York to Harrogate Upgrading

There have been some recent upgrades on the York to Harrogate line, at Hammerton and Marston Moor.

At Marston Moor, there have been several incidents where cars either struck the gates or only just managed to stop. Although the road is unclassified, it is straight and drivers are tempted to speed. NR has installed red flashing lights at the crossing:

View north. All photos by Sam Elliott

These are manually activated by the crossing keeper before going out to shut the gates. There is a small control cabinet on the block shelf:

Note that although the sidings for the Royal Engineers’ depot have been out of use for many years, the connection is still shown on the track diagram. However, the new “Non-Interlocked RTLs” [Road Traffic Lights] have been added by pasting new slips of paper on to the diagram.


At Hammerton, the last remaining wire-operated distant signal on the old NER Southern Division has been replaced:

There are still semaphore distant signals in use, but these are worked by motors, or are fixed at caution. The replacement is a two-aspect LED signal plated H1 and located slightly closer to York near milepost 8:

More alterations are planned, so keep an eye open for announcements here. It may seem a shame that the more traditional signals are being replaced but it’s better to have a modernised railway in operation than closed one.

Did You Know?

On Saturday 13 September 1913 Kenton station, on the Ponteland branch, was burned to the ground by militant suffragettes. As well as the timber buildings, some £1,000 worth of stored luggage was destroyed.