Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway


Opened: 1890

Closed: 1987

Location code: E49/02

North Kelsey signal box and level crossingNorth Kelsey could be found on the Barnetby to Lincoln line of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, which opened as late as 1890.

This view shows the wooden level crossing gates, with stout iron hinges fixing them to the large concrete posts. Notice the red lamp, angled so as to point towards road traffic when the gates are closed. The divided red target split between the two gates is typical of crossings countrywide - this serves the same purpose as the lamp by day. Interestingly, an additional target is fitted to the right-hand gate; the reason for this is not known.

Alongside the main gates are the pedestrian "wicket" gates, which would not be secured until the train was closely approaching. Two original cast-iron signs warn against the dangers of crossing the line and trespass.

Behind these signs is a stout lattice-post bracket signal, although the top doll is timber to reduce weight. Notice how the wire running to the upper quadrant arm passes round two pulleys to reach the arm, rather than the more popular crank arrangement.

A closer view of North Kelsey signal boxThe box itself is of the MS&L's 1887 design, as were all on the line, for until 1890 this line had very basic signalling. This design superceded the design illustrated at Friargate Crossing, the main difference being a change to deeper (three-pane) windows for better visibility, and horizontal weatherboarded timberwork. Barge boards perpetuated the six-ring design, although those here have been renewed with plain replacements. Another example of this type is illustrated at Worksop Sidings.

Many boxes of this era were provided with lever frames manufactured by the Railway Signal Company, of their standard design with levers spaced at 5½ inches.

From 1894, another design of box was introduced by the MS&L, and an example is illustrated at Orgreaves Colliery.

The line is still operational, and many of the cabins remain in use. North Kelsey, however, was abolished in 1987.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated