Norton-on-Tees Signal Box, June 2020

Some images of the Norton-on-Tees signal box, which is at the bottom of Station Road, Norton.

When those photos were taken Network Rail had commenced a project to re-signal the Durham Coast Line between Norton South signal box and Billingham. As a consequence of this work the crossing gates will be automated with a flashing red lights system fitted.

I have also included an image of the Norton Tavern sign, which depicts the signal box.

Photos and details courtesy of Alex Moody.

18 thoughts on “Norton-on-Tees Signal Box, June 2020

  1. Isn’t this typical of the way that Teesside allows its industrial history to disappear without much thought.

    I would have guessed that a new automatic type signal box could have been placed almost anywhere.

    Does it need ex Stocktonians living hundreds if not thousands of miles away to point out this sort of thing?


    • i believe Fred that Network rails strategy is to have up to half a dozen only of these massive signalling control centres throughout the country like the one at York and that will be it, its not just these outlying boxes that will be gone but plans are well in hand for the signalling centre at Newcastle to be moved to York that is why Network rails new policy is to hire Mobile Operation Managers so that any faults are quickly dealt with i have done my time in these places Fred and a lot of them were not pleasant places to work in and over my 50 years on the railway i have seen many of these boxes including some giants disappear and close, the ones that have closed have to be boarded up as the first things to go are the windows and soon they just look derelict and an eyesore they will not be forgotten as many of these have been saved in their proper working environment by preservation societies throughout the country, i am with Frank on this one Fred they have had their time so lets move on


    • i have been told from planning in York that the reason that Norton station and Billingham will be demolished is to accommodate the switching gear for the automatic crossings that will be installed as regards making a remarkable home Paul having spent many shifts in there, there wouldnt be room to swing a cat and i wouldnt worry about the House martins they are very transient and also very promiscuous they will nest anywhere and often claim each others nests and families.


      • Thank you so much ! So it has to go, not just because it’s there. I was thinking of the square footage below the top storey for conversion. My cabin in the Virginia woods probably has less square footage but is very comfortable. However the House Martins will have to find other accommodation !


        • Paul if i had a cabin in the Virginia Woods i would tolerate the lack of space but my last form of accommodation would not be Norton station signal box keep well


  2. has anyone got any photos of the Box back in the 50’s or 60’s, My great Grand Mother Great Grand Father, Grand Mother Grand Father Auntie and Uncle all Lived for a time in Calf Fallow Lane at different houses .


  3. A memory from 1966/67 at this precise location… Likely on a Saturday morning, school friend John Emmerson and I had just finished photographing and tape-recording goods trains passing the level crossing (and rather unlikely that we’d trespassed that day) when we encountered a mounted “copper” who than backed his horse onto the pavement right in front of us, requiring to know what we’d been up to… However, determining that we were NOT up to no-good, he let us go. Part of this unrequired encounter may actually have been taped by me.


  4. Although these structures are not protected from demolition , The intricate parts are given to the heritage railways , ie. NYMR. And provide a good , useful and lasting application . Largely worked by retired rail-men , and hobbyists of every type.

    King regards Robert Place , North Allerton


  5. This signal box is not being demolished, the reason, underneath the eaves are in excess of 100 house martins nests. I’m a signalman who covers shifts in there regularly. So I think it would be good if the information provided about pictures could be checked. I’ve added a comment but I don’t know whether it will be posted. Feel free to contact me if there’s any questions. Kind regards Paul

    On Fri, 15 Jan 2021 at 10:16, Picture Stockton Archive wrote:

    > Picture Stockton Team posted: ” Some images of the Norton-on-Tees signal > box, which is at the bottom of Station Road, Norton. When those photos were > taken Network Rail had commenced a project to re-signal the Durham Coast > Line between Norton South signal box and Billingham. As a” >


    • Apologies if this is incorrect, I was taking the information sent to us in a letter from Network Rail which said “The project will involve the removal of Norton on Tees Signal Box at a date to be finalised.”


    • i think you will find that House martins nests can be legally removed when the birds have migrated and are inactive the box unfortunately and it saddens me to see it go having worked many shifts there in my fifty years on the railways is definitely scheduled for closure and then will be demolished if you check with railway planning in York you will see that plans have been already formulated for this


      • Very sad. How busy is the line nowadays…much freight? When I lived in roseworth, apart from the metro cam DMU’s, a few daily Liverpool, Lincoln and London expresses, there was an endless flow of coal…..Q6 and WD hauled..then EE class 37 and type 2, as well as chemical, oil, brick traffic

        Liked by 1 person

        • Our house backs onto the line and, under normal circumstances, it is much quieter than it used to be when we moved here in the 80’s . We have regular DMU’s still pass, mostly class 156 which replaced the much noisier Pacers. We also have Grand Central (Sunderland to London) express passenger, I think class 180 Adelante, pass regularly.
          Freight traffic has decreased a lot since we have lived here. The demise of ICI saw chemical traffic disappear, likewise oil train from the Seal Sands refinery. In fact I don’t think anything goes down the Seal Sands line these days, although I would be happy to be corrected. Most, if not nearly all the freight is Biomass trains, which have replaced the coal trains, headed to the power stations. These are hauled be mostly by class 66 locomotives. We hardly notice the Biomass trains, they don’t rattle the house like the coal trains did 🙂


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