North Eastern Railway


Opened: 1877

Closed: ——

Location code: NE20/19

Haydon Bridge signal boxOpened as Haydon Bridge West, this box assumed its present name when the East box closed (around 1940). It is a fine example of the North Eastern Railway's early architecture. The three divisions of the NER (Southern, Darlington (later "Central", and abolished in 1899) and Northern all followed their own paths on signal box design and Haydon Bridge demonstrates nicely the latter's architecture.

The Northern Division's boxes all followed a similar style with brick or stone construction and hipped roof - see Holywell for a brick-built example. The earliest examples featured a locking-room window with stone lintel. Later boxes had slightly different locking room windows - an example of this type can be seen at Milton.

The curious window arrangement on the end wall of the box is a later modification. Several NE boxes were provided with additional glazing to improve the view of road traffic at level crossings. Here, the opportunity was taken to also extend the window outwards by a small amount, perhaps to give the signalman a little more elbow room whilst working the wheel that operates the gates.

The 31-lever frame in the box was installed second-hand in 1964, replacing an earlier frame of 40 levers.

As can be seen, the stonework was cleaned up not too many years ago as part of a general restoration process. The box continues in use today, controlling the level crossing and acting as a block post between Hexham and Bardon Mill on the Newcastle to Carlisle route.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated