Great North of Scotland Railway


Opened: 1890

Closed: ——

Location code: Sc62/22

Huntley signal; boxAn interesting history hides behind this small signalbox on the Aberdeen - Inverness route. The cabin illustrated here opened in 1890 as Huntly South and was one of the two boxes originally provided to control the station. It was reduced to gate-box status in 1901 when a new box was provided to control the layout from a central location.

This box is to the Great North of Scotland's design used between 1884 and 1900, this being a more common size than the larger cabin at Elgin Centre.

The old box at HuntlyAnd that new box opened in 1901 looked like this! Rather similar, isn't it? This was, in fact, the North box repositioned (it was previously on the Up platform) and not really a new box at all. It controlled the layout from a 22-lever frame until the line was singled in 1970.

The box was then closed and the gate cabin, the original Huntly South, burst back into life as the new Huntly box.

Inside Huntly boxA new frame to Stevens & Sons design, but built by the Railway Signal Company was provided. All but two of the 25 levers were used to control the rationalised layout, comprising just a long crossing loop, one connection to the yard and of course the level crossing.

The two steel-cased instruments on the shelf are Scottish Region Tokenless Block instruments, allowing passage of trains to be safely controlled without the exchange of tokens or tablets. This substantially sped up the passage of non-stop trains.

The bank of black plastic indicators to the right of the telephone are lamp repeaters, sounding an alarm if one of the paraffin-lit signals out of view from the signalman goes out.

As with Kennethmont, Dyce and Inverurie, this cabin remains in use today.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated