London & South Western Railway


Opened: c1871

Closed: 1982

Location code: S58/09

Romsey signal boxRomsey signal box represents a very early London & South Western Railway signal box, located on the Eastleigh to Salisbury line at the point where it was joined by a branch from Southampton.

When first opened, the extension at the near end of the box did not of course exist, and the box was actually deeper than it was long, as evidenced by the line of the hipped roof. This was not just an architectural curiosity, but an arrangement to allow the junction signals for the two routes to be mounted on the roof of the signal box.

In other respects, Romsey box is a standard LSW box of the 1871 - 1880 period, as also seen at Pinhoe.

Interior of Romsey box Crammed into the box at Romsey was a Stevens & Sons frame which had 18 levers when new. The original frame was enlarged to 25 levers in early Southern Railway days to accommodate improvements to the layout, and this necessitated to outward extension of the box as seen in the above photograph. In 1928 an additional lever was added.

These photographs were taken in 1977, and by this time colour light signalling had been provided throughout, and the Eastleigh line singled. It was normal practice to cut the handles short for power-worked functions, and close study of this view shows that nearly all levers have been so treated. The size of the frame had been reduced again - to 23 levers.

The brown and white-striped lever is a "direction lever" which is electrically interlocked with Eastleigh box to control movements over the single line which has no token system.

The block instrument at the far end of the shelf is for the Southampton branch, working to Redbridge box. Another instrument (out of view) worked to Dunbridge, towards Salisbury. The array of well-polished bells include communication with station staff as well as to adjacent boxes.

After closure, this box was lucky enough to be purchased by the Romsey Signal Box Project and has been moved a short distance to a school where it may be visited. Details and their opening times can be found at their web page.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated