London, Chatham & Dover Railway


Opened: c1877

Closed: 1981

Location code: S41/12

Bat & Ball signal boxAlthough most signal boxes on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway were built by contractors to standard designs, a few were built in the late 1870s by the company themselves, of which Bat & Ball is a good example. These were built to a plain and functional design, no doubt embodying all of the best features of the Stevens and Saxby & Farmer boxes that preceded them.

At around the same time, the LCD introduced their own design of lever frame, suggesting that the intention was to swing all signalling manufacture to local production, but although the frame design (see Canterbury East) was perpetuated, there was a reversion to contractors for box construction.

The delightfully named Bat & Ball station was to be found in the suburbs of Sevenoaks, on the Swanley branch. When the new Sevenoaks panel box opened in 1962, track-circuit block working was installed on this branch as far as Otford Junction. Bat & Ball box was then able to be left normally switched out, with the signals working automatically, being only opened when required for access to the sidings.

After a steady life, the box closed in 1981.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated