GNR Somersault signal

Signal boxes of the

The London & South Western was well ahead with safety features, and interlocked signal boxes and block working appeared in the 1860s, with large numbers being built during the 1870s.

Some contractors boxes were erected on the LSW's lines in early days, but the majority were constructed to the company's own designs. These were small, compact structures and many survived, with their basic 1870s layout and equipment into later years. Stevens & Sons lever frames were standardised upon from an early date. Some of these boxes survive today. Designs developed from the mid-1880s and it was only really at this stage that larger boxes made an appearance.

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

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Salisbury Tunnel Junction

Several boxes built between 1868 and 1874 were constructed entirely in brick, with only limited glazing. Most had gabled roofs but some hipped examples existed too, along with other minor variations.

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This all-brick structure started life as a single-storey cottage!

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GunnersburyPage includes views of lever frame

The L&SW sometimes used contractors to build boxes in early days, especially when whole new lines were built. This type of vox was erected on several lines by Saxby & Farmer in the late 1860s.

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From around 1871, the L&SW introduced a neat hipped-roof design utilising a timber top and brick or stone base. Originally, the panelling was on the interior of the framework only, revealing the framework (see the Furness Railway page to see how this could look) and roof valancing was provided.

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Another small box to the L&SW's 1871 design.

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Tisbury Page includes views of lever frame

A similar box featuring Russell's Patent Economic Levers

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Barnstaple Junction "A"Page includes views of lever framePage includes close-up views if signalling instruments and equipment

A variation of the 1871 design with taller windows.

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RomseyPage includes views of lever frame

This early example of the London & South Western's 1870's architecture was built deeper than it was wide. This allowed the junction signals to originally be mounted on the roof of the box. The box has also been extended outwards at the end facing the camera.

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Bollo Lane Junction

In 1877, the design was improved with more glazing and the introduction of a slight overgang to the roof.

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Chapel Crossing

In 1884, the 1870's design was enhanced by the provision of an increased glazing area. On some examples, the glazing extended up to the roof line, but the example shown here demonstrates 1889 to 1892 practice of providing a plain timbered area above the windows.

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St Denys

A completely new design was introduced in 1894, featuring (normally) all-brick construction with a plain unglazed area in the front wall. Each window section featured curved framing at the top. Boxes of this type continued to be built well into Southern Railway days.

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An unusual all-timber example of the 1894 design.

The London and South Western became part of the Southern Railway in 1923.