Bristol & Exeter Railway


Opened: 1876

Closed: 1985

Location code: W19/07

Stoke Canon Crossing signal boxFor many years, Stoke Canon (east of Exeter on the Great Western's main line to Penzance) was an important enough station to justify two signal boxes. The larger, located at the junction for Tiverton lost its importance when that line closed, and was closed in 1964. However, the small box controlling a nearby level crossing survived to much more recent times.

Stoke Canon Crossing opened as long ago as 1876, and was built by Saxby & Farmer, who provided much of the early signalling on the Bristol & Exeter. The B&E did also build their own boxes, as is illustrated at Williton.

This particular design of box from Saxby & Farmer was only found on the Bristol & Exeter, and South Devon Railways, which were both absorbed into the Great Western in 1876. It replaced the design illustrated at Cooksbridge, reinstating the upper "toplight" windows and introducing sausage-shape which became well established with the later 1876 design illustrated at Boston Road.

When first opened, this box was just an intermediate cabin between Silverton and Cowley Bridge Junction - the station and branch did not come along for another eight years. The original layout was worked from an eighteen lever frame, although this was renewed in 1912 by one of Great Western manufacture with Stud locking of 17 levers.

The box survived in use up to the Exeter area resignalling scheme of 1985. It has not been demolished and is listed as a historic monument.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated