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Rare opportunity to tour working signal box at heritage festival

PUBLISHED: 15:58 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 28 August 2019

Lowestoft signal box, which will open to the public during Heritage Open Days next month. Pictures: Network Rail

Lowestoft signal box, which will open to the public during Heritage Open Days next month. Pictures: Network Rail

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For more than 100 years the railway signal box at Lowestoft has controlled all movements of trains and rolling stock in and out of the station and sidings.

Lowestoft signal box, which will open to the public during Heritage Open Days next month. Pictures: Network RailLowestoft signal box, which will open to the public during Heritage Open Days next month. Pictures: Network Rail

And next month, people will have a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of the mechanical box before it is replaced in the new year as part of a major modernisation programme.

As part of Lowestoft Heritage Open Days, the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership has teamed up with the Lowestoft Central Project and Network Rail to host a series of tours over two weekends in September - but as the signal box is still operational, numbers are strictly limited.

The most easterly signal box on the entire UK rail network will be open on Saturday and Sunday September 14-15 and 21-22, with all tours strictly by appointment.

In order to accommodate as many people as possible, those wishing to look around are asked to apply for tickets in advance by emailing info@communityrailnorfolk.co.uk

More than 60 per cent of available places have already been reserved, with tickets limited to two per household and allocated on a first come, first served basis. Those successful will be emailed a time slot and access information in advance.

Tours are free of charge, expected to last around 30 minutes and will include climbing some steps to gain access.

Throughout most of the Heritage Open Days, the festival box office will be open at Lowestoft Railway Station providing information, maps and guidance on the range of events to be found within the town.

Paul King, chairman of Lowestoft Heritage Open Days, said: "I'm delighted that Lowestoft Railway Station will once again play an integral role in the festival this year, hosting various talks, an exhibition and our box office facility along with a rare opportunity to explore the signal box.

"The station is at the very heart of the town and is a central to its long history and heritage.

"The team at the station have done a fantastic job in restoring the station, bringing long neglected parts of this strategic gateway to Lowestoft back to life.

"Heritage Open Days provides a wonderful opportunity for everyone to see the amazing changes that have and are continuing to be made."

For more information on this year's Heritage Open Days festival visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk

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