Whilst waiting for my train at Sowerby Bridge the other day I noticed this new signal had appeared on the Up Main.DG288534. New signalpost. Sowerby Bridge. 19.1.18.

If you’ll pardon the pun, it’s signalling more than trains – it’s signalling the end of absolute block working between Hebden Bridge and Milner Royd Junction, the last remaining patch of AB working on the Calder valley route in 2018. Both signal boxes are due for closure in the autumn. The future of Milner Royd (one of only two surviving Smith and Yardley boxes) is uncertain, but Hebden Bridge, (built by the Railway Signal Co) is a grade 2 listed building so will survive. Here’s a couple of pictures of the boxes concerned. Photograph them whilst you can!

07070. Hebden Bridge SB. 7.8.99.

Hebden Bridge Signal Box was built by the Railway Signal Co to a standard design in 1898. It contains a 38 lever frame and L&Y block instruments.

DG19303. Milner Royd Junction signalbox. 17.10.08.

Built in 1878. Milner Royd signal box contains a 20 lever Railway Signal Co frame and L&Y block instruments

Two other boxes are also due to close, although neither are actually in the Calder Valley. They’re Halifax and Mill Lane, Bradford. Two other boxes have already closed this month. Huddersfield and Healy Mills functions have been transferred to York ROC.