Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway


Opened: 1878

Closed: ——

Location code: LM88/14

Milner Royd Junction signal boxThe quaintly named Milner Royd Junction stands near Sowerby Bridge at the divergence of the Halifax line from the Lancashire & Yorkshire's main West - East route which ran, curiously enough, between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

The box is of considerable historic interest, and is probably now the only surviving cabin constructed by a small company called Smith & Yardley (or sometimes Yardley, Smith & Co.) for the L&Y. Few of their designs were found elsewhere. This style dated from the period 1878 to 1882, superseding the type found at Whitley Bridge.

The L&Y's dubious deal with the Railway Signal Company caused Smith & Yardley to lose nearly all their work, and they are believed to have carried out no signalling manufacture or construction after 1882.

Inside Milner Royd Junction boxInside Milner Royd Junction, the scene is a little more modern. Just a little. The original S&Y frame was discarded as early as 1903 and replaced by a standard model of Railway Signal Company design containing twenty levers.

Colour lights and motor points have appeared (witness the cut down handles on the levers to draw attention that there is no weight on those levers) but at the date of this photograph (1979) mechanical splitting and outer distants were still in use. A steel bar has been provided for the signalman's foot, to get a good swing on lever 20, the Down Outer Distant.

L&Y block instruments at Milner Royd JunctionMounted on the block shelf were a delightfully polished pair of original L&Y block instruments, working to Greetland No2 and Hebden Bridge. Unlike many other companies' instruments, the bells were operated by a plunger in the centre of the commutator handle, and a deft hand could work both functions simultaneously.

There would have been a third instrument on the Halifax line, but by the time these photographs were taken, that line was worked by automatic signalling.

These two instruments were still in use at Milner Royd Junction in 2001.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated