THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Croydon & Oxted Joint Railway
(London, Brighton & South Coast and South Eastern Joint)

OXTED

Opened: 1896

Closed: 1987

Location code: S23/12

Oxted signal boxThe London, Brighton & South Coast Railway's 1879 architecture underwent another small change in 1894 with the abandonment of the small wooden brackets below the roof, clearly visible on the earlier cabin at Plumpton.

Oxted, seen here, opened in 1896 and is a less-common all-timber example of the type.

Also notable here is the absence of the large ventilator - instead a small fitting has been provided. This appears to be similar to those provided on Saxby & Farmer boxes like Longhedge Junction. Compared with the first boxes of this type (see Bedhampton Crossing) the architecture looks much neater and less top-heavy.

The LB&SC's next development in design was to introduce a gabled roof; this type is illustrated and described at Star Lane.

Oxted box was to be found at the country town station of the same name, signalling trains on the route from South Croydon which divided just south of here to serve Tunbridge Wells and Lewes, and Haywards Heath. In post-Beeching years, these through routes closed, together with most of their branches, but local service continue to run to Uckfield and East Grinstead. Oxted was on a part of this route that had been jointly owned with the South Eastern Railway, and examples of both company's signalling could at one time be found on this line.


Lever description plates at OxtedThe box was provided with a 29-lever frame of the LB&SC's own pattern, similar to that at Mitcham. This view shows a close-up of the hand-painted lever descriptions.

The style of the lettering was a distinctive trademark of one painter that produced the plates for the whole of the Southern region of BR for many years. Screw-fitted plastic plates were only adopted on his retirement.


Lever reminder applianceWhen it was necessary to prevent the operation of a lever - such as to stop a signal being cleared during an engineering blockage, a "Signalman's Reminder Appliance" (more commonly called a Lever Collar) was used. This would be placed on the lever and would physically prevent its operation.

Oxted had a particularly nice example cast in iron.


Signal repeaters at OxtedAs will have been seen in the preceding photographs, everything at Oxted was polished and clean. This array of brass-cased repeaters was particularly spectacular.

Oxted box closed on 11th July 1987, and the signalling is now worked from a panel housed in a new building.



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated