North London Railway


Opened: 1892

Closed: 1976

Location code: LM113/06

Dunloe Street signal boxBetween the one-time stations of Haggerston and Shoreditch, perched atop the viaduct along which the North London's route ran, was Dunloe Street box. It served a small good yard belonging to the London & North Western Railway (which was also at viaduct level) but mainly served as an important section splitter on this intensively used route.

Access was gained from ground level by the circular iron staircase - there was plenty of time to hear the guv'nor coming!

Dunloe Street signal boxOnce you have got your breath back from the climb, a glance at the box shows it to be a perfectly normal design at track level. It is similar to Western Junction at Dalston, but with a hipped roof. This style was used in the 1880s and 1890s. Note the large array of locking-room windows, which actually are bolted in position and can be fully removed in the event of major maintenance or renewals.

In its early days, Dunloe Street was one of only a handful boxes to control all four lines, from a 40-lever frame to the North London's standard tappet design like the one at Western Junction.

In later years, boxes were rationalised all around, but Dunloe Street survived many larger cabins by being conveniently midway between Broad Street No2 and Dalston Junction and therefore fulfilling its earlier role despite the sections being somewhat longer. Its importance fell as train service were gradually reduced and it fell out of use in the 1970s.

In 1976, the signal arms were removed and the levers bolted to prevent interference, and the box declared as abolished. Nevertheless, it was retained in this form for many years in case a need arose.

It never did, and the line closed in 1986.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated