Welcome (Home Signal)

Hello and Welcome! Or should I say welcome home?

Come in and make yourself at home at The Signal Box web site. Most web sites would call this the Home page, but we call it the Home Signal page.

You probably know that a Home Signal is a specific kind of railway signal

OK, so you have come in. Do you realise you may have infringed Rule 72 (a)?

Rule 72 (a) prohibits unauthorised persons from entering a signal box

But that’s OK, don’t worry, we like visitors.

So what is this site all about?

This web site is all about British railway signalling history. There is a lot to see here, maybe much to learn, so take as long as you like.

The web site developed from a desire to record in an orderly and easily understood manner the quantities of information that I learnt over the last forty fifty plus years – much of which was previously only been stored in my head!

Here you will find  descriptions and illustrations of signals, explanations of the rules and regulations, photographs, historic articles, reminiscences, museum and book lists,  classified advertisements, links to other sites with signalling interest, and much more. Have a stroll around. Whether you have a deep interest in signalling or just a passing interest, there is so much here to look through.

A description of each section of the site will be found below, but you can also navigate around using the links at the top of each page and elsewhere. Enjoy!


Certain parts of this site require you to register as a member of the web site with us – such as to post a small ad on the Exchange Sidings page. It costs you nothing, but membership is not necessary if you don’t require to use these features.

You won’t be asked to join or log in until you need to use them.

But if you really want to log in now, click here.

The Photographs

Most of the photographs on this site can be enlarged for a better view. Just click the mouse, or tap on a touch screen, and a larger view will appear. When there are several pictures on a page, you can view them successively in the same box.

Here’s an example – try it. When you are finished, just close it with the little X in the top corner.

West Hampstead signal box, photographed in 1977
Photo: J Hinson

Almost all of the photographs on this site maybe be purchased as prints (without the security mark, of course) at https://433shop.co.uk . Digital copies are available by special arrangement – please contact me for more information.

Please also see below for copyright information.

The sections of this site

You can click on the links with the descriptions below, or use the menus. They take you to the same places.

  1. THE HOME SIGNAL PAGE – this is where you are right now. Use this link if this web site is trapped inside another.
  2. PHOTO GALLERY – photographs and descriptions of a wide range of signalboxes, demonstrating the difference of the architecture between different railway companies
  3. SIGNALS – animated descriptions and photographs of all kinds of British signals
  4. LEVER FRAMES – photographs and descriptions showing the wide range of British lever frame designs
  5. BLOCK SYSTEM – the method of working that keeps trains apart
  6. TRACK LAYOUTS – a selection of diagrams of the track layouts at signal boxes
  7. BRANCH LINES –  a range of articles on miscellaneous signalling subjects
  8. RAILWAY COMPANIES AND CONTRACTORS – a handy list of all the railway companies and signalling contractors in Britain, with a reference list of abbreviations used on this site
  9. SECTION C – past and upcoming signal alterations
  10. MAGAZINES – a summary of articles in recent magazines pertinent to signalling
  11. BOOK SHELF – reading matter for the enthusiast of railway signalling
  12. MUSEUMS & PUBS – museums and pubs that can be visited which have signalling equipment on display
  13. EXCHANGE SIDING – free classified advertisements for anything signalling-related
  14. RULE 55 – sign “the book” to say you have been here
  15. THE BLOWER – somewhere to chat about signalling
  16. TELEGRAPH THE SIGNALMAN – drop the signalman a line
  17. SIGNAL LINKS – a handy list of other web sites of signalling interest

The web site is regularly updated, and continues to grow. Will it ever be complete? Probably not. The content is primarily historical – even where more modern signalling systems are touched on, it should be understood that the descriptions are unlikely to reflect current Rules & Regulations.

Additional information is always welcomed, and some contributors have provided entire articles for the site. However, current pressure mean I cannot at present accept new articles.


Details of what you can and cannot do with content on this web site will be found on the Copyright Information page – a link to which can be found at the foot of every page.

Don’t copywrong –  copyright!

Please note that another web site, which has been named “The Signalbox”, has no connection with this one, nor is it even specifically related to railway signalling. The choice of name has caused some confusion with users of this site. We neither endorse nor associate ourselves with that web site.

A little word about political correctness

These days, the word signalman is not used – such people are referred to as signallers, and rightly so. But this web site is all about history, so you may see the old generic term for both male and female staff of signalman used around the site.

Female staff typically worked in signal boxes from around 1940 onwards,
although there were a few earlier occasions

There is no intention to offend anybody with the use of this historic term.


Over many years, a lot of people have contributed to this web site in small or large ways. I would like to thank:
Nick Allsop, Frank Archer, Tim Barrett, Roger Bailey, D J Baker, John Batts, Chris Bellett, Howard Bolton, Martin Bond, Guy Bradley, Shaun Burnley, Sarah Canham, David Clegg, Eric Collins, Janet Cottrell, Donnacha Cronin, Nick Crosby, Richard Cullen, Steve Daly, Peter Davies, Tim Dunn, Andy Emmerson, Clive D W Feather, Neil Ferguson-Lee, Nicholas Fleetwood, Graham Floyd, Subhasis Ganguly, Andrew Gardiner, Danny Goodrum, Steve Gwinnett, Kevin Hampton, Dave Harris, George Harrison, Dave Hawkins, Paul Hepworth, Mike Hodgson, Roger Hornsby, Ian Hughes, Richard Huss, David Ingham, John Ingham, Timi Lockley, Stuart Johnson, Alan Jones, Phil Keller, John Liffen, Simon Lowe, John Lacombe, Steve Luxton, Brian Matthews, Simon Matthews, Andy McKenna, Colin Morley, Matthew J Morley, Brian Mills, MRFS, Harald Mueller, Mick Nicholson, Chris Osment, Tim P, Frank Paterson, Tracey Phantom, Ian Pidgeley, Andrew Porteous, Norman Proud, Richard Putley, Chris Randall, Colin Reid, Eric Richardson, John Rodger, Martin Shaw, Dave Smith, Jim Smith, J R Smith, Jenny Smithson, Bob Taafe, John Talbot, Chris Twigg, Jack Turner, Mike Tyrell, Adrian Vaughan, Geoff Walker, Andrew Waugh, Nick Wellington, Kevin Weston, Peter Whatley, Roy Wilkes, Helena Wojtczak, Peter Woodbridge, Bob Wright
and, of course, anybody whose name I have embarrassingly missed.

. . . and a thank you to our sponsors:

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