THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Shrewsbury & Hereford Joint Line

CHURCH STRETTON

Opened: c1872

Closed: 2004

Location code: W54/10


General view of Church StrettonThe station of Church Stretton is to be found twelve miles south of Shrewsbury on the line to Newport and South Wales, which was jointly owned by the London & North Western and the Great Western Railways. Early signal boxes on this, and other jointly owned lines, were built to the design seen here, which was similar to early Saxby & Farmer built cabins.

Notable features of these early boxes, built during the period 1869-1879, is the greater than usual depth to the box making more room than average for the signalman to work in. Some small boxes built to this type were actually square in plan view,

The box contained a 25-lever LNWR Tumbler frame, which replaced the original frame (probably a Saxby & Farmer product) around 1890.



Church Stretton signal boxAlthough a joint line, the early signalling was managed from a separate office than the main companies, thus establishing its own designs and practices. However from 1890, the LNW took over responsibility for the signalling. In 1904 this responsibility passed to the GW, who continued to maintain the signalling after the 1923 "grouping". Therefore, most of the signals and much of the equipment were to GW pattern.

However, in more recent years this part of the line was transferred to the London Midland Region of British Railways who were forced to renew several of the signals at Church Stretton, including the Down Inner Home (in the left of the upper picture), to their standard upper quadrant design after a spectacular freight train derailment in 1970.

The box remained for many years as a break-section box although the Down Loop and most of the Up Sidings were removed. A reduced level of freight traffic on the line allowed the box to be normally switched out, but in May 2000 the box reopened on a regular daily basis following the introduction of an increased passenger service. By 2001, though, it seemed to be rarely staffed again.

On 18th January 2004, all signal arms and disc faces were removed, and the box was formally abolished.


A rather wet Chrch StrettonWe regret the late running of the 1030 sailing, owing to . . .Two photographs taken by Simon Matthews during the nationwide flooding that occurred in Autumn 2000.

Additional notes by Simon Matthews



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated