THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

GNR Somersault signal

Signal boxes of the
LONDON & NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY

Some early work on the London & North Western was carried out by Saxby & Farmer, but the majority was manufactured in-house by the company.

The London & North Western introduced an early example of block working with the "Two Mile Telegraph" where block posts were established every two miles between Euston and Stafford in 1854, although it was worked on permissive principles until around 1872. These cabins were small two-storey huts, but the introduction of the absolute block system throughout the network in the early 1870s resulted in the construction of a large number of signal boxes, some of which have survived to the present day.

Until 1874, the majority of signal boxes were erected and fitted out by Saxby & Farmer, but from 1874 the LNW built its own boxes and equipped them with its own design of lever frame.

Please click on the thumbnail images for more information on each location.

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Lambrigg Crossing

This diminutive box was built by Saxby & Farmer to their first (1860's) design.

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Llysfaen

Another of the same type, built in blue engineer's brick.

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Banbury Lane

Many Saxby & Farmer boxes were erected on the LNW to their 1868 design. This example later had a new gabled roof fitted.

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Church Stretton

An all-brick design of box appeared on the London & North Western Railway from 1868 which seems to have been used mostly on lines jointly operated with other companies. This example was on the Shrewsbury & Hereford Joint Line.

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Ty Croes

This design of box, with three-pane high windows, was only found on the Chester & Holyhead line and dates from around 1870.

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Monks Siding

The first London & North Western standard design to be used universally appeared in 1874. The wood top with hipped roof on brick base was a logical development from the designs of Saxby & Farmer.

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Chester No4

In 1876, the LNW introduced gabled roofs. Apart from this change there was little difference from the 1874 hipped boxes. A great many of this type were built - some were quite large as illustrated here.

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Edgeley Junction No1Page includes views of lever framePage includes close-up views if signalling instruments and equipment

Another large box to the 1876 design

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Severn Bridge JunctionPage includes views of lever framePage includes close-up views if signalling instruments and equipmentPage includes close-up views of lever badgesPage includes close-up views of box diagramPage includes views of signals and other outdoor equipment

Today's largest British mechanical signal box. Built to the 1876 design but with increased height windows.

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Widnes No7Page includes views of lever framePage includes close-up views of lever badges

Whilst the majority of LNW boxes had brick bases, where circumstances demanded (such as steep embankments) all timber cabins would be built. This example is to the 1876 design.

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WelshpoolPage includes views of lever frame

This 1876 style box was actually built on Cambrian Railway property. It subsequently received some Cambrian features, such as the covered porch-cum-landing and a Dutton lever frame.

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Harrow No2Page includes views of lever framePage includes close-up views of lever badgesPage includes close-up views of box diagramPage includes views of signals and other outdoor equipment

In 1904, the LNW introduced its final design of signal box. Based on the 1876 design, the significant differences were in the taller window sections and overhanging gables.

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Millbrook

The London & North Western provided more basic facilities on lesser lines. Many wayside locations had little more than a hut for the signalman's accommodation and the levers were located outside.

The London & North Western passed to the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in 1923.