Great Western Railway


Opened: c1896

Closed: 1965

Location code: W2/27

Reading Main Line West signal boxThis photograph has been included to prove that even the most standardised railway company shot off at a tangent from time to time and built boxes that do not fit nicely into a "type number" category that the statisticians like to create.

This enormous box at Reading was probably built in this style in order to be a showpiece, for Reading was the headquarters of the Great Western's signalling department as well as being an important junction station.

The box controlled the west end of Reading station and the junction between the West Country and Bristol routes from a 185 lever frame, although this was replaced by one of 222 levers in 1912 which was (unless you know better!) the largest mechanical lever frame on the Great Western.

Closure came in 1965 when power signalling was introduced in the area controlled from a new panel box erected nearby.

Additional notes by David Ingham

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated