172A. Hilton Valley Woods, Off Egginton Road, Hilton Following the opening of the woods to the public in November 2020, a new footpath that passes near to the Derby to Crewe railway line was created, and in doing so, around half a dozen 8 m Abacus base-hinged tubular steel columns positioned alongside the railway line, and supporting GEC Z8526 lanterns, were discovered, making them about the first 'street' lights to be featured on here that are lighting a railway line! The lighting dates from the days when there were connections to both the Great Northern Railway's Derbyshire and Staffordshire Extension to Nottingham (travelling via Etwall, Mickleover, Derby Friargate, Ilkeston and Kimberley) and also to Hilton Army Depot at the adjacent Egginton Junction. After closure, the rail branch was retained up to Mickleover for use as a test track by British Rail's Research Division, but both this and the Army Depot were wound down towards the end of the 1980s, and the rail connections removed, although a short section of track and sidings into the former Depot are still in place to this day. Despite the cessation of service, the lighting was retained at this location, as was the Victorian signal box at Egginton Junction, which remains in service, albeit, with a vastly-reduced lever frame from its original 47-lever setup.
One of the columns visible from the new footpath.
All of the lanterns are in the same condition, with missing bowls / flat glass covers, and have anti-glare deflector shields attached to the side that would be seen by the drivers of approaching trains.
The lamps appear to be high wattage tungsten filament (GLS) types, rather than any sort of discharge lamp.
The next column along, visible through the trees.
Nearby are the remains of the rail connection to the Army depot.
Having been disused for over thirty years, the area has returned to nature, with only the now tree-covered railway tracks and fencing providing a clue as to the area's former use.
Looking into the Hilton development, the tracks are barely visible in the undergrowth, and end abruptly a short distance further away.
For archival photographs, including some that feature these lighting installations, please click here.
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