I started this project around 2010 when it occurred to me that Google Earth would be an excellent place to locate signalboxes, both open and closed.  Add to this the efforts of other enthusiasts who have mapped the railways of Britain in Google Earth and made reference to something called the 1960 Sectional Appendix and over a few months, what began as a mild diversion morphed into a project with a purpose: to plot in Google Earth the railway network and signalboxes as they were on 1st October 1960.

Why 1st October 1960? Because that was the date when British Railways published a series of volumes called the Sectional Appendix to the Working Timetable, which described the routes and signalboxes at that moment. As you will read, this has become a significant document because it has become a record of the British railway network prior to the mass closures and rationalisations of the 1960s and 1970s.

The lovely thing with Google Earth is that you can load it on your PC and get an aerial view of the entire planet. Zoom in and for many places, you can see a view of the ground better than spy satellites of thirty years ago, allowing you to see many individual features with the resolution to pick-out small buildings and even cars. You have a God’s eye view of the world with the ability to zoom and swoop to anywhere you wish. Plotting railways becomes easy and hugely informative.


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