THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Highland Railway

GEORGEMAS NORTH

Opened: 1894

Closed: 1985

Location code: Sc60/04

Georgemas North signal boxAlthough built at the same time as Georgemas Junction, the North box was no comparison. Many of the boxes at the Highland two-box stations controlled a very small layout (this one required just thirteen levers) and the Dutton structures were built around their "small box" design which featured only partial glazing in the front wall.

This small cabin is raised from ground level on stone blocks, and the wide space for access to the locking and rodding connections is only crudely covered.

Home comforts were not important at these two-box stations, however, for the signalman resided in the booking office of the station (where he would sell tickets, too) and only emerged to work the levers in both boxes when required. A clever arrangement of slotted signals obviated the need for block working between the two boxes. The starting signals were also slotted by levers in the booking office, where the tablet instruments were housed. Such an arrangement was not unduly stressful on a line where there were only three trains in each direction, although things were a bit frantic when trains had to be crossed. Of course, Georgemas was a little busier than the wayside stations, having to deal with Thurso trains as well as the main route to Wick.

The introduction of electronic radio-token signalling in the driving cabs of trains saw the demise of these boxes in 1988.



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated