London & North Western Railway


Opened: 1875

Closed: ——

Location code: LM36/17

Monks Sidings signal boxMonks Siding box is situated in Warrington, on the LNW's Low Level route which snakes through the town linking Liverpool with Manchester. This heavily industrialised area was once packed with signalboxes at close intervals to control the various siding connections. A remarkable number of these actually survive, mostly controlling level crossings giving access to the once rail-served works.

Monks Sidings was erected in 1875, and represents the first LNWR box design used universally across their system. It was very much a development of the earlier Saxby & Farmer boxes like Lambrigg Crossing, with neat hipped roof and two-by-two panes for the operating floor windows. The majority of LNW signal boxes had brick bases, as seen here.

In accordance with normal practice, the signalbox stairs originally descended so the signalman would face oncoming trains. However, widening of the level crossing led them to be moved, explaining the blocked off doorway visible here.

The original 20 lever LNWR frame with tumbler locking is still in use 125 years on.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated