Wellfield Signal Cabin

Copyright photo by John M Boyes, courtesy Armstrong Railway Photographic Trust

Wellfield was the junction of the Stockton & Sunderland line and the connecting spur from the Hartlepool to Ferryhill line at Castle Eden, Co. Durham. The first signal cabin here was erected in 1877, close to the junction (it had 20 levers and was called “Castle Eden North” until 1882). In 1910 it was replaced by this larger cabin at the north end of the station, with its distinctive cantilever design and a 45-lever frame at the back of the building. By the early 1960s the lever frame was in poor condition, and it was replaced in 1964 with a 20-lever McKenzie & Holland No.16 pattern frame.
The station closed in 1952, and through passenger traffic ceased in 1966. After this, only the line from Hartlepool remained open for coal traffic, with the former Down main north of Wellfield leading to Thornley colliery, and the former Up main leading to Shotton and Hawthorne Collieries. A stub of the former main line to Stockton and part of the Ferryhill line remained in place to serve Trimdon Grange Colliery. Final closure came in January 1980. In this February 1968 view Relief Signalman Ken Crawford is talking to a member of the PW staff.
Wellfield is one of over 2,000 NER signal cabins listed in the register now available in the members’ section of the website.

Did You Know?

In 1907, an engine driver on the NER earned an average of £2.47 per week, and a signalman earned £1.45.