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Regional & Other Boundary Changes

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Signal Fact 53

1923 saw the commissioning of a route setting lever frame at Winchester by the Great Western Railway.

16 levers were needed whereas a conventional frame would have required 32 levers.

Over time the various railway companies reoganised and the boundaries of the various traffic and engineering areas changed which can sometimes make it difficult to locate and research signalling information. As one might exxpect, the traffic and engineering changes did not always take place at the same time! Nationalisation and privatisation did not stem this flow of change as Railtrack and Network Rail continued the ingrained habit of reorganisation.

On this page are recorded some of the implemented boundary changes that were published through the medium of weekly engineering notices and the amendments to the timetable appendices or through other sources. Some of the information shown is derived from such copies of the engineeting notices as we have in our digital archive. Looking through this page may well assist in determining where to look for information about specific places of interest at different time periods.

London Midland & Scottish Railway

From 1928 engineering notices seem to have been published fortnightly with a supplement in the intermediate weeks.

Central Division (Former Lancashire & Railway lines).


Midland Division (Former Midland Railway lines).


Northern Division (Scotland)

Sections covering:
  1. Highland north.
  2. Caledonian north plus Highland south.
  3. Glasgow and south west.
  4. Glasgow south
Notices (initially):
Notices (from 1928, possibly earlier):

Western Division (Former London North Western Railway lines).


Cheshire Lines.

Simply numbered in sequence each fortnight.

Southern Railway

Alterations to signalling were published in a series of notices with numbering restarted at 1 with the first notice of each year.

1948 Nationalisation

The bulk of the lines operated by the “Big Four” railway companies were divided into six Operating Areas. Later these were called Regions:

The former London Midland & Scottish Railway lines in Northern Ireland (Northern Counties Committee) intially remained under the control of British Railways and were then transferred to the Ulster Transport Authority in April 1949.

Initially the Regions generally perpetuated the arrangements in place immediately prior to nationalistation.

London & North Eastern Railway lines in the Manchester area transferred to London Midland Region.

1949 Boundary Alterations

From London Midland to Eastern

London, Tilbury & Southend Lines.

London Midland Region internal

Langton and Sandon Dock stations from Midland to Western Division.

1949 Weekly Notices

From week 13 (commencing 26th March), possibly earlier, the internal format of the weekly notices was standardised across all regions. The sections were:

  1. Temporary Speed Restrictions
  2. Temporary Engineering Works
  3. Signalling and Permanent Way Alterations
  4. General Instructions and Notices
  5. General Instructions and Notices not affecting train crews

The London Midland Region fortnightly notices became weekly notices: week 6 was for one week followed by week 13. However, the situation on Western lines is confusing as week 8 was for 2 April 1949, week 13 for 7 May 1949 and week 37 for 22 October 1949.

The following notice series then ensued:

1950 Boundary Alterations

From Southern to Western

Cowley Bridge westward Southern to Western: S&T only transferred, Traffic remained Southern.

1953 or 1954

Some time in July 1953 the London Midland Region notices changed and became:

1957 Boundary Alterations

From 12.1 am on Monday 4th March various lines were exchanged between the Eastern and North Eastern Regions and London Midland Region lines in the Leeds and Wakefield areas transferred to the North Eastern Region. An asterisk (*) indicates that the transfer had already taken place.

At the same time, divisional boundary changes took place in both the London Midland and North Eastern Regions. [North Eastern Weekly Notice 8].

Eastern Region to North Eastern Region

Nostell and Staincross (Smithies excluded)

London Midland Region to Eastern Region (Doncaster District) *
Barnsley Exchange Dearne Valley
London Midland Region to North Eastern Region
Bowling Junction to Milner Royd Junction
Halifax, Holmfield and St. Paul's
Dryclough Junction to Greetland No.2
Hebden Bridge to Heaton Lodge Junction
Ripponden, Stainland and Bradley Branches
Heaton Lodge Junction to Diggle
Kirkburton and Newtown Goods Branches
Huddersfield to Penistone and Branches
Houghton Colliery Sidings to Cononley
Leeds City North
Ardsley Sidings to Cudworth Station South
Oaks Colliery to Cudworth Junctions
Royston Junction to Thornhill
Hunslet Lane Goods Branch
Apperley Junction to Embsay Junction
Yeadon Goods
Shipley to Guisley
Otley to Menston Junctions
Grassington Branch
Shipley to Bradford Forster Square
Worth Valley Branch
Ingrow East Branch
North Eastern Region new Leeds Operating District
Cudworth to Cononley
Leeds City North
Ardsley Sidings to Cudworth
Hunslet Lane Goods
Apperley Junction to Embsay Junction
Shipley to Esholt Junction
Otley to Menston Junctions
Grassington Branch
Shipley to Bradford Forster Square
Worth Valley Branch
Ingrow East Branch
Leeds City South to Thornhill
Birstall Goods
Mirfield to Diggle
Spen Valley to Farnley Junction
Farnley Junction to Whitehall Road
Copley Hill to Leeds Central
Farnley Branch
Kirkburton & Newtown Goods
Huddersfield to Penistone
North Eastern Region new Wakefield Operating District
Castle Hills to Leeds Central
Nostell to Staincross
Wakefield to Laisterdyke via Dewsbury
Lofthouse to Methley South
Ardsley to Adwalton Junction
Beeston Junction to Hunslet East
Holbeck to Bradford Exchange
Laisterdyke to Bramley
Laisterdyke to Shipley
Bradford to Cullingworth
Bradford to Greetland
Halifax to St Paul's
Hebden Bridge to Wakefield
Ripponden, Stainland, Bradley Branches
Mirfield to Low Moor
Heckmondwike to Thornhill
Horbury to Barnsley
Royston to Thornhill
Wakefield to Knottingley
Crifton to Grimethorpe
Pontefract West to Methley
North Eastern Region Wakefield District to Hull District *
Whitley Bridge to Goole
London Midland Region Midland Division to Central Division
Skipton to Petterill Bridge
Skipton to Colne
Settle Junction to Ingleton, Heysham & Carnforth

1958 Boundary Alterations

In 1958 the regional structure based largely on the big four company boundaries was amended to a geographic one. The nature of the change led to it being usually referred to by the term “Penetrating Lines” as the lines that penetrated another geographic region were the ones transferred. The changes were implemented from 12.1 am on Saturday 1st February.

The London Midland Region took the opportunity to transfer various lines from the Liverpool District into the Western Lines.

From Eastern to London Midland
Marylebone to Northolt Junction
Neasden to Harrow South
Aylesbury South to Pilsley
Ashendon Junction to Grendon Underwood Junction
Banbury Junction to Culworth Junction
Netherfield & Colwick to Weekday Cross Junction
Mapperley Tunnel to Dove Junction and branches
Leen Valley Line
New Basford and Bulwell to Basford North
Kirkby South Junction to Mansfield Central
Kirkby South Junction to Pleasley Colliery
Manchester to Dunford and branches
Melton Mowbray North to Welham Junction
Marefield Junction to Leicester Belgrave Road
Mill Hill East to Mill Hill (for the Hale) and Edgware
Hill End to St. Albans
Harpenden East to Dunstable.
From London Midland to Eastern
Willington to Cambridge South Junction
Raunds to Huntingdon East
Thorpe to Peterborough East
Wakerley & Barrowden to Wansford
Ketton & Collyweston to Peterborough East
Edmonthorpe & Wymondham to Little Bytham Junction
Carlton & Netherfield to Lincoln St. Marks
Farnsfield to Fiskerton Junction and Rolleston Junction
Farnsfield Junction to Ollerton (Mid. Notts)
Mansfield Woodhouse to Shireoaks and branches
Rufford Jn. to Rufford and Clipstone Collieries
Darfield (Dearne Valley Colliery) to Totley Tunnel East
Ardsley Tunnel to Wincobank Junctions
Wharncliffe Branch
Nesfield Branch
Sheffield District line
Rotherham to (Horns Bridge) and branches
Dore & Totley to Tapton Junction and branches
Roundwood to Don Bridge East
Barnsley Court House to Monk Spring / Oaks Viaduct
From London Midland to North Eastern

Lines in North and West Yorkshire.

From London Midland Region to Western Region
Oxford to Bicester London Road
Banbury Merton Street
Leamington Spa Milverton to Avenue
Fenny Compton to Broom Junction
Barnt Green to Bristol Temple Meads
Barnt Green to Ashchurch via Redditch
Ashchurch to Upton-on-Severn
Dursley Branch
Stonehouse Bristol Road to Nailsworth
Stroud Branch
Thornbury Branch
Mangotsfield to Bath Green Park
Wellington to Coalport
Wrexham Central to Gwersyllt
Lines in South Wales
From North Eastern Region to London Midland Region
Kirkby Stephen East (Down Distant) to Eden Valley
Kirkby Stephen Junction to Tebay No.3
From Southern Region to Western Region
Cattewater Branch
Turnchapel Branch
Templecombe Junction (inclusive) to Bath Junction
Evercreech Junction to Burnham-on-Sea
From Western Region to London Midland Region
Wellington, Market Drayton and Nantwich Junction
From Western Region to Southern Region
Castle Cary to Weymouth
Yeovil Branch
Bridport Branch
Abbotsbury Branch
Weymouth, Portland and Easton
London Midland Internal Central to Western Lines
Liverpool Central to Manohester Central
Hough Green Junction to Widnes East via Widnes Central
Sankey to Padgate via Warrington Central
Hunt's Cross East In. and Halewood to Aintree C.L. Junction and Altear & Hillhouse
Fazakerley North to Langton Dook
Fazakerley North and South to Huskisson Dock and Sandon Dock
Hunt's Cross West In. to Allerton
Dam Lane to Glazebrook West to Wigan Central
Lowton St. Mary's to St. Helens Central
Glazebrook East to GodIey Junction (except Woodley to Apethorne)
Trafford Park and Throstle Nest East to Chorlton
Cornbrook West to Old Trafford
Cornbrook West to Cornbrook East
Skelton In. to Deansgate

1959 London Midland Region Notices

From week 35 (29th August) the weekly engineering notices were redesignated:

1962 London Midland Region Traffic Area Reorganisation

From week 46 (10am Sunday 18th November) the traffic control boundaries were altered with lines north of Crewe (Coppenhall Junction), Goostrey, Sandbach Junction (Middlewich Line), North Rode and Christleton moving from Western Lines to North Western Lines.

From the same date the former Great Central lines from Marylebone to Culworth Junction were transferred from Midland Lines to Western Lines. The same notice mentioned that trains were being diverted to Marylebone whilst Eusston was being reconstructed and the previous week's notice mentioned that an extract of the Midland Appendix had been produced for trainmen diverted to Marylebone.

Midland Lines transferred to North Western Lines as part of this process (date unknown) were Miller's Dale Lime Co.'s Sidings Down Distant Signal to Manchester Central via Cheadle Heath and via Stockport T.D., Miller's Dale Junction to Ashwood Dale, Chinley to Totley Tunnel East, Macclesfield Central to Manchester (Piccadilly) via Rose Hill, Hayfield to Manchester (Piccadilly) via Guide Bridge and via Belle Vue, Manchester Central and Godley to Liverpool Central and branches, Dunford Bridge to Manchester (Piccadilly).

1963 Boundary Alterations

Changes implemented from 1st January 1963.

