South Eastern Railway


Opened: c1875

Closed: 1986

Location code: S47/05

Edenbridge signal boxThe South Eastern Railway's first design of signal box, introduced in the 1880s, is well depicted by Edenbridge box, which was situated on the east-west route between Redhill and Tonbridge. This type of box was distinctive by its small window sections with unusual (for signal boxes) sash windows. The North British Railway used the same features in their early designs, as at Cambus Junction. The weatherboarding of South Eastern boxes is a common architectural feature in non-railway buildings in Kent.

The sleepy town of Edenbridge has the good fortune to have two stations to this day, but the South Eastern Railway's has never had a qualifying name, unlike the London, Brighton and South Coast's station at Edenbridge Town.

Interior of Edenbridge box The interior of Edenbridge box is as steeped in history as the exterior. The lever frame is the original, built to the design of the South Eastern's Engineer, Francis Brady, that was introduced in 1867. The design is crude, with a relatively short stroke to the levers and, unusually, wooden segments between the lever quadrants at floor level. Nevertheless, they obviously stood the test of time as several are still in use today.

The lever functions are described on plates fitted almost at floor level (a strange habit that the Southern Railway copied from Stevens & Sons' practice) but higher up on lever 5 is a foot plate to assist the signalman with the operation of the heavy starting signal lever. The diagonal steel plate by the yellow-painted distant lever serves a similar purpose.

On the block shelf can be seen a standard Southern Railway three position block and bell, together with some well-polished brass signal repeaters and plungers.

Edenbridge Town box closed on 31st May 1986, and control of the line is now shared by Ashford and Three Bridges power boxes.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated