Great Western Railway


Opened: c1880

Closed: 1999

Location code: W62/14

Baschurch signal boxAlthough the Great Western Railway built the majority of its own boxes from 1885, the huge expansion of signalling in the 1880s outpaced their possible output and a quantity of boxes were erected by McKenzie & Holland. These seem to particularly be found at locations far from Paddington, and a considerable number were erected along the routes out towards Chester.

Baschurch is on the main route between Shrewsbury and Chester, located at a wayside station with small goods yard and level crossing. The latter has been the cause of its survival to the present day, although as can be seen from the photograph the traditional wooden gates have given way to galvanised steel examples.

McKenzie & Holland used the same design of box from 1875 right through to 1921 (which replaced a hipped-roof design as found at Hartlebury Station), and boxes similar to this could be found all around Britain. A similar box is illustrated at Bargoed Pits on the Rhymney Railway. The metal-framed, arched locking-room windows are a very distinctive feature of McK&H boxes.

The original 16-lever McK&H frame was replaced in 1911 by a Great Western 5¼" stud-locking frame, which is now one of very few frames of that type to remain in use.

The cabin was abolished in 1999, and superseded by a form of Track Circuit block without Track Circuits - using axle-counters! The Cambrian Railway Society at Oswestry had plans to preserve the box.

Additional notes by Nick Allsop, David Ingham and Frank Nicholas

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated