THE SIGNAL BOX

BRANCH LINES

 

SOUTH WALES
at the turn of the Century

Photographs by Roger Bailey, with captions by John Hinson

But not the turn of the century that you may be thinking of! This collection of photographs were taken in the late 1990s.

With the onward march of modern signalling, it is quite surprising justhow many older signal boxes can be found in South Wales. Along the main line from Paddington to Fishguard, Track Circuit Block and colour light signalling On the main Fishguard line, modern colour-light signalling extends as far west as Llanelli, but from there onwards traditional mechanical signalling principles survive. By the time Fishguard is reached, the line is really more of branch line status, the main traffic of the line petering out after Swansea.

But even before reaching the Absolute Block sections west of Llanelli, the odd box can still be found guarding level crossings, no longer of full "signal box" status but a traditional structure nevertheless. A few boxes survive just off the main line, too, maybe now isolated outposts but proper signal boxes in both function and looks.

Amongst these, too are the odd box no longer in Railtrack ownership. You might be surprised at what Roger's roving camera has discovered.

This photographic tour will take you to most of these locations, starting at Cardiff and working westwards along the line, nipping along branch lines as we come to them. You can select any location by following the links below, or take a full tour by using the "next" buttons found at the foot of each page.

  1. PENCOED
  2. BARRY
  3. ABERTHAW
  4. COWBRIDGE ROAD
  5. TONDU
  6. LLANDARCY
  7. PANTYFFYNNON
  8. GLANAMMAN
  1. LLANELLI
  2. PEMBREY
  3. KIDWELLY
  4. FERRYSIDE
  5. CARMARTHEN JUNCTION
  6. BRONWYDD ARMS
  7. WHITLAND
  8. CLARBESTON ROAD

Comments about this article should be addressed to Roger Bailey