THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Southern Railway

REIGATE

Opened: 1929

Closed: —

Location code: S47/07

Reigate signal box
Photograph by John Hinson, 1976

Reigate is a standard Southern Railway box of the late twenties. Like Mitcham Junction, it features hopper ventilators above the main windows - and this view shows that in some boxes they were glazed and really did open!

Reigate opened in 1929 to replace the original South Eastern Railway box which had been located conveniently near the sidings but a long way from the level crossing. The renewal exercise reduced the staffing costs as a crossing keeper was no longer required.

Interior of Reigate box
Photograph by John Hinson, 1976

The box was provided with a rear-mounted Westinghouse type A2 frame of 24 levers. Two ground frame release levers (18/19) are provided to control the points at the furthest end of the yard, which were outside the reach for operation directly from the box. The other levers with shortened handles identify colour-light or power-operated signals.

Lever badges
Photograph by John Hinson, 1976

A close study of the lever badges reveals that most are original Westinghouse plates and only 17 (in this view) is a SR example. This indicates that few alterations have been made to the frame since installation because the plates were generally prepared elsewhere when changes took place.

Signalling instruments at Reigate
Photograph by John Hinson, 1976

The mode of signalling was Absolute Block, and the standard Southern Block and bell to Betchworth are seen here. Along the front face of the shelf are brass-cased signal repeaters and track circuit indicators. The black-faced example repeats a distant arm. Modern equipment has crept in, in the form of a colour-light signal repeater (which displays all aspects the signal can show), lamp indicator and bell plunger.

Behind the bell, in a glass frame, are the local instructions applicable to this box which detail variations to the standard Rules and Regulations.

Track layout diagram of Reigate
View larger image
Photograph by John Hinson, 1976

The box diagram is a fine example of BR (Southern) style, inherited and developed from the London & South Western Railway. For information and detail, these plans cannot be bettered. Apart from the layout, a chart shows the mechanical and electrical locking, and the distance that each signal and point blade is from the box is identified. There is even an indication of the compass points!

View the diagram in more detail.

Reigate box is still operational.

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson



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