Midland Railway


Opened: c1882

Closed: 1955

Location code: LM51/12a

Buckden signal boxThe Midland Railway opened a lengthy branch leaving the main line at Kettering Junction, plunging eastwards to link up with the Great Eastern Railway near Huntingdon.

Signalling was provided on this line from the early 1880s, and much of this survived through to the line's closure in June 1959.

Buckden station was a very minor station on the route, with no passing loop on the single line and just a small goods yard. In keeping with 1880's practice, the box was rated as "Block Post but not a Staff Station". This meant that the Staff & Ticket working on the single line applied between the stations with crossing loops (Huntingdon and Kimbolton) whilst the intermediate boxes had block instruments to allow the section to be broken into smaller and more convenient pieces. This had particular benefit in allowing shunting to take place at intermediate stations (often by horse) with the protection of the block system and signals.

Buckden box had just eight levers to control its layout, and the box was thus built to the smallest size possible under Midland convention - the floor plan is square resulting in the roof having just one finial. Midland Railway boxes built before 1884 had small windows in all front and end walls, but as boxes became larger and higher this design was developed with taller windows along the front, as illustrated at Upper Holloway

Although closed in 1955, the box has survived with the station in private ownership. It is now used as a greenhouse and is a rare and valuable representative of the Midland Railway's first standard architecture.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated