Weald Siding and Intermediate Signals
770-yards south of Sevenoaks Tunnel, the longest on the former Southern Region at 1-mile 1693 yards in length, existed Weald Siding. The latter was laid on the ‘’up’’ side of the line circa 1896, being northward-facing and extending for about 120-yards. Designated as a public goods siding, it was mainly intended to serve a nearby farm.
Accompanying the siding, and of the same vintage, was Weald Intermediate Signal box, positioned where the former joined the main line. This was an SER-designed affair, comprising a clapboard cabin with sash-style windows and a hipped slated roof, set upon a brick-built base. This formed the block section between Sevenoaks, three miles to the north, and Hildenborough, nearly two miles southwards.
Weald Siding remained in use for public goods traffic until October 1961, closing on 2nd of that month. Thereafter, it was used exclusively as an engineers’ siding in connection with maintenance of Sevenoaks Tunnel. The SER signal cabin remained only a short while longer; it went out of use on 4th March 1962 when a then new ‘’power box’’ at Sevenoaks took control of the area. The full accelerated timetable for ‘’Phase 2’’ of the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme came into use on 18th June of that year. As part of this project an electricity substation, one of sixteen on the main line between Sevenoaks and Dover, was built about 100-yards north of the siding, on the ‘’up’’ side of the line.
Southern Railway: 1940
Weald Siding & Intermediate Signals layout: 1940. Drawn by David Glasspool
Electrification works are seen at an advanced stage in this view depicting D1 Class 4-4-0 No. 31489 fronting a London-bound train from the Kent Coast. Weald Intermediate Signal Box can be seen beside the rear of the train, beyond which the siding left the ''up'' line. Note that third rail is already in place; the brick structure, just visible on the right, was a then new substation. © David Glasspool Collection