THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

London, Midland & Scottish Railway

GREETLAND No2

Opened: 1942

Closed: 2009

Location code: LM88/15


Greetland No2 boxIn this 1979 picture, Greetland No2 box looks distinctly haggardly, and the lack of reflection on the front windows gives the illusion of there being no glass at all!

The box was not derelict, though, for it controlled the corner of a triangular junction between the L&Y's cross-Pennine Manchester to Goole route and the Halifax and Bradford line.

The box opened in 1942, replacing the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway cabin that previously controlled the junction. The ugly appearance of the box is justified by the box being built to ARP (Air raid Precautions) standard. The sturdy walls and reinforced roof were designed to withstand bomb blasts in all but a direct hit. Quite why it was thought that the enemy would target such a remote location in Yorkshire is open to thought.


Inside Greetland No2 box A 55-lever frame controlled the layout, although by 1979 the additional facilities added during the second world war, along with the station and goods yard, had gone. Reduced to a simple junction, more than half of the levers have become unused and painted white.

The frame is of the LMS's standard type, based on the Midland Railway tappet design (see Napsbury) but with the levers more closely spaced at 4½" intervals. This model was actually recommended by the Railway Executive Committee in 1925 for nationwide adoption, but the other three of the "big four" companies ignored this guideline and carried on in their own sweet ways.


L&Y block at Greetland No2Here we see a L&Y block instruments used to signal trains to Milner Royd Junction. This type of instrument combines the Up and Down indications, along with the commutator and bell plunger (on the centre of the commutator) but the bell itself is a separate unit as can be seen in the above picture.

This was in fact the only block instrument in the box; working to Elland and Halifax was by Track Circuit Block.

The small circular aperture in then lower left corner of the bottom needle changes to red if the Fireman's Call Plunger at the signal is operated, and locks the instrument to afford protection to a detained train.

Some time after these views were taken, the Greetland - Dryclough side of the triangle fell into disuse and was subsequently lifted. The box no longer had a purpose and became permanently switched out.

However, all was not lost and the introduction of a new Halifax - Huddersfield passenger service resulted in the box being refurbished and returned to use on 3rd April 2000 but it closed permanently on 24th July 2009.

Additional notes by P Sutcliffe





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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated