Southern Railway


Opened: 1949

Closed: 1989

Location code: S42/26

Crabtree Crossing signal box}The original South Eastern Railway box was replaced by the Southern Railway just after the second world war, and was constructed to full "Air Raid Precautions" specification. The distinctly austere appearance was the result of extremely thick walls and roof.

It was once theorised that the box was renewed in order to provide additional connections into some military sidings, but recent evidence has come to light that confirms these connections were previously controlled by the old box and were actually commissioned during the previous war in 1916! In view of this, it would seem more likely that the old box was replaced by this sturdy structure as a result of bomb damage, which may explain why a box to this specification was actually opened after the war had ended.

It contained a lever frame of just twenty-one levers manufactured by Westinghouse, which was the type adopted by the Southern Railway as standard.

The box survived the 1970 resignalling of the Dartford area, and was retained to control the nearby level crossing. In 1981, it took over the control of Belvedere's crossing, using closed-circuit television. In 1989, both crossings were closed to road traffic, and Crabtree Crossing box was finally closed.

Additional notes by John Creed

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated