Caledonian Railway


Opened: c1880

Closed: 1985

Location code: Sc17/04

Forteviot signal boxForteviot was a wayside station on the main line just south of Perth, with small goods yard and level crossing. The box probably dates from the early 1880's and probably dates from the introduction of block signalling.

Architecturally, it is very similar to the 1873 box just down the line at Hilton Junction, being of the Caledonian Railway's first, plain, design.

Inside Forteviot signal boxTaking a look inside the box, we find the original lever frame still in use, although many modern accoutrements have been added. The frame is a Stevens & Sons type built at their Glasgow works. These "Glasgow pattern" or "Scottish Stevens" frames seem to have been built with short signalmen in mind, for the levers are three inches shorter than those found south of the border, such as Romsey.

Features from a more modern era include and illuminated diagram (on which the presence of trains is indicated by red lights), LMS lamp indicators (to tell the signalman if the oil-lit signals have gone out), and BR block instruments working to the adjacent boxes at Dunning and Hilton Junction. On the levers themselves, BR plastic lever plates have replaced the original cast-metal ones, and the board behind the levers that would once have borne hand-painted descriptions, also has plastic plates fitted.

Another view inside Forteviot signal boxAt the right-hand end of the frame, by the window, is the capstan wheel to operate the timber gates of the level crossing. The wheel is interlocked with the levers by the far lever (No24), which is painted brown. Levers 22 and 23 are also painted brown; these control the pedestrian wicket gates. These levers are not interlocked with the signals - this is normal practice and allows the signalman to use his judgement when to close them as a train approaches.

Of the other levers visible, 13 and 10 work the Up Home and Starting signals, and the latter has a white band painted on it to indicate that it is also electrically locked by the indications of the block instrument for the section ahead. Lever 14, being yellow, works the Up Distant. Notice how the handle has been shortened as a reminder to the signalman that it works a colour-light signal and needs no effort to pull. The black levers work points, whilst the blue one works a Facing Point Lock.

All of this has gone now. The level crossing was automated in December 1985 and the box abolished. Forteviot signal box is now nothing more than a memory.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated