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Colne railway history to be bulldozed
DEMOLITION is on the cards for an old-fashioned railway signal box which has stood beside the East Lancashire line for 128 years.
Network Rail has already been installing the equipment to convert the manned level crossing at Brierfield into one operated by radar.
Known as an ‘obstacle detector’ crossing, one is already operational in Ormskirk and more are planned across the county.
The move will spell the end for Brierfield’s box, which was first built by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and in its heyday housed 32 levers to control signals.
The mechanical framework for the signalling has long since been removed and the box has remained to control the road crossing, using a series of switches instead.
Michael Gradwell, a town planner working on behalf of Network Rail, said there was little chance of the building being preserved and no representations had been received from Community Rail Lancashire regarding the proposals.
Often the wooden upper section of a signal box could be preserved and placed on a new brick foundation, he told development control officials.
But Mr Gradwell added: “Due to the age of the framework and subsequent modifications over the years, the likelihood is that moving the three wooden sections would result in disrepair and could not guarantee the box would be usable.”
Alan Benson, secretary of the Save The East Lancashire Line Association said: “Years ago, when the heavy industrial uses stopped, they said that they were going to stop running the signal boxes.
“But they never did and they used them to control the level crossings. I hope the people who work there can be given jobs locally.”
Rail officials are also looking to close similar structures near the former Towneley station in Hufling Lane, Burnley, Huncoat, Daisyfield in Blackburn and Horrocksford Junction, to the north of Clitheroe.
And they have confirmed that affected staff should be redeployed in new posts.
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