24 July 2011
Network Rail's announcement last week that it is to eliminate most of the last traditional signalboxes marks a sad day for Britain's railway heritage. Many of these attractive structures date back to Victorian times and employ some of the last "aristocrats" of the old way of railway working. Look out for the remaining signal boxes while you can. The odd one is even to be found on the most modern lines. There's a delightful one to be seen just on the right at Wembley as the train departs Euston. There's another Great Northern example on the East Coast Main at Eastfield, near Peterborough. But if you want to experience a lineful of them, complete with dinging bells and the clatter and clank of signal arms, there's no substitute for travelling over the charming Cumbrian Coast line from Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle. I write about it fully in my book 'On the Slow Train'.