London & South Western Railway


Opened: 1875

Closed: 1958

Location code: S50/02

Tisbury station and signal boxTisbury station, located about half way between Salisbury and Templecombe on the L&SW's main line to Exeter, opened in 1859. In those days signalling barely existed, and an interlocked signal box here was not provided until 1875. It was built to the L&SW's standard design of the era, which became very common throughout their system. Pinhoe, also described on this site, was similar.

Like so many wayside stations on this company's lines, the original facilities were quite basic, and twelve levers sufficed to control the layout for over twenty years.

Interior of Tisbury boxHowever, signalling standards moved on, and around 1898 it wad decided to provide shunting discs for the four sets of points controlled by the box. The most popular way for the L&SW to do this was to use spare levers and economise with "push-pull" operation (where the lever stood in mid-position and the lever was pushed back to clear the signal for one route and pulled for the opposing one) but there were no spare levers at Tisbury to use.

Instead, a patented system known as Russell's Economic Levers was used. This involved the installation of two extra levers (for the discs) in the same quadrant slot used by the points lever. The points lever was set forward a little from its original position to accomodate these, and the new levers were "kinked" so as to space them apart.

In this picture, lever 6 (the points from the Up Sidings) has been pulled over, and Russell's lever 6A (the disc to the Up Sidings) has also been pulled. A track layout for the box can be viewed to help understand the arrangements.

The use of Russell's levers was not widespread and only a handful of boxes were converted like this example.

In the late 1950s, the Southern Region embarked on a major programme to replace many of the cramped boxes along this section of line. Tisbury box was renewed on 12th October 1958, but the replacement only survived for nine years and was closed in 1967.


All photographs by Dr J W F Scrimgeour 1957