Fylde mechanical ’box finale draws closer

THE sound of crashing levers and ringing bells in the signalboxes of the Fylde Coast line will be heard no more after November 10, writes Richard Horner.

The somewhat weathered Blackpool North No. 2 ’box (above) and Kirkham North Junction (below), seen on July 26, are two of the five remaining mechanical signalboxes that will be decommissioned in November as part of the Preston to Blackpool North electrification scheme. RICHARD HORNER

The five remaining mechanical signalboxes on the Preston to Blackpool North route, among which are the largest survivors from the pre-Grouping Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR), will be abolished overnight and removed from the network shortly afterwards.

Thereafter, the route will be closed to passengers during an 18-week engineering blockade to complete the final phase of the Preston to Blackpool North electrification and resignalling scheme.

The five boxes are Salwick No. 2, Kirkham North Junction, Poulton-le-Fylde No. 3, Carleton Crossing, and Blackpool North No. 2. The three largest ex-LYR survivors are Kirkham North Junction (built in 1903 with 105 levers), Poulton-le-Fylde No. 3 (1896, with 74 levers) and Blackpool North No. 2 (circa 1896, with 120 levers). All retain stamped LYR frames.

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