Portpatrick & Wigtownshire Joint Railway


Opened: 1876

Closed: 15/1/39

Location code: Sc66/11

Challoch Junction box
Photograph 22/7/38, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

The Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Committee was a multi-company organisation - comprising the Glasgow & South Western, Caledonian, London & North Western and Midland Railways. Stretching across southwest Scotland, linking Castle Douglas to Portpatrick, the two Scottish-based companies took responsibility for the signalling on alternate years but as things worked out most of the signal boxes were to G&SW design. However, the parentage of this 1876-built box at Challoch Junction, which almost certainlly has its origins with the independent Wigtownshire, Portpatrick & Girvan, has not been establised.

Challoch Junction was the point where the G&SW's own line from Glasgow met up with the P&W as short distance from Stranraer.

This view, looking east, shows the main line to Castle Douglas immediately in front of the box, whilst in the foreground are the two lines of the passing loop on the Girvan line.

Bryson's tablet exhcange apparatus
Photograph 22/7/38, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

The Glasgow & South Western used Bryson's tablet exchange apparatus and this view shows the tablet for the Challoch Junction - New Luce section mounted ready for collection.

In contrast, the P&W used Manson's exchange apparatus, visible in the above picture.

Interior of Challoch Junction
Photograph 22/7/38, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

Inside the box we find the 18-lever frame of Stevens design but assembled by the Glasgow & South Western. Beyond is the switching-out apparatus installed on 19th June 1927 to allow long-section token working between Dunragit and Glen Luce at night. Lever 18, with a collar on it in this view, was the "King lever" for switching out.

When open, this box used Tyers' No7 tablet instruments to these two boxes, but the section to New Luce on the Girvan line was worked with No6 instruments.

Even the provision of switching-out apparatus was insufficient to justify retention of the box, and closure came on 15th January 1938. the junction was then controlled remotely from Dunragit.

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated