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Signal Boxes to be removed

We're sharing some sad news about plans to remove Marcheys House and North Seaton signal boxes to enable the Northumberland Line, which aims to improve connectivity and accessibility in South East Northumberland by bringing passenger trains back into service between Ashington and Newcastle.

As part of readying the railway for the reintroduction of passenger trains, Network Rail is updating the signals along the line. As a result, once the line is operational most signals and level crossing operations will be controlled from Network Rail’s signalling centre in Gateshead.

This means that the signal boxes that currently control signals and level crossings will become redundant. In most cases, the equipment in the boxes will be removed and they will be locked securely out of use, but two need to be removed entirely - Marcheys House and North Seaton. This is because of how close they are to level crossings, which means that the new level crossing safety equipment won’t work properly if the buildings remain.

We know many local people will be disappointed to see the signal boxes go, and a historical recording will take place at all signal boxes being removed or taken out of use, so that there is a record of their existence and the layout of the buildings. We will also be working with Network Rail to see if any items or equipment from the signal boxes can be made available as part of the demolition process, outside of any items that need to be retained for re-use elsewhere.

The works are anticipated to take place from March 2024, including during a longer period when there are no freight trains running on the line. Local residents will be advised of specific dates for the works, including any disruption and road closures in due course.


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