THE SIGNAL BOX

LEVER FRAMES

BRITISH RAILWAY LEVER FRAMES

Saxby & Farmer lever frames

Saxby & Farmer Rocker frameSaxby & Farmer 1874 Rocker locking frame

Saxby & Farmer introduced their Rocker locking mechanism in 1871, but this type saw some improvements to the locking which was placed behind the levers.

Most surviving examples (such as that seen here) have had the locking replaced by straightforward tappets, but the original locking was driven by rocking castings located within the quadrants. Therefore, it is easy to identify such frames by the deep spaced between each levers catch guides, where traces of the pivot usually survive.

This example is at Fulbourne. Another example is illustrated at Great Chesterford in the Photo Gallery.

Saxby & Farmer Rocker lockingThese frames were manufactured in large quantities, and used extensively by the Great Western, Hull & Barnsley, Lancashire & Yorkshire, London & North Western, London, Brighton & South Coast and London, Metropolitan District, Chatham & Dover companies.

Although many examples of this type of frame remain in use, few retain the original locking.

This close-up view shows the mechanism on one of a handful of frames retaining this original locking at Heckington.

Saxby & Farmer lever frame for the Furness RailwaySaxby & Farmer lever frame for the Furness Railway

Saxby & Farmer built some frames for the Furness Railway, very similar to the Railway Signal Company's Furness product. The most distinct difference from these was the rounded tops to the lever handles. Unaltered levers bear Saxby & Farmer description plates rather than the RSCo's keyhole-shaped badges with description board behind.

The example is at Foxfield, more details of which can be found in the Photo Gallery

Saxby & Farmer Duplex locking frameSaxby & Farmer Duplex locking frame

Saxby & Farmer abandoned their rocker locking frame in 1888 in favour of a new design of tappet locking frame.

This neat frame (built at 4" centres) was manufactured in large numbers and found around the Great Eastern, Great Northern, Lancashire, Derby & East Coast and South Eastern Railways in quantity. The type, for some reason, did not find favour with the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, who set about building their own tappet frame mimicking the Rocker frame in style.

The North British used this type of frame for their West Highland contract, instead of their usual allegiance to Stevens & Sons.

This example is at Arrochar, more details of which can be found in the Photo Gallery. Another example is illustrated at Warsop Junction.

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