THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

London & North Eastern Railway

WOODHOUSE EAST JUNCTION

Opened: 1926

Closed: ——

Location code: E42/13


Woodhouse East Junction signal boxWoodhouse East Junction was a key junction on the Great Central network, for it was here that the original MS&L route between Cleethorpes and Manchester was joined by the newer main route from London before heading through Sheffield.

The box here was renewed by the London & North Eastern Railway in 1926. Although they continued to build boxes to pre-grouping Great Central designs (like Reception Sidings) at some locations right up to 1930, this box is to the LNE's Southern Area design introduced in 1924. This type was loosely based on late Great Northern practice, but embodied larger panes of glass in the glazed area.

In view of Woodhouse's strategic position, the base has been bricked up around the original timber to afford bomb protection during the second world war.

After the closure of Woodhouse West in 1970, the East box was renamed Woodhouse Junction. The cast iron lettering on the nameboard has been carefully repositioned to reflect this, but the failure to repaint the board has left it looking very untidy.


Inside Woodhouse East Junction boxInternally the box continued Great Central tradition with the provision of their standard type of lever frame, with its unusual catch-handle mechanisms, totalling 84 levers.

Notice the central bank of short-handled levers painted blue over black. These are motor operated points controlling the main junction and associated switch diamonds. At one time such features were only provided for pointwork a long distance from the cabin, but nowadays most points are motorised when renewals occur.

The small grey boxes are modern light repeaters, informing the signalman if the paraffin lamps of signals out of view are unlit. Between them is an array of Great Central signalling instruments.


Tyer & Co. permissive block instrument at Woodhouse East JunctionThis is one of the Goods Line block instruments - a permissive block manufactured by Tyer & Co. Apart from the typical Line Clear, Normal and Train on Line indications, this instrument (like most permissive instruments) also records the number of trains in section on the indicator behind the small window.

This indicator is controlled by the rotary commutator, the black wheel behind the white bell plunger. The brass plunger on the right is operated for each movement, it is simply a releasing device to ensure that only one train is added to the instrument with each operation.

Woodhouse Junction box (as it is now known) is still in use, although its importance has fallen considerably. As these photographs were taken over twenty years ago it is unlikely that the equipment is still as impressive as it was then.

View track layout plan for 1977



Buy prints of photographs
at 433shop
Click here

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated