North London Railway


Opened: 1872

Closed: 1979

Location code: LM113/08

Dalston Junction signal boxThis box started life as Dalston Junction No.2, dating from 1872 when the fourth line was added between here and the North London's city terminus at Broad Street. At that time most stations had two boxes, with the No.1 boxes controlling the "No.1" (later known as "steam") lines and the No.2 boxes controlling the "No.2" (or "electric") lines. The signalling at most was quite separate, but at Dalston Junction the layout was more complex owing to the divergence of the Kentish Town and Poplar routes.

The box originally contained a thirty-five lever frame, but when No.1 box closed in the early 1900s a new frame of sixty levers was installed. This frame was built at the North London's Bow works although similar in looks to the London & North Western's type. A similar frame can be seen at Western Junction.

Boxes built by the NL in early days had hipped roofs, as seen here, although not all had the elegant valancing below the gutter. Later boxes, such as Western Junction, had gabled roofs.

The box survived through massive rationalisation of the station layout through its controlling the four-track to double-track junction after the number of lines between here and Broad Street was reduced to two. With this layout, the box was only essential to traffic during the peak hours (when Eastern Region suburban services operated to destinations like Potters Bar and Hertford) and was frequently switched out at other times. Finally, with the withdrawal of the Eastern Region services, the box fell out of use and was abolished in 1979.

The box may have gone, but the name lives on. The adjacent cabin at Western Junction was renamed Dalston Junction in 1987.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated