THE SIGNAL BOX

BRANCH LINES

METAMORPHOSIS
at Craven Arms

Photographs by Simon Matthews

During July and August 2000, Craven Arms Crossing underwent a substantial rebuild. The original all-wood structure of the box had been terminally ill, and the opportunity was taken to enlarge the box by building a clad steel-framed structure around it and subsequently remove the original structure from within.

The following photographs of the progress were kindly sent by Simon Matthews, and were used for the basis of the July edition of the Signal Box Quiz.

Craven Arms Crossing 18.7.00
Stage one was to erect the new frame around the old structure. At this stage it was hard to visualise what the finished job would look like. This photograph was taken on July 18th.

Craven Arms Crossing 18.7.00
The rear view of the box on the same date.

Craven Arms Crossing 18.7.00
It was immediately apparent that the inside staircase arrangement was to be abandoned in favour of a conventional external stairway. The "detached" toilet is to go too in favour of a more "convenient" inside one.

Craven Arms Crossing 18.7.00
On the 18th of July again - a view down the line towards Hereford / Llanelli

Craven Arms Crossing 10.8.00
By August 10th, most of the cladding had been attached, and an idea of how the box was to look was formed. Not the prettiest of structures!

Craven Arms Crossing 10.8.00
Just the last few panels, and some windows, are needed.

Craven Arms Crossing 12.8.00
Roughly a week later later, on the 18th August, the new structure is nearly complete. The appearance is improved a little by the the fitting of bargeboards and windows but those panes look awfully small by traditional standards!

Nothing has changed externally since this date. Internally the walls and remaining wooden base structure have been "panelled" with plasterboard. The glazing has still not been installed (as of 15/9/00). The temporary Perspex panes keep falling out and the ones that have broken have been repaired with masking tape.

Many thanks to Simon for providing the photographs.

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson