THE SIGNAL BOX

BRANCH LINES

 

SOUTH WALES
at the turn of the Century

LLANELLI

Llanelli West Ground Frame, as it is known today
The first mechanical box reached, when travelling west along the South Wales main line, is at Llanelli, although it is no longer of signal box status. It is retained as a "ground frame" to control the level crossing some distance west of the station.
The box opened around 1877 (as Llanelly No.4) making it a very early survivor of the Great Western Railway's architecture. The box later became "West" and somewhere along the line the spelling was amended to Llanelli.
Originally, the box was smaller - it was extended in 1904 to accommodate a larger frame; however this no longer survives and the few functions now controlled are worked from switches.
The box assumed its more humble role when the area became controlled by colour light signalling, worked from Port Talbot power box, in 1969.
Instrument shelf and diagram at Llanelli
There is little to see inside the box - a large diagram monopolises this view. To the right are closed-circuit television screens to allow a remote level crossing to also be controlled from here.
A short distance down the line from here is Pembrey, where the colour light signalling ends and true signalling starts. .

Photographs by Roger Bailey

Comments about this article should be addressed to Roger Bailey