From Southern to Western
Wilton South to Plymouth 87m40c
Yeovil Junction to Yeovil Town
Yeovil Pen Mill to Langport West
Chard Branch
Lyme Regis Branch
Seaton Branch
Sidmouth Branch
Exmouth Branch
Dorchester West - Grimstone & Frampton 160m20c
Maiden Newton to Bridport
Blandford Forum - Shillingstone 52m20c
Coleford Junction to Ilfracombe
Meldon Junction to Padstow
Barnstaple to Halwill
Halwill Junction to Bude
Bodmin to Wadebridge
From Western to London Midland

All lines north of the following locations:

Heyford - Aynho Junction 76m40c
Aynho Junction - Ardley 14m40c
Chipping Norton 94m00c
Stratford-upon-Avon - Honeybourne 7m15c
Alcester station 64m40c
Barnt Green to Stoke Works 52m40c
Hartlebury - Droitwich Spa 130m40c
Shrewsbury - Craven Arms 18m10c
Tenbury Wells 4m05c
Llanidloes - Builth Road 60m40c
Aberystwyth - Llanrhystyd Road 40m20c

1966 Section D Items

From April four weekly notices containing the accumulated Section D items were introduced to reduce printing the same information every week. The weekly notices still contained Section D items that needed to be published before the next four weekly notice appeared.

Supplementary Operating Notices continued to be published until 1971.

1967 Regional Merger

The Eastern and North Eastern regions merged back together.

1968 London Midland Notices Revised Coverage from Week 39

Entries beyond the regional boundary shown separately and not as part of the through route.

M ME MED Midland Lines
N NE NED Western Lines north, formerly NE2
Crewe to Derby
Macclesfield to Norton Bridge/Colwich
CresswelI to Chead|e
Stoke Junction to Brunswick Wharf
Milton Junction to Caldon Quarry
Oakamoor to Leek
Ketleys Sidings to Pool Dam
Sandbach to Lawton Junction
Hanley to Etruria Junction
Macclesfield to Cheadle Hulme
Grewe to Manchester
Stockport to Buxton
Manchester to Deansgate Junction
Sandbach to Northwich
Manchester Central to Liverpool Central
Manchester Central to Mouldsworth
Ditton Junction to Edgeley Junction
Dunford Bridge to Manchester Picc.
Manchester - Hyde Junction - Macclesfield
Manchester - Hayfield, New Mills South
Manchester Central to Derby/Buxton
Chinley to Dore & Totley
Briggs Sidings to Buxton
Guide Bridge to Stalybridge
Ashton Moss South Junction to Guide Bridge
Heaton Norris to Diggle &c.
Miles Platting to Stalybridge
Manchester Vic. to Hebden Bridge
Castleton to Bolton
Manchester Vic. to Oldham/Royton/Rochdale
Manchester Vic./Miles Platting to Thorpes Bridge
Rawtenstall to Bury B.St.
Bolton East Junction to Hellifield
Gannow Junction to Skipton
Hebden Bridge to Preston E.L
Bury B.St; to Prestwich to Manchester Vic.
Bury B.St. to Bury K.St.
Liverpool L.St. to Wigan N.W. to Manchester Ex.
Springs Branch to Widnes
Manchester Vic. to Euxton/Southport/Liverpool Ex. via Bolton and Atherton
Aintree to Marsh Lane
Liverpool Ex. to Todd Lane Junction
Bamber Bridge to Lostock Hall Junction
Burscough Bridge to Lostock Hall Junction
Liverpool Ex. to Southport C.St.
Liverpool Ex. to Walton Junction

Horns Bridge to Dearne Valley &c (from NE1)
W1 WE1 WED Western Lines south
W2 WE2 WED Western Lines north


From Western to London Midland

London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street


The commercial aspects of the railway were transferred to the new railway business sectors whilst operations remained regional.

2021 Boundary adjustment

Great Western to London North Western
Pershore to Shelwick Junction
Abbotswood Junction to Cutnall Green


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