THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Cambrian Railway

TALERDDIG

Opened: 1874

Closed: 1988

Location code: W87/29


Talerddig signal boxTalerddig (pronounced Tal-er-thig) was situated at the summit on the Cambrian Railway's single "main line" between Moat Lane and Machynlleth. The box was constructed in 1874, making it one of the first of the Cambrian Railway's boxes.

It was built by McKenzie & Holland of Worcester to their first known design, although many modifications had been made over the years, including the replacement of the original hipped roof, to make it virtually unrecognisable. Most later boxes were built by Dutton (an example can be seen at Borth) although a few Tyers boxes were built, too, such as at Castle Caereinion.

Various changes had seen the lever frame replaced twice in the box's lifetime. The original McKenzie & Holland frame was replaced in quite early days by a frame of Dutton manufacture, which had become the Cambrian Railway's standard type of frame. More recently, a standard GWR tappet frame of eighteen levers was provided.

The box closed in 1988 after 104 years of service, when radio-token signalling was introduced along the Cambrian network. After closure, the box was carefully dismantled and has been reconstructed on a nearby farm, although new windows and roof have been provided.


Signal at Talerddig The Up Starting signal at Talerddig is of interest because the post is made of concrete. The Great Western erected a few concrete-post signals during the 1920s, although most of these seem to have been anything more than a straight post.

The signal is a considerable distance from the line to which it refers, for apart from the space in the foreground where a siding may once have existed, it did not apply to the next visible line but to the next to the left of that. This would have allowed a good advance view to drivers on the shallow left-hand curve. The top arm read towards the single line, whilst the lower arm read along the headshunt which allowed longer freight trains to pass here.

In the background can be seen the Down Homes, which are of standard post-war GWR/Western Region design. Unusually, there is a signal provided for Down trains to pass into the Up Loop in the wrong direction; this was probably to allow Down freight trains to reverse into the headshunt. Alternatively, this may exist in connection with the regular attaching and detaching of pilot locomitives here at the top of the gradient.

Additional notes by Mike Romans



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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated