THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

London, Midland & Scottish Railway

MADELEY

Opened: 1930

Closed: 2004

Location code: LM4/22

Madeley signal boxDuring the first years of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, standard designs of the Midland and London & North Western Railways were used for newly constructed boxes - examples are illustrated at Barrow Hill Junction and Lloyds Sidings North.

However, in 1930, a new design emerged which combined the virtues of the two types. Features such as the gabled roof and the attractive panelled brick base of the LNW type were combined with the large-paned glazing (with the attractive top corner fillets) of the Midland. A few were built entirely in timber - see Forders Sidings for an example.

One of the first of this new design to be built was Madeley, situated on the West Coast main line just south of Crewe. Although taller than most subsequent LMS boxes, the height again echoes LNW habits. The box contains a 40-lever REC frame (adopted as standard by the LMS in 1925) mounted in the front of the box. Although the Midland had switched to rear-mounted frames some years before, the LNW had not, and it was a few years before the virtues of this arrangement were recognised.

A few boxes of this type had a smaller window arrangement (see Keswick No1) but from 1933 the glazing design was modified, as shown at Kettering Junction.

In this photograph, the box retains its LNW-style nameboard, with cast letters affixed to a board with rounded ends.

Madeley box was one of those that survived the electrification and resignalling of the West Coast Main Line in the 1960's, being retained to work the new colour light signals. Acting as the junction giving access to the Silverdale branch, it survived until 26th June 2004, when control of the area was taken over by Stoke-on-Trent power box.



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated