British Railways (Scottish Region)


Opened: 1951

Closed: 1997

Location code: Sc17/03

Dunning signal box Just a wee distance south of Forteviot on the Stirling to Perth section, was Dunning. The signal box at this wayside station was renewed in 1951 and was built to the modern and attractive London & North Eastern Railway design, like Spean Bridge, which was adopted by the Scottish Region of British Railways.

This design was used from 1948 through to 1954; later boxes (like Thornton Yard) were more austere.

Inside Dunning signal boxFor a while, the Scottish Region used the BR (LMR) frame, the logical successor to the LMS type, although the white sleeves on the shank (see Harpenden Junction) were omitted. Later boxes reverted to the simplicity of the Stevens type, but fitted with a plastic sleeve - see Huntly.

Here, we see the 15-lever frame, a remarkably small size even for the control of a small station and yard. Both had long gone by the time of this photograph, and the box survived solely to break the block section. Notice the tapered lever badges, known locally as "coffin-lid" plates, which were a BR innovation in Scotland.

As can be seen, the only functioning levers at the time of this photograph were those for home and distant signals in each direction and two emergency detonator placers.

As one of few boxes on this line that didn't control a level crossing, Dunning was able to switch out and in later years the box was actually rarely manned. The box is in fact switched out at the time of this photograph, hence the reminder appliances on the distant levers. Notice the twin block switch, joined by a strong steel bar. This was probably necessary to provide for the switching through of essential telephones when the box was unmanned, as well as the block circuits.

In these circumstances, it is remarkable that the box survived as late as 1997.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated