Walkden Signal Box slated for closureOctober 16, 2010
Network Rail have revealed plans to close the signal box at Walkden, as well as those at Atherton and Crow Nest Junction near Hindley.
We are waiting to hear more details from Network Rail about their plans for the line and the schedule for closure. We presume the boxes’ closure means the line will be converted to modern colour-light signalling in place of the mechanical “semaphore” signals currently used.
The closure proposal can be read on Network Rail’s website.
Colour light signals will probably mean reduced operating costs for the line (reducing the number of signalling staff required), and is a positive sign of Network Rail’s commitment to the line’s future as a “heavy-rail” (i.e. not tram) route.
Walkden signal box is an historic building dating from the year of the line’s opening in 1888. Although it was clad in modern exterior materials in 2002 we believe that the original building is largely intact beneath and have initiated enquiries about safeguarding its long-term future.