Furness Railway


Opened: c1917

Closed: ——

Location code: LM109/02

A general view of Millom signalbox and surroundings

Millom signal boxMillom signal box is, unusually, an all-wood variation of the Furness railway's post-1896 design illustrated at Dalton Junction. This box is believed to have opened as late as 1917 after an altercation with a passing train (although a plate in the box suggests 1913 as the date) and compares well with Foxfield. Notice the hut alongside in the upper view, which has windows similar to those in earlier boxes - see Askam.

The box contains a 28-lever frame manufactured by the Railway Signal Company, which is believed to have come from the previous (1891) box here. This frame had been modified at some time to increase the capacity to 30 levers by the insertion of extra levers between levers 3 and 4, and 23 and 24. A slot was also added at the left-hand end of the frame for an un-numbered lever operating a gong.

Furness railway signal at MillomA real gem of a signal survived here for many years. The Down Distant, which was "fixed at caution" by the late 1960s, was of Furness railway origin. The arm itself is mounted within the post in the style of very early signalling, whilst the spectacle plate is located lower down the post. This latter feature was not uncommon on nineteenth-century signals - the logic being applied was that the arm needed to be viewed against the sky whilst at night the lamp would be seen more easily if it was nearer the driver's eye level. Many signals of this type were much taller than this.

Although unable to show any indication other than "on", the arm had gained a distinct droop by the time this photograph was taken in the early 1980s. However, renewal of the spectacle with one of standard BR design, and fresh paint on the signal gave rise to speculation that the signal was about to become operational again.

Alas, this was not to be the case, and it was renewed as a standard tubular post upper quadrant signal a few years later.

Additional notes by David Ingham

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated