Signalbox to be restored with rail team help

The signalbox which rail historian Philip Lockett is to restore. INCT 26-790 CON
The signalbox which rail historian Philip Lockett is to restore. INCT 26-790 CON

A local historian is hoping to tap into the knowledge of retired rail workers as he goes about the painstaking task of restoring an old signalbox

Philip Lockett intends to return to former glory the 10ft square building that housed the equipment which controlled the junction of the main Belfast-Larne railway line down into Carrick harbour.

It was bought from the railway in September 1948 by a local NCC train driver and spent most of the time since 1948 in the garden of his house at the end of Station Road in Greenisland.

Philip would like to make contact with retired railway workers (station staff, signalmen, permanent way or train guards or drivers) who would have worked in the Greenisland - Trooperslane - Clipperstown - Carrickfergus areas before 1950 and could help him understand how the railway lines in the area and down to the harbour were operated.

How was the Carrickfergus Harbour junction controlled? Was there somebody working there all the time? How were communications managed between Greenisland, the junction and Carrickfergus? What happened when a train went down to or came up from Carrickfergus Harbour? These are some of the questions Philip would like answered.

He said; “I’ve searched extensively in local archives and in the National Archives and National Railway Museum in England, but I can find very little written information about the junction or harbour branch and no photographs. I really want to speak to the people who worked on the railway and capture first-hand their experience and memories.”

If you can help, telephone 02886737862 or email