Signalling Record Society - 50 Years
Maidstone East signal box, built in 1962, houses one of the last two remaining Westinghouse style “L” miniature lever frames in use on Network Rail at the time of filming, the other being at Liverpool Lime Street. The Maidstone frame had been built in the early 1940s 'in case of necessity' and stored. It was first used when a 'case of necessity' arose at Cannon Street in 1957.OS Map.
Cuxton at the time of filming is one of the four remaining hand operated gated level crossings in Kent. The lever frame is a rare Brady example. OS Map.
Maidstone West is a listed structure built by Evans O'Donnell in 1899 and contains a lever frame by the same company. OS Map.
The geographic location of the stations and signal boxes can be seen on a current OS Map by following the links above. The map will place the selected location at the centre of the map panel, roll the mouse over the icon(s) to reveal what they represent. Increase the scale using the scale selector on the left to separate closely positioned icons.
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|Filmed by:||Richard Pulleyn and Neil Mackay|
|Filmed in:||October 2017|
|Signallers:||Billy Congram (Cuxton), Gary McCarthy (Maidstone West)|
|Deputy Local Operations Manager:||Nick Wellington|
|Video Editor:||Derek Young|
|1844||Paddock Wood to Maidstone opened by South Eastern Railway including the station at Maidstone.|
|1856||Strood to Maidstone opened by South Eastern Railway including the station at Cuxton.|
|by 1863||Block working in use by SER.|
|1874||Otford to Maidstone branch opened by Sevenoaks, Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway Railway including the station at Maidstone. Worked by absolute block.|
|1879||Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway Railway absorbed by London, Chatham & Dover Railway.|
|1881||Malling to Maidstone doubled.|
|1884||London, Chatham & Dover Railway opens extension from Maidstone to Ashford.|
|1892||SER replaces both signal boxes at Maidstone with new ones.|
|1899||LCDR & SER form a joint committee to work the two companies as a single entity but both companies remain legally separate. LCDR station renamed Maidstone East. SER station renamed Maidstone West.|
|1899||Both Maidstone West signal boxes closed and replaced by a single signal box.|
|1939||Strood to Maidstone West and Otford to Maidstone East both electrified by Southern Railway.|
|1962||Maidstone East signal box replaced.|
|1971||Strood to Cuxton changed to Track Circuit Block working.|
|1983||Otford to Maidstone East changed to Track Circuit Block working.|
|1984||Maidstone East to Ashford changed to Track Circuit Block working.|
An explanation of signal box classifications will be found in "The Signal Box" and in the Society's Signal Box Register series of books.
Can you help?
The project would love to hear from you, especially if you worked or still work in a signal box, and you are willing to provide reminiscences and / or pictures. Please contact the webmaster in the first instance.