A rather tatty looking Elmton & Creswell signalbox in its original state before refurbishment saw the toilet brought inside and a lick of paint and new windows; picture courtesy of Chris Booth.
There is a saying on the railway that if your signalbox gets a new lease of life, its doomed for closure, well its happened a few times and again unfortunately its happened again as E&C has now closed.
The semaphore signals are all 'pulled off' (term used to indicate signals cleared for all trains), the box is switched out and the block now only works between Worksop PSB and Shirebrook Jn. A tail lamp camera is now in situe at Shirebrook Cutting and basically doing a small part of the job what the signaller did.
The box area at time of closure was quite small with only about eight working signals in total, but at one point it controlled trains in and out of Creswell Colliery and the Clowne branch to Staveley. It also had a few sets of working points and a GF to control.
Here a loco is given permission to reattach to its waiting loaded coal train, the line of which has since been lifted.
And a rare shot of the Clowne branch in use, with the train just arriving at Elmton & Creswell junction.
Picture courtesy of Phil Sangwell.
This was the token machine used to keep track of the trains using the Clowne branch to and from Seymour and Oxcroft colliery.
Pictures 1, 3 & 4 kindly provided by Chris Booth.
This is Elmton & Creswell station in use the first time around! It was opened on the 10th of April 1886 by the Midland Railway, closure was in October 1964 following Dr. Beechings infamous cost cutting report. By this time other lines also leading to Mansfield were axed, leaving Mansfield, the largest town in Britain without a Station.
The date is the 19th of May 1952.
It started off life named just 'Creswell' but was later named 'Elmton & Creswell' station a year later on the 1st of May 1887. The local rival LD&ECR railway company later opened its own station called 'Creswell' on the 1st of June 1897, but again not to confuse the villagers is was later renamed as 'Creswell & Welbeck' on the 1st of December 1897. This station was subsequently closed on the 10th of September 1939.
The LD&ECR railway ran parallel with the Midland line from Shirebrook Junction in Creswell. The Midland line carried onto Worksop and also branched off to the left at Elmton & Creswell signalbox through Clowne. At Clowne (known back then as Clown), the LD&ECR passed over the Midland line with a connection point connecting both lines just before the two Stations in Clown. (See Clowne section for information and pictures).
The line was given a new lease of life on the 25th of May 1998, when it saw passenger services once again with the introduction of the Robin Hood line and the rebuilding of the station platforms, unfortunately the station building on the 'upside' is a private building (not available for railway use) and the 'downside' buildings were demolished.
This fascinating Ordnance Survey map from 1898 courtesy of Neil Baker.
It also shows Creswell Colliery sidings North & South and Creswell Colliery Junction signalboxes and two Norwood Crossings, just one exists today on the Robin Hood Line.
Below is the original diagram of E&C showing the Clowne branch, various pointwork and also Creswell Colliery bunker line. (Shared by Neil Baker).
Network Rail is looking into modernising Norwood crossing possibly to automatic barriers and also the removal of E&C signalbox. This maybe in conjunction with the planned removal of Whitwell Tunnel (see the 'News' page for more info on Whitwell Tunnel).