at the turn of the Century


The preserved Bronwydd Arms signal box
"Its a signal box, Jim, but not as we know it".
Bronwydd Arms is not a Railtrack signal box, but it is an operational preserved box on the Gwili Railway.
The structure came from Llandebie, and has been delightfully rebuilt to be full of atmosphere, as seen here. Llandebie box opened in 1884.
Part of the lever frame inside Bronwydd Arms box
Inside the box is a Great Western Stud-locking frame which replaced Llandebie's original frame in 1906. It is nice to see original Great Western brass plates - especially such a long one as is seen on lever 6 here. Behind the levers is a wire adjuster for compensating for heat expansion of the signal wires. The way this worked is illustrated and described at Ferryside.
Another view inside Bronwydd Arms box
At the other end of the frame can be seen a GWR gate wheel for level crossing gates. The unusual colouring of the red levers with black band is Great Western practice, used to denote signals allowing a movement from a goods loop onto a main line.
Instrument shelf and track diagram
The block shelf has an array of lamp repeaters and other indicators mounted on it. Third from the left is a closing switch, which doesn't serve the conventional function - it simply cuts off power to the indicators to conserve battery power. Above the instruments is the signalman's plan of his layout.
Inside the locking room at Bronwydd Arms
Below can be seen the levers and the locking tray. This must be one of the cleanest locking rooms in existence!

Photographs by Roger Bailey. Additional notes by Robert Davies, Nick Weedon and Rob Williams.

Comments about this article should be addressed to Roger Bailey