Highland Railway


Opened: 1894

Closed: 1984

Location code: Sc60/16

Achnasheen West signal boxMost stations on the Highland Railway were provided with two signal boxes (one at each end of the passing loop) but those at Achnasheen were not at opposite ends of the station. Achnasheen West, seen here, was nearest the platform and controlled the station area and the west end of the long passing loop. At the other end of the loop, of course, was Achnasheen East.

Achnasheen is on the branch from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh, which was signalled as late as 1894 by McKenzie & Holland. The boxes were to McK&H's post-1875 design, although with features individual to the Highland Railway such as the battened boarding.

Inside Achnasheen West box The West box frame was slightly larger, at sixteen levers. Notice the sheer functionality - unpolished levers, bare boards and a distinct lack of furniture. This was, of course, because the boxes were not continuously manned. The lever badges are of interest, they seem to be manufactured from dull grey metal in the style of LNE lever plates and probably date from alterations made in 1935 by the LMS. The black lettering on them is barely visible.

The boxes at Achnasheen were closed in 1984 when Radio Token signalling replaced the conventional type. There are now no locations where the two-box arrangement is still in use.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated