Great Central Railway


Opened: 1901

Closed: 1985

Location code: E42/16

Orgreaves Colliery signal boxOrgreaves Colliery was situated on the approaches to Sheffield on the main line of the former Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway from the Grimsby direction. Here, there were several large boxes controlling the multiple running lines and for this box the control of the colliery connections were not its primary function.

The box is an example of a type introduced by the MS&L in 1894, but most were built after the company renamed itself the Great Central to emphasise its newly created London route. The majority of these boxes were built with brick bases (although an all-wood example is illustrated at Blind Lane) and features included a shallower roof pitch (compare with North Kelsey) and a lean-to porch. Only the corner window sections slide open.

Some of the windows have been blanked off to allow items, such as the clock, to be fixed to the wall after the lever frame was renewed facing to the rear of the box.

Interior of Orgreaves Colliery signal boxThe original 60-lever frame was renewed in 1954 with a 75-lever one manufactured by Westinghouse, of their "A" pattern. A large illuminated diagram hangs above the block shelf, where an array of Tyer & Co. permissive and absolute block instruments can be seen.

Signal repeaters and emergency sealed releases are fitted to the front of the shelf.

Towards the centre of the frame are a range of levers with their handles cut short. This is to serve as a physical reminder to the signalman that no effort is required to operate them, as their function is purely electrical. They control the main line running signals, which were renewed as colour-light signals when the line was electrified west of Wath in the late 1940's.

Orgreaves Colliery box closed on the 8th September 1985.

View track layout plan for 1977.

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Additional notes by David Ingham

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated