British Railways (Eastern Region)


Opened: 1974

Closed: 1982

Location code: E59/16

Twenty Feet River box was erected in 1974 to replace a box dating from 1882 originally known as Twenty Feet Siding. When first opened, this would have been a wayside cabin very similar to Blotoft Siding, being located a little way north of March station on the Great Northern & Great Eastern Joint Line.

However, the provision of massive marshalling yards at Whitemoor in 1928 gave this location rather more importance, necessitating an enlargement of the box to accommodate an additional 17 levers to control the northern inlets and outlets of the yard. By the early 1970s, the box was showing distinct signs of having had enough, by slowly sinking towards the fens.

This sturdy replacement opened on 31st March 1974, and contained a 40-lever McKenzie & Holland frame which was brought second-hand from Spital Junction at Peterborough - or, rather, two-thirds of it was.

LNER Shynting signals at Twenty Feet RiverThese 1982 views show the box and line just after the line had closed, although most signals and fittings were still in place.

The two signals illustrated here show one of two ways that the LNER implemented multiple-disc signals. They never had means of building multiple discs, and always used separate units. The alternative method saw one mounted behind the other, with the rearmost elevated on a pedestal.

The box and this section of the "Joint Line" closed on 27th November 1982.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated