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Stoke Temporary Signal Box, September to October 1978

Andy Overton has been in touch to ask if someone can help him with a piece of research on ECML signalling history from 40 years back.  Andy says:

A mystery that has defeated me for many years surrounds the 1978 works in Stoke Tunnel.  I know some bits of the story, but not all.

Here's what I know.  Between 10 September and 22 October 1978 there was single line working through Stoke Tunnel.  10/09/1978 – 30/09/1978 the Up Main was used, 01/10/1978 – 22/10/1978 the Down Main was used.  The emergency facing and trailing crossovers at Stoke were taken off control of the Ground Switch Panel and were worked from the Stoke Local Control Panel in the relay room, which was designated as a signal box for the duration of the work and called Stoke Temporary.  Additional facing and trailing crossovers, worked from Stoke Temporary, were installed north of the tunnel.  The temporary signal box also gained control of some of Grantham’s signals at Highdyke in order to fully control the single line at both ends.  The single line was fully signalled in both directions, so no Pilotman was necessary.

Now the bits I don’t know.  The Local Control Panel from the relay room had to be altered to match the altered signalling in connection with the single line working.  The story passed down to me is that the panel in the temporary box comprised this altered panel, plus ‘two extensions at each end’.  It’s the ‘extensions at each end’ bit which sits uncomfortably with me as I can’t see why the panel would need to be extended, certainly not at the Stoke end.  Altered yes, extended no.  I would dearly like to be able to question someone with first-hand knowledge of what the panel comprised of during this work to get the facts pinned down 100% correct.

If you're able to shed some light on Andy's enquiry, or if you know someone who may be able to help, please let us know using a Contact Form on our Contact Us page and we will forward your message to Andy.

Andy's page Signalling at Grantham from Doncaster Power Signal Box  can be read here, and there's a page about 'the original' Stoke box here.

This is an announcement of September 1978 from Inter City to make passengers aware of how the lowering of the track inside three tunnels on the East Coast Main Line would affect journey times over the coming months. It illustrates how the tunnels (B, C and D) were to be enlarged to allow larger continental containers (A) to pass through.
Two of the affected tunnels were either side of Grantham, at Stoke and Peascliffe, and thus under the control of Grantham signal box.
From the Local Studies Collection at Grantham Library.

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