groove method has been employed. The design of box was transformed in 1907 to the style illustrated at Woodside Park.

To make life easy for the shunting staff, each of the nineteen roads of the Sorting Sidings were accessed by a points lever numbered to correspond with the line concerned. A neat arrangement! The remaining levers of the 22-lever frame of Railway Signal Co. origin at one time controlled indicators, bolts and signals at the main New England East box.

The cabin was taken out of use on 16th April 1989, and the points controlled from ground levers.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated