North Eastern Railway


Opened: c1873

Closed: 1997

Location code: NE31/29

Picton signal boxPicton was once a significant junction on the Northallerton to Stockton route, for the main route to Whiby once branched off here. For many years, though, Whitby trains have used a different route, causing the significance of this location to diminish.

The box here opened around 1873, and was built by the Central Division of the North Eastern Railway. In original form, the box was rather smaller in size, and would have looked very much like Cargo Fleet Road.

However, in 1905, a significant expansion in the layout here necessitated the installation of a larger frame. A substantial rebuild of the box was carried out in order accommodate this. So drastic was this rebuild, that there is little to give this fact away - the usual clues of different colour brickwork or an unbalanced window arrangement are not present.

This rebuilding occurred after the Central Division lost its identity, and therefore shows some features of the Southern Division boxes of the time - notably the arched locking-room windows (some of which show signs of later removal) and the shallower roof. These features can be compared with Burton Lane.

In much more recent years, the McKenzie & Holland frame was shortened to just 26 levers as most of the levers had become redundant. The box had become little more than a wayside block post with level crossing. Notice the delightful wooden level crossing gates which were worked from a capstan wheel inside the box.

The line was resignalled in 1997, and the box closed on 29th of November that year.

Buy prints of photographs
at 433shop
Click here

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated