Woodhouse East Junction signalbox pictured in 1985.
Even though the box is still open the layout at Woodhouse Junction has changed considerably over the years. It was partly electrified to serve the Woodhead route in 1954, and had four lines running through the Station (two mainlines and two freight lines).
Today the route has a half-hourly passenger service from Sheffield to Lincoln and the occasional diversion over the Beighton branch to Chesterfield. The route to Beighton was very heavily used in 2008 when all the main Sheffield to London services were diverted for three months when Bradway Tunnel was closed for major work. The route alone saw up to 90 trains per shift as well as the Sheffield to Lincoln service....it was an absolute nightmare to get any maintenance done!
The points at the junction were all refitted before the diversion to allow the very minimum of delay and disruption. The train operators at the time were very pleased with the service.
The box is still lever operated although some points and signals are power operated. There is a strong possibility that Beighton signalbox will close in the near future and control will be transferred to Woodhouse, controlling the crossing by CCTV.
The Woodhouse nameplate has also been modified to show 'Woodhouse Junction', although at one time it was 'Woodhouse Junction East' (the gap signifies the space gained!).
A different view showing the sidings A, B & C towards the Station through the bridge. The sidings immediately to the left have been lifted (see picture of them in their former state below), the link into Beighton Yard (behind the photographer) has also been lifted.
The yard behind the box today has been fenced off and is now the Pway depot, this is due to be closed in April 2010.
Thanks to Michael Kaye for the photo's.
Above is a similar view in 2010.
East sidings pictured on the 13th of September 1987. The old class 58 is just arriving from Beighton on the arrival/departure line where the loco will probably run round its wagons and be sent on to West Burton, Cottam or High Marnham power station.
Today the lines are still in situe but disconnected and no longer used, and mother nature has taken its course.
Beighton Yard is a hive of activity in the background.
The diagram above shows the Junction in its former glory in the fifties.
This is a very rare picture of the branch line to Birley East Colliery (all three lines went down the branch but were split into one line to serve the colliery).
The Birley branch line was 2.75 miles long and was the only branch to serve the colliery even though several were planned. The line opened in 1855.
The closure date is unknown, although Birley East colliery closed in 1986 when it was used primarily as a pumping station for Brookhouse Colliery.
The OS map below from 1896 courtesy of Neil Baker shows the branch line.
This is a former overbridge on the Birley Branch which today is still the access for Meadow Cottage Farm.
This 1950's Ordnance Survey map shows the connection to Birley East mine.