THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

British Railways (Scottish Region)

SPEAN BRIDGE

Opened: 1949

Closed: 1988

Location code: Sc34/15


Spean BridgeThis delightful view of Spean Bridge station shows a Down train passing through the station, hauled by the ubiquitous BRCW Type 2 locomotive. The signalman has crossed from the box to the Down platform to exchange single-line tablets with the driver as the train passes.


Spean Bridge signal boxThe box opened in 1949, only a year after the formation of British Railways, so it is hardly surprising to find that it is built to a London & North Eastern Railway design which had been used since 1944. This design, always built in brick, was notable for its chiselled corners.


Interior of Spean Bridge box Inside the box was a Stevens & Sons frame to the standard style used in Scotland since the 1870s. This differed slightly from the Stevens frames in England (they had a separate factory in Glasgow) in a number of ways - the most noticeable being that the levers were less tall. Perhaps Scottish signalmen were expected to be of shorter stature than their English counterparts?

Many of the levers have become spare (painted white) following closure of the branch to Fort Augustus soon after the opening of the box.

In the far corner are the single-line instruments - Key Token to Mallaig Junction and Tablet to Roy Bridge. Token and Tablet pouches to enable exchanges to be carried out without the trains stopping hang below the instruments.

Radio Electronic Token working rendered the box redundant in 1988, but it has not been demolished. It has subsequently been used as a greenhouse!



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated