17 thoughts on “Hartburn Signalbox

  1. Hello Eddie. Good to hear from you, your comments are spot on. Sad to see that Hartburn box is no longer there. The Sunday diversions were always eagerly looked forward to. My Dad used to read the notice of a diversion in Friday night’s Gazette and we would spend a large part of Sunday in Marlborough Road. Good times!

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  2. Alan Carson, yes I’m the Eddie Welsh who was there ‘come rain, hail or shine’ in the early 60’s. I remember the brickwork at the back of that signal box was shiny and smooth where generations of spotters, like us had warmed themselves on cold nights. The thing I remember most though was that the train always arrived, and we were there in winter 1962-63, generally reckoned to be one of the two worst winters of the 20th century. Where has the 50 years since then gone?

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  3. Gordon, I remember this collision as I was on duty as book lad at Bishopton Lane box. I believe there was a picture in the Evening Gazette, if so this would give the date.

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  4. Sorry, Anon, but it wasn’t south Stockton but at the old Stockton yard, just outside of Stockton station where north shore controlled the entrance to the receptions. I think it was on a Saturday and made the headlines in the Gazette. I believe it was one of the biggest train crashes in the Stockton area.

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  5. Gordon: Re: collision at South Stockton Goods C1961. Sorry, no knowledge of this incident. I know that quite a few ex – Thornaby 51L men view the site and wonder if they have any memories of it? It was the type of incident that ‘went the rounds’ of messrooms. etc

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  6. Is that Eddie Welsh who was one of a group of us who used to meet at Hartburn Junction signal box regularly in the early 60s? On cold nights (such as tonight) we would jostle for position where the coal fire warmed the outside wall of the box! We would hear the bells ring and then watch the progress of the train via the reflection of the red lights in the Box front window. Is that really 50 years ago! Happy memories.

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  7. Anon could I please pick your brains one more time? Do you have any information of a large collision when a train ran onto a reception road whilst it was occupied by a rake of wagons, this was at South Stockton yard in 1961? I was on duty at the time as book lad at North Shore. I know there was substantial damage, but I can’t remember the engine or train involved. It would just wrap up some loose ends for me before my memory goes completely. Hope this is not too inconvenient – thank you.

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  8. Much obliged for that Anon. The goods agent at Haverton, Ernie Temple, carried the blame as he had been told by me that the top x over no 4 points were never used and we should use the middle x over, he overruled me and told me that the route had been carefully mapped out. The points had to be barred over and clamped but the snout was out of gauge. The people on the train loved it as they got to spend a few hours mooching around Port Clarence signal box, and also in the Royal pub which was just opposite. Thanks for that Anon.

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  9. Gordon: 28/9/1963 Railway Correspondence & Travel Society ‘North Eastern Railtour’. B1 61037 – an old Stockton engine – derailed all wheels at Port Clarence while running round its train. The remainder of that day’s itinerary had to be completed by a hastily requisitioned diesl multiple unit.Th B1 was back in service a day or two later. The ‘North Eastern’ was an ambitious week long tour visiting many lines and branches soon to close.

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  10. Anon your knowledge of railways is amazing. I wonder if you know anything about a derailment that occurred when I was a signalman at Port Clarence? It was in late 1963 or early 1964 when the steam engine of a train spotters special on a saturday afternoon came off the road at an out of gauge set of points locking the train in towards bank foot. I was asked about it the other day and I do recall being on duty that shift but I can’t recall what the engine was or the train.

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  11. The ‘quarter to niner’ or 07.53/ later 07.40 Sunderland -NKing’s Cross left Stockton at 08.48 for much of the 1950s. It was often headed by a Heaton (Tyneside) based Pacific engine, often one of their A3s ,’Sceptre’, ‘Sunstar’,’St Gatien’ ‘Dick Turpin’, ‘Fairway’ etc. The train would add a portion from Saltburn at Stockton and the engine worked through to Grantham, returning to Newcastle on the ‘Northumbrian’ 12.18p.m. King’s Cross – Newcastle. The ‘quarter to niner’ went over to diesel haulage C1961 but did have a further brief spell of steam haulage in late 1961 to early 1962.

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  12. The photograph was taken from the Spring Street Bridge and the lamp is situated at the bottom of the steps from the bridge. There were two lights at the top of the brige and a fourth one at the bottom at the other side, at the top of Spring Street. I spent a lot of time trainspotting around this area in the early 1960’s and the bridge lights at night helped illuminate dirty locomotive numbers.

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  13. The lamp post on the bottom right of the photograph would appear to be on the railway side of the fence. Could it be that this is a fog sighting lamp that when not visible to the signaller during fog would require the call out of ‘Fog Handsignallers’ to be located in advance of ‘distant signals’ to provide additional warning to drivers of the aspect of the signal? These lamps, located some 200 yards from the signal box, were withdrawn as the AWS (Automatic Warning Signal) equipment was installed at signals and in the cabs of locomotives and units. The last one I remember seeing from the footplate was on the ‘down side’ for Long Lane Box on between Picton and Northallerton. Sir Nigel Gresley the A4 was used as a trial installation for the British railways magnetic AWS equipment as opposed to the earlier Great Western ramp system. Perhaps one of the sites’ railway experts could shed some light on this.

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  14. I remember sitting on the small brick building just to the left of the steam from the engine in the late 50s early 60s waiting for the 8.47? Stockton to London Kings Cross to come bursting out from under Spring Street bridge. It would usually be an A3 Pacific. Sometimes I would call at Stockton station to see it before running round to Stockton Grammar School in Garbutt Street.

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  15. This was one of my favourite areas of Stockton for watching trains in the 1950s, but also rather frustrating as you could not see everything from one position. This viewpoint was the best compromise although the Eaglescliffe to Bowesfield section and the start of the Castle Eden Branch cannot be seen. The latter started at Bowesfield Junction and crossed the Eaglescliffe to Stockton (Leeds Northern) section just beyond the A1027 road bridge seen in the distance on this shot. This became part of the Newport to Shildon route which was electrified in 1915 and de-wired in 1935. There was also a southwest to northwest spur from the Leeds Northern route on to the Castle Eden branch, opened in 1901 to form an ‘alternative main line to the north’, but as this avoided both Stockton and Hartlepool it was abandoned the following year. This location was good in that a train, such as the one shown, would run through while at the same time another could come round from Bowesfield on to the ‘fast’ lines (the far tracks), and if you were lucky, a third in the opposite direction from Stockton to Bowesfield. I wish I had owned a camera then…..

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  16. Hidden behind the steam from the loco is Hartburn Curve, the branch off to Bowesfield Junction where it joins the M’Bro – Darlington branch.

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  17. The is taken from Spring Street foot bridge showing an austerity 2.8.0, and with beening put on the slow line at Hartburn may heading for Stockton yards or just been put out the way of faster traffic. I always remember the allotments on the same side as Hartburn Junction Box behind the box. One person who I will always remember was the late Harry Powell who was a driver at Thornaby,and lived in Windsor Road, he had an allotment there and spent a lot of time there, and quite regularly gave me veg from it. He would relate to me how would be woken during the night by Hartlepool drivers with their trians whistling for the signals. Good driver was Harry, but his life came to a sudden end, like you Gordon “all were good railway men”

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