Location code: W87/22
In 1894, Dutton & Co. modified their box design
slightly by introducing a new window pane arrangement which consisted of two
small panes above two larger ones - effectively, they omitted the lower bar of
the window arrangement as illustrated at Aberystwyth. Comparison will show that little else
of the design was altered. This design of box remained in use up to the great
merger with McKenzie & Holland in 1901.
The box illustrated here was originally Newtown South; but the
North box (which had only eight levers) closed in 1920. The one set of points
there became motor worked from this box.
The original frame here was of Dutton
manufacture (54 levers) but this was replaced in Great Western days by one of
their final design known as the Five-bar Vertical Tappet type as seen here,
comprising 35 levers. At the far end of the box is the Electric Token
instrument controlling the single line to Welshpool.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the frame, next to the token
instrument for the single line to Caersws, is an interesting device known as a
Ganger's Occupation Key instrument. This allowed platelayers to withdraw keys
at remote locations along the line, permitting them to place a motorised
trolley on the line. The slides in the main instrument were interlocked with
the single line token instruments, and when pulled out would prevent a token
being withdrawn, in turn releasing the key in the small box to the left which
was the authority to occupy the line.
The buttons above the two right-hand slides released similar keys
at remote locations along the line.
A late-surviving ringed-arm signal survived at Newtown by virtue
of the fact that this line had been transferred to the London Midland Region of
British Railways, and therefore escaped the dictate from Western Region
headquarters that all rings from arms were to be removed.
It was Great Western policy to provide ringed arms on all
miniature arm signals reading along or from sidings or goods lines. This
example, worked by lever 18, read from the Up Sidings to the Up Main. This 1976
photograph suggests there were no longer any "Up Sidings" but not all had been
lifted, and the signal applied to a line some distance to the right of the
Newtown box closed in 1988 when the last stage of the Radio
Electric Token Block resignalling of the Cambrian lines was
All photographs copyright ©
John Hinson unless otherwise stated