A rather tatty looking Elmton & Creswell signalbox in its original state before refurbishment saw the toilet brought inside and a lick of paint and new windows; picture courtesy of Chris Booth.

There is a saying on the railway that if your signalbox gets a new lease of life, its doomed for closure, well its happened a few times and again unfortunately it happened again as E&C was closed. It is only opened for maintenance, engineering work or failure of the signalling (where the section needs shortening to regulate trains).

The semaphore signals are all 'pulled off' (term used to indicate signals cleared for all trains), the box is switched out and the block now only works between Worksop PSB and Shirebrook Jn. A tail lamp camera is now in situe at Shirebrook Cutting and basically doing a small part of the job what the signaller did.

The box area at time of closure was quite small with only about eight working signals in total, but at one point it controlled trains in and out of Creswell Colliery and the Clowne branch to Staveley. It also had a few sets of working points and a GF to control.

Here a loco is given permission to reattach to its waiting loaded coal train, the line of which has since been lifted.

And a rare shot of the Clowne branch in use, with the train just arriving at Elmton & Creswell junction. 

The Clowne Branch is now a cycle route from Creswell village to Staveley (Poolsbrook Country Park) called the Greenway and was started in 2015 and opened in stages from 2018.

Picture courtesy of Phil Sangwell.

This was the token machine used to keep track of the trains using the Clowne branch to and from Seymour and Oxcroft colliery.

Pictures 1, 3 & 4 kindly provided by Chris Booth.

This is Elmton & Creswell station in use the first time around! It was opened on the 10th of April 1886 by the Midland Railway (MR), closure was in October 1964 following Dr. Beechings infamous cost cutting report. By this time other lines also leading to Mansfield were axed, leaving Mansfield, the largest town in Britain without a Station.

The date is the 19th of May 1952.

It started off life named just 'Creswell' but was later named 'Elmton & Creswell' station a year later on the 1st of May 1887. The local rival LD&ECR railway company later opened its own line with a station called 'Creswell' on the 1st of June 1897, but again not to confuse the villagers is was later renamed as 'Creswell & Welbeck' on the 1st of December 1897. This station was subsequently closed on the 10th of September 1939.

The LD&ECR railway ran parallel with the Midland line from Shirebrook Junction in Creswell. The Midland line carried onto Worksop and also branched off to the left at Elmton & Creswell signalbox through Clowne. At Clowne (known back then as Clown), the LD&ECR passed over the Midland line with a connection point connecting both lines just before the two Stations in Clowne. (See Clowne section for information and pictures).

The line was given a new lease of life on the 25th of May 1998, when it saw passenger services once again with the introduction of the Robin Hood line and the rebuilding of the station platforms, unfortunately the station building on the 'upside' is a private building (not available for railway use) and the 'downside' buildings were demolished.

Map dated 1875, showing just one station named Creswell on the first line owned by the Midland Railway.

This map dated 1897, now shows the rival LD&ECR railway line built, along with their station now named Creswell, but the Midland station changed to Elmton & Creswell.

The map above dated 1914, shows Elmton & Creswell retain its name, but is now part of the GCR. However Creswell station still part of the MR route, is now called Creswell & Welbeck station.

Below is the original diagram of E&C showing the Clowne branch, various pointwork and also Creswell Colliery bunker line. (Shared by Neil Baker).

Network Rail is looking into modernising Norwood crossing  possibly to automatic barriers and also the removal of E&C signalbox. This maybe in conjunction with the planned removal of Whitwell Tunnel (see the 'News' page for more info on Whitwell Tunnel).