THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Furness Railway

CARNFORTH STATION JUNCTION

Opened: 1903

Closed: ——

Location code: LM108/01


Carnforth Station Junction boxCarnforth Station Junction is a fine example of the Furness Railway's standard box design introduced in 1896. Quite a few large boxes were constructed to this design around the turn of the century as the railway network expanded and signalling was modernised.

Notable features of this design are the all-brick construction with panelled sections below operating floor level. The distinct brick staircase was a standard feature, too. A few smaller boxes were built to this design (see Dalton Junction) but only the odd example could be found built in timber - see Foxfield and Millom. All boxes of this type had a hipped roof.

Carnforth is, of course, an important junction on the West Coast main line of the former LNWR, although the main line platforms have closed. Carnforth Station Junction box is to be found at the far end of the Furness line platforms. At this point, a triangle existed until recently connecting the Barrow and Leeds lines. Today, the only junction of this triangle remaining is at this box.


Inside Carnforth Station Junction boxIn sharp contrast to the other former Furness Railway boxes illustrated here, the interior of Carnforth Station Junction is packed with modern equipment. A large illuminated diagram shows the layout, which is extensively track-circuited. To the left are three large train-describer units for communication with Preston power box. Along the front of the block shelf are a bank of electric indicators showing the signal indications and point detection.

Beneath the shelf is the lever frame, which only has a few unused levers - they are the white-painted ones. This frame is a variation on the standard Railway Signal Company product illustrated at Caergwrle, the significant visible difference being a flusher style of catch-handle.

This frame is believed to have started life with 77 levers, although levers A to C were later added at the left-hand end. The right-hand end has subsequently been shortened leaving a total of 59 levers present.


The original Carnforth Station box still standsAn interesting piece of history remains at Carnforth. Right on the end of the platform is an earlier box which opened on 30th January 1882.

The box cannot be said to follow any particular design and probably owes its elegance to having been, at one time, combines with other station buildings.

The original 31-lever frame had been enlarged to 38 in later years, by adding levers A to G at the London end of the frame. This box closed on 22nd October 1903, when the cabin described above was brought into use.




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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated