Great Northern Railway


Opened: 1898

Closed: 1977

Location code: E3/14

St Neots signal boxSt. Neots, situated in Huntingdonshire on the Great Northern's main line from Kings Cross to the north, originally possessed two boxes which dated from the introduction of "proper" signalling here in 1877. The south box was, however renewed in 1898 in connection with the quadrupling of the running lines. Interestingly, this South box (illustrated here) was built to emulate the design of the old box that had been here. Apart from the all-timber construction, it bears great similarity to the 1878 box at Shepreth.

The box contained a Saxby & Farmer (Duplex) frame of sixty levers - an example of this type of frame can be seen at Warsop Junction.

In 1925, the North box closed as an economy measure, and a few of its signals became controlled by this box, which lost the "South" suffix to its name. Around that time, Barford box (to the south) also closed, and on the main running lines (but not the goods) early automatic signalling was provided.

St. Neots subsequently had a steady existence up to the resignalling of the East Coast Main Line in the early seventies.

The telegraph pole serves as a good reminder of the days when the wires for all the block instruments, single-needle telegraph and telephone circuits were carried overhead.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated