Highland Railway


Opened: 1896

Closed: 1988

Location code: Sc58/24

Dingwall South signal boxErected in 1896, Dingwall South was one of two new boxes built when the facilities were enlarged at this station. It is typical of the 19th century McKenzie & Holland-built boxes for the Highland Railway. These differed from the standard product (as depicted at Baschurch) in a few ways - the vertical battened boarding was quite distinct and was a feature found on many Highland Railway buildings. Many smaller cabins, such as Achnasheen, had a smaller glazed area which was untypical of McKenzie & Holland.

Inside Dingwall South boxDingwall South was unusually light and airy inside. This was mainly due to the very small block shelf and general lack of signalling clutter.

In later years, Dingwall was the only station north of Inverness that had a separate signalman in each box - most were worked by one man and were more of a ground frame than a block post. However, the Dingwall cabins were "proper" signal boxes, and thus had proper block working for the short stretch of double line between the two boxes. This was controlled by the bulky Tyer & Co. "F" block on the instrument shelf masquerading as a wireless. These instruments were probably installed in late LMS days to replace two-position instruments.

Lever badge at Dingwall SouthMany disused levers had been removed from the McKenzie & Holland No.11 pattern T-Bar frame of 41 levers, but those rendered surplus by more recent rationalisation are painted white. The levers carry their original cast number plates, and behind is mounted a painted board describing their functions.

Tyer & Co tablet instrument at Dingwall SouthMost of the single lines of the Highland Railway were worked by Tyers' tablet instruments, but these were often hidden away in the station buildings. However, for the same reasons mentioned above, this was not the case at the Dingwall boxes and this example of the No.6 pattern instruments was in the box.

This photograph was used in the April 2000 quiz, where various parts of the instrument had to be identified.

The similar box to this at Dingwall North had to be replaced after fire damage in 1963, but the South box soldiered on through to 1988, although it had ceased to serve as a block post some five years earlier.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated