PHOTO GALLERY: NORTH LONDON RAILWAY
Broad Street No2
OPENED: 1865 CLOSED: 1986
Click or tap the images for enlarged views
Broad Street was the North London Railway’s main terminus.
Fifteen years later than the above view, a lot had changed – the station canopy had been reduced in length, leaving the box rather more exposed. However, the high brick wall that had supported it, and separated the original station from the additional wooden platform 9, remained.
The date of construction of the signal box isn’t confirmed – the station was enlarged in 1876 but the architecture suggests an earlier date than Dalston Junction (of 1872) and it may have been the box known to have been opened in 1865.
History has been hard to pin down, the box contained a Stevens & Sons frame (possibly the only one on the North London by the twentieth century) which could be assumed to be original to the box except that some records suggest the frame was renewed in 1891. That doesn’t really make sense as the company were manufacturing their own design of lever frame by then.
The two signal boxes at Broad Street acted as little more than shunting frames under the control of the Skinner Street Junction signalmen – almost all signals were slotted (dual-controlled) between the signal boxes and trains were signalled by the interesting instruments seen here, which basically just instructed the No2 box signalman which platform to signal trains in and out of. The operation of these instruments is described in greater detail in the Give My Regards to Broad Street article.
A lot of changes occurred over the years, and by the 1980s the station had been reduced to four platforms. Skinner Street Junction had gone, elevating No2’s status to a proper signal box.
The above picture shows the three mystery spaces for levers at the left end of the 70-lever frame frame, each with a different-sized catch-block guide creating different length travel of the absent levers. Track layout diagrams for a range of dates show no evidence of these ever being used. There is a corresponding extension to the signal-box evident in the pictures above.
A picture looking along the frame from the other end shows a young and handsome Relief Signalman (me!) lurking in the shadows.
After the all-day service to Richmond was diverted to run to North Woolwich, Broad Street struggled on serving only the peak-hour only services from Watford, using a single temporary platform whilst the new development known as Broadgate consumed the land. Eventually, these services were diverted to the adjacent station of Liverpool Street (by a much longer route) and the station and its long-lived signal box closed on 26th June 1986.
It is now almost impossible to tell where the station once was.