THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway

CLAYTON WEST JUNCTION

Opened: 1915

Closed: 1989

Location code: LM93/10

Clayton West Junction signal box
Photograph by John Hinson

Clayton West Junction was the point where the short branch to Clayton West diverged from the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's line running southwards from Huddersfield which linked up with the Great Central's Woodhead route at Penistone.

The layout here was expanded in 1915, and a new all-wood box to the L&Y's standard design was erected to control this. This design had evolved from the Railway Signal Co.'s style, which in itself had evolved from the Gloucester Wagon Company's own design. However, the L&Y's own boxes (which were built from 1895 onwards) can be easily identified as they lack the ornate bargeboards used by the RSCo (see Caerqwrle) and the GWC (as at Savernake).

The box retained its original L&Y nameboard on the front wall.

Inside Clayton West Junction box
Photograph by John Hinson

The box contained a 42-lever L&Y frame, also based on the Railway Signal Company's design. In later years, a number of levers had become spare, but the box was, of course, a critical junction serving the short branch to Clayton West. The block shelf appears bare because the only absolute block section was northwards towards Huddersfield. The line towards Penistone had been singled by the time of this 1979 photograph and was worked by bell and direction lever. The tablet instrument for the branch to Clayton West was behind the photographer.

The interior bears evidence of its ownership by the North Eastern Region of British Railways and the original lever badges have been replaced by their standard ivorine rectangular plates. There seems to be nothing on the block shelf of L&Y origin - a BR standard block instrument (as used by the LNER) works with Huddersfield whilst a North Eastern Railway bell provides the communication with Penistone. The signal repeaters all appear to be of the Eastern/North Eastern Region type.

The instrument working to Huddersfield does not have an upper non-pegging indicator; this is because only the Down line is worked on the Absolute Block system. The Up line towards Huddersfield is worked under Track Circuit Block arrangements, using only the bell.

The branch became worked under the "one-train" (or "one engine in steam") system when the station box closed in 1983, but the line subsequently closed, after which this cabin ceased to be necessary. It closed in 1989.

Since closure, the box has been purchased and the top portion of the box has been mounted on a new brick base not too far away. It is currently in use as a dwelling.

Additional notes by David Ingham

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