Signal box name lives on

(L-R) Gary Ruff, infrastructure maintenance engineer for Network Rail, Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, John Smith, GBRf managing director, at the naming ceremony on 23 April 2021.

To mark the final closure of the power signal box at King’s Cross after 50 years in service, freight operator GB Railfreight has named a Class 66 locomotive after it.

The GBRf team has been providing engineering trains and support for a project to renew the signalling system and overhead line equipment in the London King’s Cross area, as well as simplifying the track layout at the station.

As part of the project, the King’s Cross power signal box has closed and the local area signalling has been recontroled to the Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in York.

King’s Cross power signal box opened in September 1971, after the original signal box built by the LNER in 1932 was closed. All signalling operations moved overnight to the new King’s Cross box, situated on the site of the old York Road station buildings. The original LNER signal-box remained in-situ for another five years before being demolished as part of the electrification scheme and rationalisation of the station trackwork.

John Smith, GBRf.

GBRf decided to mark the occasion by renaming the last train which was signalled into the station by the box in its honour. Class 66 freight locomotive 66767 was named ‘King’s Cross PSB 1971-2021’ to mark the occasion.

GB Railfreight managing director John Smith said: “After 50 years, King’s Cross PSB closed its doors with this being the last loco signalled by the box into King’s Cross station. Quite an honour when you consider all the other famous trains that have come and gone from the place!

“I’d like to thank all those who worked on this project, especially our colleagues at Network Rail who we worked so closely with during these last few months.”

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