SCRCA structure / site 'types' with associated definitions

This page provides a definition for each of the structure / site types associated with the SCRCA Project. To view an image gallery showing structures / sites of a given type, click / tap on the relevant 'type' in the left-hand column below.

Type Definition

Archaeological Site

Code: AR


A site containing surface and /or sub-surface archaeology associated with the construction of the Settle-Carlisle Railway between 1869 and 1876.

Access Shaft

Code: AS


Access shafts were originally built to speed-up the construction of long tunnels (by allowing multiple tunnelling faces to be worked at the same time). Many have subsequently been converted to air shafts / ventilation shafts, but some were capped at the end of the construction process.

Bridge (Overline)

Code: BO


A bridge constructed to carry roads, driveways, farm access tracks, footpaths, etc. over the railway tracks. Also known as an 'over bridge'. Excludes tunnels.

Bridge (Tunnel)

Code: BT


A tunnel is a particularly long type of Bridge (Overline). For more information, please refer to the related article "What are railway tunnels and why are they necessary?".

For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, the 'tunnel' (structure type BT) is the hidden structure that lies between a pair of Tunnel Mouths (TM). As the interior of tunnels are not visible from outside the railway perimeter, or from inside a moving passenger train, they cannot be 'assessed' or photographed as part of the SCRCA Project and their physical appearance is irrelevant in terms of the management of the Conservation Area. These structures are, of course, regularly inspected and maintained by Network Rail for operational and safety purposes.

See also the related structure type Access Shaft (AS).

Bridge (Underline)

Code: BU


A bridge constructed to allow rivers, streams, roads, driveways, farm access tracks, footpaths, etc. to pass under the railway tracks. Also known as an 'under bridge'. Excludes viaducts.

See also the related structure type Culvert.

Bridge (Viaduct)

Code: BV


A viaduct is simply a particularly long version of a Bridge (Underline) - i.e. a bridge under (beneath) the railway tracks. Railway viaducts carry (or were built to carry) a railway line across a valley or other stretch of ground that is lower than the level of the railway. Embankments (long, thin ridges of made-up ground) can also be used for this purpose, but viaducts allow at least some of the land beneath the railway to be used for other purposes.

For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, any bridge under the railway that has more than three distinct and immediately adjacent spans is classified as a viaduct.

Cattle Dock

Code: CD


A cattle dock is a loading platform specifically designed to facilitate the loading / unloading of livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The platforms of cattle docks were usually higher than platforms used by passengers. This allowed livestock to walk between livestock wagons and the dock platform via level or gently-sloping temporary ramps. Cattle docks usually included livestock pens to keep the animals together and to prevent them escaping and causing havoc.


Code: CR


Permenantly installed cranes or hoists were provided in most goods yards to facilitate the loading / unloading of heavy and bulky freight.


Code: CU


Culverts are another form of Bridge (Underline). They allow streams and other small watercourses to pass beneath (under) the railway tracks.

For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, structures have been classified as 'culverts' if that is how they are marked on the 1911 landplan. However, the criteria used by the engineers / draughtsmen when deciding whether to apply the term culvert rather than bridge is not apparent. A quick review of the default images will show that the choice seems to have had little, if anything, to do with either the structure's size or design.


Code: DO


A "Dock" as marked on the 1911 landplan. Docks in this context are raised platforms that facilitate the loading / unloading and transhipment of general freight.

Equipment Cabinet

Code: EC


Equipment cabinets are used to house / protect the electrical equipment associated with signalling & telecommunications. Only the old wooden type (which probably date from the Midland Railway era) are being recorded as part of the SCRCA Project.

Engine Shed

Code: ES


Engine sheds are buildings used for the preparation (start of day), disposal (end of day), light maintenance and storage of railway locomotives.

Fog Hut

Code: FH


Fog huts are small 'sentry-box' style structures that were located close to most ‘distant’ semaphore signals to provide shelter for a ‘fog man’. The role of the fog man was to observe the state of the adjacent signal during times of poor visibility (e.g. during fog and periods of falling snow) and to place / remove a detonator on / from the running-rail each time the signal changed. The exploding detonator provided the locomotive crew with an audible warning that the signal ahead was ‘on’ (i.e. at danger). All of the surviving fog huts within the SCRCA are tall, thin structures constructed from pre-cast concrete panels topped with either a pre-cast concrete or asbestos roof.

For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, all structures fitting this description are currently being categorised as fog huts. However, it is clear that at least some of these structures have been equipped for use as trackside toilets. At this stage, it is not clear whether their use for this purpose was a conversion after fog-men became redundant, or if some of these structures were constructed specifically to serve this mundane but vital role. If you are able to shed any light on this matter, we would love to hear from you via the webform located on the SCRCA Project's 'Contact us' page.

Ground Frame

Code: GF


A ground frame is a small trackside lever-frame used to operate points (more properly referred to as 'turnouts'), signals, crossing-gates etc. Ground frames are mounted directly on the ground (hence their name), rather than in a signal box (SB).

Gradient Post

Code: GP


Gradient posts are installed beside railway lines wherever there is a change in the gradient of the trackbed.

For more information, please refer to the related article "What are railway gradient posts and why are they necessary?".

Goods Shed

Code: GS


A railway goods shed is a building that provides cover and security for the process of loading and unloading railfreight and for the short-term storage of that railfreight.

Hawes Branch

Code: HB


The trackbed of the railway that once ran from Garsdale to Hawes and beyond.


Code: JN


The place where two railway routes diverge / converge.

Level Crossing

Code: LC


A level crossing is a place where roads, tracks, footpaths, etc. cross a railway at track level, as opposed to passing over or under the railway by means of a bridge.

Loading Gauge

Code: LG


A railway loading gauge is typically a curved timber or metal bar suspended above a railway track in a goods yard or industrial siding. Loading gauges are used to check if the freight loaded in an open-sided or open-topped freight wagon is 'within gauge' - i.e. to check that it is both low enough and narrow enough to pass safely along the line without hitting anything.

Lamp Hut

Code: LH


Lamp huts were small buildings that were constructed to store lamps and lamp oil, plus the tools and spare-parts needed for lamp maintenance and repair.

Corrugated metal variants

Within the SCRCA (and across much of Britain’s railway network) lamp huts generally conform to a standard design. They are typically oblong structures manufactured almost entirely from overlapped sheets of corrugated metal (either iron or galvanised steel) featuring:

  • a pair of parallel side walls linked by an integral arched roof;
  • a front-panel (which includes a latching door); and
  • a rear panel (which includes a window).

A ventilator cowl was invariably fitted in the centre of the roof of these structures to prevent a potentially explosive build-up of fumes from the lamp oil.

Initial research by volunteers at the Midland Railway Study Centre indicates that lamp huts of this type were manufactured to a standard design (or set of designs) by a variety of different (usually local) companies.

As large numbers of lamps were needed to illuminate signals and to provide lighting for station buildings and platforms, lamp huts of this type were generally located immediately adjacent to both signal boxes and railway stations.

Stone-walled variants

Within the SCRCA, there were also at least three stone-built variants that are labelled as 'Naptha Stores' on the Midland Railway Company's land plans dating from 1911. (See the related article 'What were naphtha stores and why were they necessary?'.) All three of these were located near the entrances to railway tunnels.

Monument / Memorial

Code: MM


There are a number of monuments, memorial tablets, etc. with a connection to the Settle-Carlisle Railway. These typically commemorate:

  • people who died during the construction of the railway;
  • people who died as a result of railway accidents; and
  • railway employees who died during wartime service.


Code: MP


Section 94 of the Railways' Clauses Act of 1845 requires that the length of all railway lines be measured and that markers of some kind be installed at quarter-mile intervals to denote these measured distances. The mileposts within the SCRCA identify the distance in rail-miles from London St Pancras via the Midland Railway Company's most direct route. For more information, please refer to the related article "Settle-Carlisle Railway Mileposts".

MR Boundary Marker

Code: MR


The Midland Railway Company used a standard-design of cast-iron post to mark the boundaries of land that it owned. These feature the initials "M R".

Natural Feature

Code: NF


This classification is used for rare and particularly interesting 'natural features' that lie above, below or immediately adjacent to the SCRCA.

Other Rlwy Location

Code: OT


A railway-related building, structure or location that does not fit into any other category.

Platform Canopy

Code: PC


A canopy or awning (above a passenger platform) designed to shelter passengers from the rain etc.

Platelayers' Hut

Code: PH


Platelayers' huts are small buildings constructed beside railway lines at regular intervals (typically every 2 or 3 miles). They were used to:

  • store the tools and equipment used by permanent-way workers; and to
  • provide those workers with somewhere to shelter during meal breaks and periods of bad weather.

For more than a century, each team or 'gang' of track workers was assigned to a specific length of track. The members of these teams were known as ‘platelayers’, 'gangers' or ‘lengthmen’ and each team was based at a platelayers’ hut located close to its 'length'.

Platelayers' huts fell out of regular use in the 1970s, when more flexible working practices were introduced. Regional teams now use vans and other road vehicles to reach locations where maintenance work is required. In many cases, the same vans also provide shelter, personal 'conveniences' and storage, although for larger scale works, portable cabins and chemical toilets may be provided.

For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, all line-side huts displaying evidence of windows and chimneys or flues have been classified as platelayers’ huts unless there is substantive evidence that the structure had a different primary use.

The design of platelayers' huts varies significantly, as does the nature of the construction materials used. The latter includes stone, brick, concrete and timber for the walls and either concrete or timber for the roofs. The timber roofs were usually overlain with slate tiles, thin stone slabs, or felt.

Platform (passenger)

Code: PL


Passenger platforms are raised areas constructed beside railway tracks to provide passengers with easier access to train carriages at railway stations.

Note: The term 'platform' can also be applied to raised areas constructed to facilitate the loading / unloading of freight. However, to avoid confusion (and to follow the terminology used on the 1911 landplans), the latter are referred to as 'docks', 'cattle docks', etc. for the purposes of the SCRCA Project.


Code: RE


A reservoir created by damming a stream in order to provide a supply of water for tank houses which, in turn, supplied the water columns and water troughs. used to replenish the water supplies of the steam locomotives used on the railway.

Rail-served Industry

Code: RI


Rail-served industries are businesses located close to the railway between Hellifield and Carlisle that have (or at one time had) their own railway siding(s) to either send or receive freight by rail. The range of rail-served industries that have been associated with the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area at some point in history includes quarries, timber extraction, dairies, lime works, mills and other factories.

Railway Station

Code: RS


A railway station is a place where passenger trains stop (or used to stop prior to closure) in order to pick-up and set-down passengers.

Within the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA), each railway station also had adjacent or nearby facilities for handling goods (freight), although those at Carlisle where some distance away from the passenger facilities.

Within the SCRCA, most (sometimes all) of the following structure types are associated with each railway station:

Retaining Wall

Code: RW


For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, retaining walls are large masonry structures that stabilise and reinforce the sides of steep-sided cuttings and embankments. Retaining walls will only be included in the database if they match both of the following criteria:

  • they are visible from a publicly accessible location and
  • they are interesting (i.e. there is the potential for an associated story) or they are particularly impressive (in terms of their size and appearance).

Signal Box

Code: SB


Signal boxes are essentially shelters constructed to house lever-frames and associated equipment and to provide a degree of comfort for the human operators of that equipment. The lever-frames are used to operate points (more properly referred to as 'turnouts'), signals and level-crossing gates / barriers. For more information, please refer to the related article "What are railway signal boxes and why are they necessary?".

Signal boxes vary enormously in size, style and construction materials used, although many of the signal boxes within the SCRCA are timber-framed examples dating from the Midland Railway era (i.e. they were constructed during or before 1923).


Code: SI


Sidings are relatively short stretches of track used to 'set-aside' trains and parts of trains from the main running lines. This is useful:

  • to allow other trains to pass,
  • to facilitate the loading or unloading of freight or passengers, and / or
  • for the servicing / storage of locomotive and rolling stock.

For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, lie-by sidings, spurs, loops, headshunts, tracks in goods-yards and locomotive servicing areas, etc. are all classified as 'sidings'. Also, the term is used to indicate a single siding or a group of associated sidings. In other words, any railway track that does not form one of the two main running-lines is classified as a 'siding'.

Station Main Bkg Off

Code: SM


For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, this is the main station building - i.e. the building from which tickets are (or were) sold. In most cases, this building also provided most of the facilities for passengers and most or all of the accommodation for station staff.

Please note that, with the exception of Settle, Appleby and Carlisle, these structures are now privately owned or leased and that they no longer provide 'booking' facilities (i.e ticket sales) for rail travellers. Passengers boarding a normal service train at one of the 'open' stations that has no ticket office can purchase a ticket on the train. For information regarding timetables, fares, ticket sales, etc., please refer to the National Rail Enquiries website at:


Code: SN


This classification was created during project start-up, with the intention of applying it to old - or apparently old - stand-alone signs of any description that are not covered by another classification. It was envisaged that this would include tunnel / viaduct nameboards, BR-period (hollow numbered) speed-limit signs, summit signs, bridge plates, etc. However, it was quickly realised that:

  • the project team did not (and does not) have the trackside access needed to record the majority of these items; and that
  • including such signs would increase the scale of the project far beyond the capabilities of the small number of active project volunteers.

Signs are not, therefore, being recorded or catalogued as part of the SCRCA Project.

Snow Screen

Code: SS


During severe winters, deep snowdrifts were a frequent cause of disruption on Britain's railway network. Within the SCRCA, Dentdale was particularly prone to drifting snow. In a bid to keep the snow off the tracks, a series of snow screens (also known as a snow fences) were erected in parallel lines along the upslope side of the railway. They were formed by up-ending sleepers and burying a portion of their length in the ground. Unfortunately, these structures proved to be totally ineffective and all that remains today are the skeletal remains of a few of the more weather-resistant timber sleepers.

Station Waiting Room

Code: SW


The term 'station waiting room' has been applied to all secondary buildings that provide (or originally provided) shelter for passengers at railway stations. However, if the building has (or originally had) 'booking' (i.e. ticket-selling) facilities, it is classified as a 'station main building and booking office', not a 'waiting room'.


Code: TA


A structure labelled as a 'tank' on the 1911 landplan. (In most cases, it was probably a water tank.)

Tank House

Code: TH


For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, a tank house is defined as a large high-level water tank with a usable room underneath. The tank was installed to store, then supply water to water columns. The latter were then used to quickly replenish the water supplies of steam locomotives.

Why was water so important?

Steam engines burn coal to turn water into steam. The steam is then used to move pistons connected to huge rods that turn the locomotive's wheels. If a steam engine runs-out of water, either the firebox will melt (embarrassing for the fireman / driver and expensive to fix), or steam pressure will rise extremely quickly until the boiler explodes (extremely dangerous as well as expensive and embarrassing). It is therefore vital to have a good supply of water - on demand - when operating steam locomotives. Hence the need for large tank houses at strategic locations along the railway network.

Tunnel Mouth

Code: TM


Every tunnel within the SCRCA has a masonry-built 'tunnel mouth' at each end. These are designed to retain the surrounding soil / rock and prevent it falling onto the running-lines (railway tracks).

Telegraph Poles

Code: TP


For almost a century, a row of telegraph poles (with their associated telegraph wires) ran alongside almost all UK railway lines. Within the SCRCA, the vast majority had either been removed completely or reduced to short stubs well before the SCRCA Project commenced in 2012.

This classification was created during project start-up, with the intention of applying it to any significant runs of full-height telegraph poles (with or without wires) that still survived. However, it was quickly realised that:

  • the project team did not (and does not) have the trackside access needed to record these items; and that
  • including telegraph poles would increase the scale of the project far beyond the capabilities of the small number of active project volunteers.

Telegraph poles are not, therefore, being recorded or catalogued as part of the SCRCA Project.


Code: TT


Turntables are used to turn railway locomotives around so that they do not need to run backwards for significant distances. This is especially important for mainline steam locomotives as these were not designed to run 'backwards' at speed or for long periods of time.

There are no intact turntables within the SCRCA. However, there are some surviving turntable pits and the latter have been classified as 'turntables' for the purposes of the SCRCA Project.

Water Column

Code: WC


Water columns were used to supply steam locomotives with water. They were fed from nearby tanks or tank-houses.

Workers' Housing

Code: WH


The Midland Railway Company constructed houses in a variety of sizes and styles specifically to accommodate its operational workforce. The availability of tied housing helped the company to attract and retain the people it needed to operate the railway system all year round. In the days before mass car ownership, it was important for people to have accommodation reasonably close to their place of work. This was especially important in more remote areas. As car ownership increased and the number of people needed to operate the railways declined, these tied houses were gradually sold off.

Please note that ALL of the former workers' houses are now privately owned. If you decide to view these structures in the real world, please respect the privacy of the occupants.

Weighing Scales

Code: WS


For the purposes of the SCRCA Project, this classification refers to historic built-in weighing scales that were once used to weigh parcels and other small-sized items of freight. (Excludes the large weighbridges that were used to weigh vehicles loaded with large items of freight. A weighbridge was usually sited in front of each Yard Office.)

Water Troughs

Code: WT


Water troughs were placed between the rails of each running line near Garsdale to allow the locomotives of long-distance trains to replenish their water supplies without stopping. The troughs were fed from nearby tank-houses which were supplied from nearby diverted and / or dammed streams. (Water management was a very important part of operating a railway during the days of steam.)

Yard Office

Code: YO


Yard offices (also known as weigh houses) are small buildings that were used for the administration associated with operating a goods yard. The railway employee(s) working in each yard office controlled and recorded each person and vehicle entering and leaving the goods yard. In most cases within the SCRCA, yard offices also housed the measuring part of an adjacent weighbridge (i.e. a large vehicle-sized weighing scale).

Other location

Code: ZX


An otherwise unclassified building, structure or location that is (or may be) of conservation interest but that is not directly associated with the construction and / or operation of the railway between Hellifield, Settle and Carlisle.


Code: ZZ


This structure has not yet been classified by 'type'.

The SCRCA Project section of the FoSCL website was designed and
developed by Mark R. Harvey. Database rights have been asserted.