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The Signal Box That Wouldn’t Lie Down

The birth, death and reconstruction of the Jimmy Deeping Signal Box

Closed in 2014 as part of Network Rail’s £280m modernisation of the line between Doncaster and Peterborough, St James Deeping signal box was one of the structures demolished as part of the scheme.

The Save St James Deeping Signal Box Group was formed and the signal box was sensitively de-constructed and stored in a container in a nearby farmer's field. Land a little further along the line-side was purchased and mains services installed.

Built originally in 1876, the signal box was built to operate the semaphore signals and pointwork to control train movements within its section and allowed the signalman a good view along the line. Latterly the signal box controlled the progress of trains regulated by a “Block System” between Peterborough Power Box and Littleworth crossing signal box until the line was automated as part of the modernisation project that allows for greater utilisation of the route on a 24-hour, seven days a week basis.

Our project aims to reconstruct the signal box, which was a hive of activity and focus for the residents of the Deepings for more than 130 years, and offer an insight into a changing way of life for the community. We aim to preserve the history of our signal box and the memories of its staff and make them available for future generations.

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The Project

Rebuilding the St James Deeping Signal Box

This is a project by the Save St James Deeping Signal Box Group that will re-erect this iconic building which once formed the eastern gateway into the village, reinstating a key piece of vernacular architecture in its rightful place alongside the Lincolnshire Loop Line. The rebuilt signal box will provide an opportunity for future generations to understand the technology of a previous age while offering a space for events and activities and for creative and historic study.

We have received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund who have awarded us with development funding of £26,570 which has been augmented with funding from Deeping St James United Charities, HM Government and Deeping St James Parish Council.


Do you have any personal recollections of the signal box and life at St James Deeping station (1849-1961) and goods yard (closed in 1964)? Maybe you have some items of memorabilia that you would like to donate for display? No item is too small!If so, please contact us.

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