Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway


Opened: 1899

Closed: c1981

Location code: E45/04

Skellingthorpe signal boxSkellingthorpe was just outside Lincoln on the grandiose-sounding Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway, which actually only ran from Lincoln to Chesterfield. This railway was absorbed by the Great Central in 1907.

Opening just before the turn of the century, this railway arrived late enough to be provided with comprehensive signalling from the outset, and the boxes east of Tuxford were contracted to the Railway Signal Company.

However, the box designs were more like those of the Great Northern Railway and bore no relation to the standard RSCo product.

As can be seen, Skellingthorpe's main purpose was the control of a level crossing, one lamp of which is currently staring you firmly in the eye! This level crossing ensured the box's survival through to closure of the majority of the line around 1985.

Inside Skellingthorpe signal box Inside the box, a Railway Signal Company frame of 25 levers controlled the layout. During this period, the Great Central were standardising on similar frames but this is merely a coincidence. However, those on the LDEC had the levers spaced at 4" intervals whereas the GC used the 5½" variety.

Occupying a substantial amount of floor space is the gate crab, which is also of RSCo origin. Unlike many other companies' gate wheel mechanisms, the worm mechanism is entirely above floor level.

The two end levers work the pedestrian "wicket" gates, and have been left slightly out of the catch to allow them to be conveniently swung when needed with the minimum of effort. The main running signals are colour-lights, signified by the cut down handles, introduced when the line to Clifton-on-Trent was singled.

LDEC boxes to the west of Tuxford were built by Saxby & Farmer, and were quite different, internally and externally. An example of one of these is Warsop Junction.

View diagram of box in 1977 (at time of photographs)
View diagram of box in 1957 (double line)

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated