Great Eastern Railway


Opened: 1900

Closed: 2000

Location code: E30/27

Wroxham signal boxWroxham is located north of Norwich, on the line to Cromer. The line was opened by the East Norfolk Railway in 1874, although traffic was always worked by the Great Eastern. A junction was created here in 1879, when the line that eventually reached County School opened.

This box is far more recent, dating from 1900 when the line was doubled northwards from here. The 50-lever McKenzie & Holland No13 patter tappet frame worked virtually the same layout previously controlled by 20 levers in the old box, but a substantial number of shunting signals were provided to bring the signalling up to date.

Part of the County School branch gained an extended life with a new link to the old Midland & Great Northern line to Lenwade when the main M&GN route closed, although this later fell out of use and was closed in the late 1970s. The trackbed of the branch is now used by the Bure Valley railway.

The box is a fine example of the Great Eastern's standard design used from 1885 onwards, although the paint is looking a little dowdy in this early seventies view. The nameboard is picked out in Eastern Region colours, just like the label at the top of this page! Another example on this line is illustrated at North Walsham.

The box depicted here closed on Sunday 25th June 2000, when the control of the line was transferred to Trowse Swing Bridge.

Additional information from Mike Bridge:
After it went out of service it became a problem as the new two aspect down starter was positioned so that it protected the end of double track some distance from the station. This meant that the box was in the line of sight for drivers pulling away from the platform. They could find themselves off the platform but still waiting for the single track going north towards Worsted. Railtrack tried to have the box demolished or sold without success. Network Rail finally agreed to sell it to a trust so long as it was moved to solve the sighting problem. About four years ago the Trust installed a new concrete base a few yards behind the box. The whole structure was then lifted on an inflated cushion and floated back, then sideways to its new home.  With the help of the National Railway Museum and the Broads Authority it has been refurbished and re-equipped. It is open for visitors free of charge Sundays and Bank Holidays during the summer and at other times by appointment.

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Additional notes by Mike Bridge, David Ingham and Ken Lowe

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated