Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Signalling the End of a Historic Line

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Signalling the End of a Historic Line

Article excerpt

THEY have been the steady hands and watchful eyes of the railway since the dawn of the steam age.

But now a team of railway workers are hanging up their hats as the Stalybridge No 2 Signal box closes after 126 years. The four- man team have guarded the line for years but now the tracks near Stalybridge station will be managed by a computerised system.

The signal box - with its traditional lever box - was built in 1886 and was originally one of four that helped keep trains on track around Stalybridge station.

It is being closed down by Network Rail as part of a Pounds 20m modernisation programme and will eventually be demolished.

Two of the four-man team have been deployed elsewhere and railway bosses are trying to find roles for the others.

Veteran signalman Mike Ballagher, 59, who has watched the line for twenty years, is still waiting to find what the future holds. But he added: "It's been a cracking career - there's no doubt about it. I've enjoyed every minute. …

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