Great Eastern Railway


Opened: 1886

Closed: 1986

Location code: E34/31

Norwich Thorpe Junction signal boxAt the point where the main lines of the Great Eastern Railway from London join with the Lowestoft and Yarmouth line was called Norwich Thorpe Junction. Routes also diverged here to serve the goods yard (the original passenger station, and the 1886 passenger station which survives today. At this point was Norwich Thorpe Junction box.

When the new passenger station opened, three new boxes were erected by McKenzie & Holland to control the area. This is one of them and is built to a design built between (mainly) 1885 and 1886. The type was used in parallel with the ornate design of Saxby & Farmer-built boxes as shown at March West Junction. Plainer in all respects, this introduced the three-by-three window pane arrangement that the Great Eastern finally adopted for their standardised design of 1886, illustrated at Wroxham.

Notice the unusually located distant signal in this view, for Trowse Swing Bridge box. This is a relic form Great Eastern policy, whereby distant signals would be placed just ahead of junctions to reduce complicated wire runs and slotting arrangements.

The box is recorded as badly damaged by enemy action on 27th June 1942, although there is little evidence of this in the early 1970's photograph.

Inside Norwich Thorpe Junction box Inside the box we find a McKenzie & Holland frame of 40 levers controlling the layout.

Elegant curves grace the signalman's diagram, whilst at the far end of the instrument shelf two of the four block instruments can be seen. A Great Eastern one-wire, two position block controls the section to Norwich Thorpe Goods Yard, whilst a separate three-position pegger and non-pegger of Great Northern origin signal the section to Norwich Thorpe Passenger Yard box.

Not visible at this end are the instruments to Trowse Swing Bridge(originally Sykes Lock & Block but replaced by three-position block by this date) and Wensum Junction.

Norwich Thorpe Junction box closed 13th July 1986, when power signalling was introduced in the area.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated