Great Western Railway


Opened: 1879

Closed: ——

Location code: W24/04

Par signal boxSignal box names don't come shorter than this, although the box itself is by no means short. Mind you, it was originally - for when built it was less than half this length!

Situated on the platform of the station of the same name this Cornish box controls the Great Western's main route to Penzance together with the junction for the branch to Newquay.

The box was built to the Great Western's first standardised design (although they had previously built various all-brick, gabled boxes) which was a neat hipped-roof arrangement which compares well with the style found at Athelney which was introduced much later, in 1896. Between these dates, though, the GW flirted with gabled roofs and features such as the vertical timberwork seen here can also be found in the subsequent design illustrated at Sarnau.

Originally the box contained just 26 levers, but this frame was replaced in 1893 when the box was more than doubled in length. That second frame was replaced around 1913 with another of 57 levers, to the GW's 3-bar Vertical Tappet design.

More recently, a panel was added to control the singled section of the main line beyond Burngullow.

Despite the usual onward march of rationalisation, the box still fulfills an important function.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated