The return of a 140-year-old landmark of British railway history in Deeping St James could be just months away, according to a parish councillor.
A growing army of helpers, drawn from the community and businesses, are lending their services to the reconstruction of St James Deeping Signal Box, Deeping St James Parish Council member Coun Stuart Hall confirmed to the Free Press.
Coun Hall, a campaigner with the St James Deeping Signal Box Group, revealed that he only thing standing in the way of the work starting was the passing of ownership for the land on which the signal box will be rebuilt into the group hand’s.
“We’ve received planning permission for the signal box and government funding of £20,000 is still in place,” Coun Hall said.
“As soon as we get to the stage of exchanging land purchase documents, then we can have the money and sort out a land survey.
“We’ve not got a specific date for rebuilding work to start, but it’ll be in the next two months.”
We’ve not got a specific date for rebuilding work to start, but it’ll be in the next two monthsCoun Stuart Hall, St James Deeping Signal Box Group
The return of St James Deeping Signal Box will mark the end of a campaign that started when Network Rail announced plans to demolish it as part of a £280 million modernisation of the Doncaster to Peterborough line in 2014.
But instead of demolising the signal box, rail engineers dismantled in and Coun Hall said: “It’s all there and we’re still fundraising for a project that a lot of people are interested in.”
St James Deeping Signal Box was saved from the bulldozers after public pressure led Network Rail to “sensitively deconstruct” and store it for rebuilding.
Support for the St James Deeping Signal Box Group came from South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes who met Coun Stuart Hall and other group members in Frognall last month.
Coun Hall said: “Mr Hayes said that one of his aims, now he is back as a Minister in the Department for Transport, is to look after any signal boxes before they get ripped out by Network Rail.
“We’ve had communication with Network Rail and there’ll be one or two more discussions about the rebuilding work.”
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