Above: Grantham South box is prominent in this view on Saturday 20th July 1963. Passing on the Down Main line is Deltic No. D9004, as yet unnamed, with the 14:00 from London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley 'The Heart of Midlothian'. The tall signal controls traffic approaching the box in the opposite direction, on the Up Main line, which can either continue on the Main line or cross over to the Up Goods line as far as Great Ponton or Highdyke. Its two semaphore arms were operated from the South Box - the arm on the left (Up Main to Up Goods) by lever number 14 and the arm on the right (Up Main) by lever number 20. The main signal post, the bracket and the two 'doll' posts are all made of reinforced concrete, making for a heavy structure which is stayed by cables carried over the running lines. There's also a steel tiebar to an adjacent signal post, for the Up Goods line, which is just out of shot on the left.
Photograph by Tom Boustead.
Grantham South signal box was situated 500 yards off the south end of the station platforms, on the west side of the main lines. It was a short distance south of the bridge which takes Springfield Road (known as Brick Kiln Lane until around 1900) under the railway. This was an area of the railway that was fairly inaccessible except by those who had business to be there, so the South box features in far fewer photographs than the Yard and North boxes at Grantham which were closer to the passenger station.
Grantham South was the second largest of the Grantham boxes, equipped with 86 levers after its final extension during World War 2 until it closed in 1972. The box was staffed round-the-clock in three shifts (two shifts on a Sunday) by a Signalman of one of the more senior grades and a Telegraph Lad, a trainee signalman. The signalmen at Grantham South controlled all traffic to and from the Peterborough direction on both the Main lines and the Goods lines, and also access to and from the Up and Down side goods yards and the south end of the carriage sidings.
Grantham South box was surrounded by railway tracks. The main running lines were in front of the box, while behind it ran sidings. Here are some photographs which help to place Grantham South in the context of the track layout and traffic flows at the south end of the station.
Views from Above
A View from the Line
Views from the South
Views from the Station
Views from the Box
The following photographs were taken by Mick Grummitt, Rest Day Relief Telegraph Lad from 1959 to 1962 at Grantham North and Grantham South boxes, and also at Crescent Junction, Spital Junction and Westwood Junction boxes at Peterborough.
A picture taken from the north end of the South Box by the British Railways official photographer to record a special train departing with an export order.
Grantham South: Principal Routes - Up Direction
Overlaid on the aerial photograph below are the principal routes set by the South Box signalmen for traffic in the Up (southbound) direction. Scroll from top to bottom to follow the direction of travel.
Grantham South: Principal Routes - Down Direction
Overlaid on the aerial photograph below are the principal routes set by the South Box signalmen for traffic in the Up (southbound) direction. Scroll from botom to top to follow the direction of travel.
Grantham South: Example Routes - Yard Transfers
Overlaid on the aerial photograph below are examples of routes set by the South Box signalmen for traffic transferring to and from yards and sidings.
South of the Box
In 1932 colour light signals were installed on the section of line between Grantham South and Great Ponton signal boxes, replacing the signal box at Saltersford. There was a siding at Saltersford for the nearby Grantham Waterworks and, between 1943 and 1968, there was also a Down Slow loop at Saltersford, controlled from Grantham South box.
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