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Opportunity to Visit Banbury North Signal Box this Summer

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14 Aug 2014

After months of campaigning and hard work, ‘‘Project Crossover’’ has been able to secure a ten-week postponement of the demolition of Banbury North Signal Box to allow public access.

Following the disconnection of the signal box as part of on completion of the £78-million Banbury Upgrade project, the ‘Project Crossover’ team and Network Rail will be holding open days from mid August until early October, to enable members of the public, local schools, enthusiast groups and local businesses will be able to see the signal box in working condition for the final time.

Working alongside Network Rail, a safe access route is to be installed to allow pre-booked tours to take place. These tours will demonstrate how signal boxes work, teach about railway safety and the dangers of railway trespass and outline Banbury’s former importance as a key railway junction on the UK rail network.

The group was praised by Network Rail for their professional approach in attempting to secure long term access to the box, given all the challenges they faced, however they we were unable to secure the £162,000 surety required to underwrite the project, despite raising over an amazing £17,500 in 3 weeks from crowd-funding and appeals .

Pledges from local businesses of between £500 and £5,000 were received from the likes of local Banbury companies Norbar Torque Tools, Peter Haines Engineers, Tapper Interiors, RP Lovatt Insurance and Belos Ecology. Donations and pledges of up to £1,000 were received from individuals from across the country. All money donated through Just Giving has now been refunded.

The group expresses special thanks for the support, guidance and specialist advice provided by comparable heritage groups (notably Epping Signal Box, St Albans South Signal Box, St James Deeping Signal Box, Princes Risborough Signal Box and the Swindon Panel Society) as well as all those involved in the rail industry on a day to day basis who have helped to get the project to where it is today. Special thanks are also due to Solid Structures Ltd of Hook Norton, who produced a vital structural survey report at extremely short notice.

Whilst we appreciate our huge disappointment, that efforts to retain the Signal Box long term have been in vain, will be shared by so many. Without the level of support and effort by all concerned, the unprecedented public access opportunity to the North Box would not exist. Please help us make the most of this opportunity by spreading the word through local, business and rail networks.

We are in discussion with Network Rail and local bodies regarding the retention of Signal Box and signalling artefacts locally as a reminder of the public of Banbury’s important rail heritage.

Further details regarding the open events will be published in due course shortly through https://www.facebook.com/groups/BanburyNorthSignalBox/ - The Project Crossover Steering Group group can alternatively be contacted at [email protected].

Banbury South Signal Box is due to be demolished on Saturday 30th July ‘16. Because of the extended send-off, Banbury North Signal Box will now follow around Saturday 8th October ‘16.
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