London, Midland & Scottish Railway


Opened: 1942

Closed: ——

Location code: LM83/10

Caverswall signal boxNot every box built during the second world war was built to the sturdy but ugly design seen at Greetland No2, so it must be assumed that the government coffers subsidising the construction of this type were not always open!

Caverswall, opened in 1942 when new goods loops were provided to help handle the increased wartime traffic, was a standard LMS type (like Kettering Junction, with the only concession to economy being the absence of locking-room windows.

Most signal boxes have the staircase facing trains, for safety reasons, but here it is positioned at the other end to allow the box to be as close as possible to the level crossing it controls.

Inside Caverswall boxAs might be expected, the frame is of the LMS standard "REC" type, but instead of the small steel Midland-style lever badges, larger plastic plates manufactured in a keyhole shape have been provided. Each is coloured to match its lever, and those on the detonator placing levers even have chevrons on. This type was introduced during the war, because the levers themselves were initially not coloured as an economy measure.

Interestingly, both of the levers working the power-operated points at the far end of the loops (those with the shortened handles) are painted black. Normal convention would be for the top half of the lever to be painted blue to indicate the integral Facing Point Locks in the motors.

Although the lever frame was at this time in very original condition, almost everything above block shelf level dates from BR days.

Caverswall box is still in use, located south of Stoke-on-Trent on the Derby line.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated