Clipstone Railway is part of the Mansfield Railway Company’s 11 mile branch line connected at its northern end to Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway.
A large concentration of sidings were built at Kings Clipstone which served Clipstone, Mansfield, Thoresby, Ollerton, Welbeck and Rainworth pits. The lines were connected by the east and west junctions with a signal box situated on the East Junction above Archway Road.
The signal box is a rare survivor and as of 2008, in poor condition. Originally, all signaling was done by mechanical means. Points and signals were operated locally from individual levers or handles, meaning that the signalman had to walk between the various pieces of equipment to set them in the required position for each train that passed. Before long, it was realised that control should be concentrated into one building, which came to be known as a signal box. The earliest signal boxes housed mechanical lever frames. The frame was usually mounted on a beam beneath the operating floor. Interlocking was attached to the levers, which ensured that signals showed the correct indication with regard to the points and were operated in the right order. Wires or rods, connected at one end to the signals and points and at the other to levers in the signal box, ran alongside the railway. Levers are painted according to their function, e.g. red for stop signals and black for points, and are usually numbered, from left to right, for identification. In most cases, a diagram of the track and signaling layout is mounted above the lever frame, showing the relevant lever numbers adjacent to the signals and points.
With only Thoresby Pit left, the sidings have been lifted and are rapidly returning to scrub and forest. The tracks go behind Vicar Water Country Park and form part of the National Cycle Route.