North Eastern Railway


Opened: c1875

Closed: 1985

Location code: NE22/19

Holywell signal boxHolywell is another early Northern division box of the North Eastern Railway. It is basically similar to Haydon Bridge but of the more common brick construction.

As first built, it was probably no larger than Haydon Bridge, either, but the cabin has had a neat extension made which mirrors the original architecture. This even stretches to the extent of providing a matching locking room window.

The reason for the extension would have been, of course, to accommodate a larger lever frame. A lot would have changed over the 110-odd years of this box's existence - in 1875 it probably only controlled a double line railway between Percy Main and Hartley, but two additional lines (part of the extensive Backworth Colliery network) were later added to the layout. Additionally, signalling provision standards would have changed over the years, and the 35-lever frame in use in the box in its later years was probably its third.

Holywell box was abolished on 7th February 1985.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated