London & South Western Railway


Opened: 1902

Closed: 1981

Location code: S55/24

St. Denys signal boxOn the approaches to Southampton, where the branch from Fareham joined the main line from Waterloo was St. Denys station and signal box. Two boxes had existed here until 1902, when a new box (illustrated here) was erected at Dukes Road Crossing to control a transformed layout. Contemporary correspondence suggests the cabin initially adopted the name of the crossing, but if this is correct the box very soon adopted the station's name.

The box was built to a design that had been introduced in 1894 which invariably entailed brick construction, superseding the style as seen at the nearby Chapel Crossing. Other distinctive features of the design were the curved tops to each window section and the central unglazed section. The chamfered corner window is not typical of the type but may have been provided to command an improved view of the level crossing it controlled (closed in 1903). The vent for the gas-powered radiator is most certainly non-standard! A rare example of an all-timber box to this design can be seen at Bentley.

Just after the point where the two lines joined, the tracks fanned out to four main running lines, plus Reception lines for traffic entering and leaving Bevois Park Yard, and this layout necessitated a 56-lever Stevens & Sons' frame (of the type illustrated at Romsey) which was, curiously, numbered/lettered from new as A, then 1 to 56. In later years, another lever (B) was added at the left-hand end of the frame.

The box survived until the Southampton area was resignalled in 1981.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated