Three Horse Shoes signal box at Turves
Three Horse Shoes signal box in 2003
There is still a signal box at Turves in 2016 which is called Three Horse Shoes. This signal box used to work the Three Horse Shoes junction that was here be for the branch to Burnt House and Benwick closed. It now just controls the main line.
It now has new UPVC windows and steel steps fitted and the chimney stack removed.
When work was under way fitting the new windows to the Three Horse shoes signal box at Turves.
Three Horse Shoes signal box in 1970s with its old windows and chimmey.
Three Horse Shoes signal box in 2010 after all new PVC windows and clading had been fitted.
This is one of three signal boxes still in use between Peterborough and March . The other two boxes are at Whittlesea
and Kings Dyke
'The closed Benwick Branch'
At 4 miles and 41 chains this goods only branch line to Benwick (pronounced Benick) started from Turves goods yard behind the 'Three Horse Shoes' box onto this goods only branch. The branch starting in the yard. Only one engine was allowed on the branch at any one time.
The first part of this line opened to Burnt House on 1st September 1879. The rest of the line opening to Benwick on the 2nd of August 1898.
Trains started from the goods yard at Whitlesey and then stopped at Three Horse Shoes Yard to pick up any wagons before setting off for Benwick.
The sidings along the line were at:-
West Fen Drove
Burnt House Drove
The line was used for crops from the local farms, like sugar beet, carrots and turnips. A train starting at Whitlesea at 10am got to Turves at about 10.13am. Leaving the Three horse Shoes yard at about 10.20 and getting to Benwick at about 12.10pm.
Stops were made along the line depending on traffic and the time of year. This times changed over the years. One or two trains a day was the most this line saw. This was a quite and out of way line.
Road transport killed of this line, like many other small branch lines. The end came on or about 13th July 1964.
Little if anything now remains of this line.
The best book (only?) on this short Branch line near Whittesea is
'The Benwick Branch'
by Peter Pane
Published by John Masters in 1998
This book has timetables photos and is a very good book.
Between Turves and March The surrounding fields here are flat and very large. We are in the fens and the land is often below sea level or only about foot above it. Years ago this fen land was often under water, be for the land was drained. You can see for miles.
Turves is about three miles from Whittlesea and is but a very small village (Hamlet) with just a few houses miles from anywhere. There are about five level crossings at Turves all now with automatic lifting barriers here. The March road crossings the railway line about four times in about two miles
The Peterborough to March Railway line
Peterborough East was the main Great Eastern Railway Peterborough station for this line. This station was closed and all services transferred to the Great Northern Peterborough North station, now called just plain Peterborough.
The railway line heads out of Peterborough to Kings Dyke were there are brick works. There is a signal box at Kings Dyke
on the main Peterborough Whittlesea road. The first and only station is at Whittlesea which is still open. There is a signal box called Whittlesea
The railway station at March
is still open and there is a Network Rail Infrastructure Yard on the site of the old Marshalling Yard at Whitemoor.
Page updated 6/5/2020
Ukrailways1970tilltoday.me.uk it is on railways but it is not just on trains but all things railways, with photos, which I have taken from the 1970s till now. I take photos of all things railways, steam diesel and electric trains, signal boxes, wagons any thing that is on the National Rail network, which was BR when I started taken photos.