Highland Railway


Opened: 1896

Closed: ——

Location code: Sc57/27

Forres East signal boxForres was once an important junction on the Highland Railway network. Here, the original main line from Perth to the Inverness formed a triangular junction with the Aberdeen line. It lost main line status when a direct route was opened between Aviemore and Inverness in 1897, and after closure of this "branch" in 1965, Forres became just an intermediate station on the Inverness - Aberdeen route.

The junction had been controlled by three signal boxes. This box was the second Forres East and opened on 20th October 1896. It is a fairly typical McKenzie & Holland Highland box - similar to Dingwall South. Unusually, though, the two-panes-high glazing arrangement (usually found only in smaller boxes like Achnasheen West) has been adopted.

Interior of Forres East signal boxInside the box, a 24-lever McKenzie & Holland frame controls the remaining layout. In its heyday, the box had 42 levers, but this was rather more than needed for current requirements! Fixed at the left end of the frame is a "ships wheel" to work the adjacent level crossing gates. At the opposite end, a modern grey box on a pedestal controls lifting barriers at another nearby crossing. The gate wheel has doubtless also been modernised since this 1977 view.

At each end of the frame are Tyer & Co. key token instruments controlling the single lines to Nairn and Elgin. The block shelf carries just signal and lamp repeaters and an array of telephones.

Following closure of the other Forres boxes, this one was renamed "Forres" in 1967 and is still in use today.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated