GNR Somersault signal

Signal boxes of the

The North London Railway was a pioneer as far as signalling was concerned. Simple signalling was introduced in the 1850s, and the entire line was operated on the block system by 1855. The first, albeit primitive, interlocked frame in the UK was installed at Kentish Town Junction (nowadays known as Camden Road Junction) in 1859. Early signal boxes were built by signalling contractors, but after 1877 (when a signal works was opened at Bow) the North London manufactured its own equipment.

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

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Dalston Junction

The North London's boxes of the period up to 1879 had hipped roofs, although details seem to have varied. This attractive model featured decorative valancing and large-paned windows - unusual for boxes of this era. These windows had curved framing at the top.

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Broad Street No2Page includes views of lever frame

This box, also from the 1870's era, was altogether plainer. Smaller panes are mounted in a more conventional window arrangement, and the timbering is panelled vertically. The majority of North London boxes were of all-timber construction, and this one was probably so too. Close examination shows the locking room has been rebuilt and enlarged at some date.

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Dunloe Street

In 1880, the North London standardised upon largish four pane window sections, although retaining the vertical timberwork of the above design. A proportion were built in brick. From 1890, boxes had large, removable windows to the locking room to allow free access for maintenance.

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Western JunctionPage includes views of lever frame

The North London's final design appeared in 1895. This introduced a gabled roof and different window design of just two panes per section. These boxes also had the removable locking room windows.

The London & North Western Railway managed the North London after 1909, and the few new boxes after that date were built to their designs.