Great Eastern Railway


Opened: 1889

Closed: c1991

Location code: E35/23

Southminster signal boxSouthminster is the terminus of a surviving branch line which turns of the Great Eastern's line to Southend Victoria at Wickford. All of the boxes in this area that dated from the lines' opening in 1889 were a variation on the Great Eastern's final standard of 1885 onwards (such as at Wroxham) by having more steeply pitched roofs and other ornate features. All boxes of this type were built by McKenzie & Holland.

Inside Southminster boxAs might be expected, the interior view is dominated by a McKenzie & Holland frame of 36 levers, a common type used by many railway companies.

No block shelf is provided - this was not necessary because there were no block instruments to place on it. The single line is controlled by the Miniature Electric Train Staff instrument mounted upon a sturdy table in the far corner.

The line was electrified and resignalled around 1991, but the lever frame seen here was transferred to the nearby Mangapps Farm Railway Museum, where it has been reassembled so that visitors can operate it and examine the workings.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated