Wednesday, 23 December 2015

North Lincolnshire Sunset

North Lincolnshire Sunset

On Christmas Eve 2015 North Lincolnshire will be resignalled and the traditional signalling will disappear and ninety signalmen will see their jobs go.

The North Lincolnshire mainline has been a mecca for enthusiasts with its frequent freight trains and back drop of ex-Great Central signal boxes and semaphore signals. My Dad and I used to visit when I was younger - it was just over twenty miles from us. I visited most of the boxes a couple of months ago but I felt like I wanted to go and see Barnetby station one last time. I didn't really enjoy it though. It was full of people also seeing things for a final time, but for many it was a 'jolly'. It was as if they didn't understand or could comprehend that jobs are at stake here, far more than just the signals. I felt like a voyeur. Almost unsavory. I think I would have been annoyed with myself had I not have made the effort to visit.

Some time in 2000, an ex-works 56115, later named 'Barry Needham', passes though Barnetby Station with an empty MGR train bound for Immingham. Everything in this photo will soon have changed forever - the class 56s have gone, as have the HAA style MGR hoppers. On Christmas Eve 2015 North Lincolnshire will be resignalled and the traditional signalling and 90 signalmen will too disappear.

The industry is going through many changes at the moment, and often it is those on the frontline who really feel the impact of schemes like this. Signal boxes are closing at a similar rate through resignalling schemes as they have over the last thirty years or so, but with fewer boxes left, a scheme like the North Lincs one have a greater impact than they might have previously done.

Some enthusiasts will lament the semaphores as merely a backdrop for their photos, but this traditional way of working has been established for years and for many of the staff, this will be a very hard time indeed. Fortunately there are no compulsory redundancies this time round.

60059 comes off the Lincoln line at Wrawby Junction whilst an unidentified class 66 waits on the Down Goods with a loaded Bio-Mass working.

I would liek to wish all the staff involved all the best in whatever they do, either on the railway or beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment