Great Northern Railway


Opened: 1878

Closed: 1983

Location code: E26/02

Shepreth signal boxTwo signal boxes were opened in 1878 at the eastern end of the Great Northern's Hitchin to Cambridge branch. In design, these were comparable with Aslockton, but there were some noticeable differences. The vertical boarding in the gable ends was linked by battens, giving a ribbed appearance. Also, the locking-room windows had pointed tips above them rather than the usual arch. Only a handful of boxes elsewhere had this latter feature.

View from the level crossing at SheprethThis evening view shows that unlike most Great Northern boxes at level crossings, Shepreth box was not located alongside the gates. The usual arrangement would be for four gates to be worked by wheel, but here we see an arrangement that was quite common on the Great Eastern Railway. The signal box is positioned for good supervision of the connections to the goods yard, and two large hand-worked gates are provided.

Gate locking mechanism at SheprethThese hand-opearted gates were operated by the station staff during daytime and by the signalman at night. They could not be operated until the signalman operated a lever that bolted the gates in position.

Shepreth box remained in use until 1983, although the gates had previously been replaced by electric barriers controlled from the box.

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Additional notes by David Ingham

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated