THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

London, Midland & Scottish Railway

KESWICK No1

Opened: c1932

Closed: 1967

Location code: LM130/15


Diesel unit departing KeswickThe London, Midland & Scottish Railway erected a new box at Keswick No1 in the early 1930's. Replacing a Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway box of 18-levers, this 20-lever box controlled an identical layout. The reason for renewal is therefore unknown, perhaps it was the result of a fire or structural damage.

This picture shows a Penrith-bound passenger service leaving the station a few years after the box closed. The overgrown ground is effectively all the box controlled - three running lines and a siding through the station, a small dock, and the key token-worked single line to Threlkeld.


Keswick No1 signal boxZooming in from the above view allows closer examination of the architecture, albeit partly hidden behind a clump of Rosebay Willowherb.

The box, whilst basically to the LMS design of 1930, illustrated at Madeley, has a few variations from the standard. The window sections are made up of small panes three-high by two-wide. The Midland Railway often provided smaller windows on smaller boxes in this way; the reason is unknown but it may have used up surplus parts from dismantled boxes. Another unusual feature, alas barely visible here, was the use of stone for the construction of the lower storey.


Interior of Keswick No1, after abolitionAnother post-abolition photograph shows the twenty-lever REC frame. All of the lever pull and description plates have been removed by collectors.

The decline of this route was gradual. In 1966, Keswick became a terminus when the part of the route towards Cockermouth and Workington closed. On 3rd December 1967, all remaining boxes on the line closed, including Keswick No1, and One Engine in Steam working (now known as One Train Working) was introduced, effectively making the line one long siding from Penrith.

Passenger services were withdrawn altogether on 6th March 1972 and these pictures were taken when I called in to pay my last respects two days beforehand.

Long gone are the days when the Lakes Express passed through here, and much of the station area has now been redeveloped. However, there are plans afoot to re-open the line - not as a preserved steam railway but an independent commercial venture. Details of this project can be found at http://www.ckp-railways.co.uk/


All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated