Metropolitan Railway


Opened: 1889

Closed: 1984

Location code: LT2/30

Wendover sognal boxWendover box was opened by the Metropolitan Railway concurrently with the extension from Chalfont Road (now known as Chalfont & Latimer) through to join up with the Great Western's line from High Wycombe at Aylesbury.

The box was built to the Met's standard design of the era which emulated the Saxby & Farmer designs (with added embellishments) used on earlier parts of the line which were similar to those illustrated in this section at Drayton and Boston Road.

Interior of Wendover box Inside the box could be found a thirty-lever frame built by the Metropolitan Railway to their own design. The stroke of the lever was fairly short, and next to lever one (the Up Distant) can be seen a steel plate for the signalman to place his foot on to get better leverage.

Just behind lever 1 in this view is a capstan wire adjuster, allowing the signal wire to be tightened in hot weather when expansion would make a lot of difference to the length of a three-quarter mile length of wire.

A mixture of old and new instruments can be seen on the block shelf. On the right is a BR standard block instrument acting as a non-pegger to Great Missenden, The corresponding pegger is out of view in this picture but is illustrated below. Further to the left is a Spagnoletti non-pegging instrument and a block bell from Aylesbury South. No pegger is provided because Track Circuit Block applies on the Up Line from Aylesbury.

Spagnolletti block instrument The Spagnoletti Lock and Block instruments used on the Metropolitan were similar in looks to the GWR's conventional blocks, but the position of the Train on Line and Line Clear indications was transposed. Note also there is only one wire clip to lock the keys down, and that is spring-loaded. A curious mixture of labels identify the block as Northbound, Down Line and N B Block.

Track circuit repeater Some elderly track circuit repeaters survived - the origins of this particular example are unknown, but unusually this is brass-cased in contrast with London Transport's obsession with chrome.

An illustration of the box diagram, and more details of the box, will be found in the article Let's wend over to Wendover

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated