THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Midland & South Western Junction Railway

SAVERNAKE HIGH LEVEL

Opened: 1898

Closed: 1933

Location code: W69/14

Savernake High Level signal boxOnly one signalbox survives of the former Midland & South Western Junction system, and here it is. Located at Savernake High Level Station (the Great Western owned the Low Level station), the box is now on private land.

The Midland & South Western Junction was a company mooted jointly by the Midland and the London & South Western Railways, in an attempt to infiltrate the Great Western's monopoly of the area. The Somerset & Dorset Joint was a similar project; but neither survived the post-nationalisation line closures.

This part of the line was opened by the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway, and all of the initial signalling was provided in 1882 by the Gloucester Wagon Company. In 1884 the M&SWJ took over, and most subsequent boxes were built to Dutton & Co. or London & South Western Railway's designs. This example appears unique on this railway in that it was almost certainly built by the Railway Signal Company.

There was no box at Savernake until 1898, and one theory is that it was moved from the nearby Wolfhall Junction in 1898. If this is the case, then the box is actually of Gloucester Wagon Company origin. However, recently discovered evidence siuggests that the boxes were not identical.

The box contained a 18 lever frame, reputedly of Gloucester Wagon Company design.

Savernake High Level ceased to function as a proper block post in 1933, although it was retained until the line closed in 1959 to act as a ground frame.

Additional notes by Michael Barnsley



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated