On the eve of its demolition, there will be a chance to visit a historic railway signal box to have a look inside.

Built in 1901, the imposing brick building has become a bit of a local landmark just to the north of Banbury railway station.

Photo by Banbury North Signal Box Group

Photo by Banbury North Signal Box Group

However, Network Rail announced plans to tear down both the north and south boxes as part of £76m of upgrades to the rail network. Part of the reason being that the signals were modernised, but also that the signal box sits in the middle of the tracks, so access is difficult and it occupies land which could be reused for the railway.

Although a local heritage group attempted to save the North signal box, it was unable to raise the funds needed for it to be moved to a less awkward location.

However, they were able to persuade Network Rail to open it to the public, and details have now been announced.

Tours will take place from Wednesday 10th August until Sunday 2nd October.

Guided tours last about 90 minutes and will demonstrate how signal boxes work, teach about railway safety and the dangers of railway trespass and outline Banbury’s former importance as a key railway junction on the UK rail network.

Photo by Banbury North Signal Box Group

Photo by Banbury North Signal Box Group

Individuals can visit on Thursday evenings, or on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. To request a ticket, go here

Unless there is an unexpected last minute reprieve from a rich donor, this will be the final chance to visit the box that has been a significant feature of the Banbury landscape for over 100 years.

More details here

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3 comments on “Ticket Alert: Chance to visit a historic railway signal box
  1. ivan says:

    I would have thought with the massive profit the railways are making that this piece of history could have been preserved and donated to some organisation who would be able to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

    • Ian Visits says:

      The signal box is part of Network Rail, an organisation that’s nearly £40 billion in debt. Not profitable at all.

  2. Stewart says:

    I went this afternoon, it’s last day of existence. Very interesting and thanks to the volunteers who made it possible to visit