South Devon Railway


Opened: c1873

Closed: 1984

Location code: W20/01

Torquay South signal boxSaxby & Farmer were contracted to provide most of the signalling on the South Devon Railway, and two boxes at Torquay were provided around 1873 to signal this important station on the line to Paignton which diverged from the main line near Newton Abbot.

This design of box replaced S&F's first type from 1868 by the addition of small additional windows above the main ones, although these were often subsequently boarded over, as here. The type was common around the country, but most examples were constructed entirely in timber, or brick.

A few boxes on the South Devon Railway were also built to an improved design, similar to Stoke Canon Crossing.

The layout was originally controlled from a 16 lever frame, but this was renewed around 1902 with one of 18 levers.

When first opened, the line south of Torquay was single, doubling not coming until 1910. At the same date, the North box was reduced to ground frame status and the name of this cabin was truncated to Torquay.

Further alterations were carried out in 1925 when the station was enlarged. The box had originally appeared taller, but the extension of the platforms around it changed its appearance - however the sunken locking-room door gives the game away. At the same time, a new 27 lever frame was provided to control the revised layout.

Following rationalisation of the trackwork, the box was closed on 15th November 1984, but the structure has survived in use as an office and has now been listed as a historic building.

Buy prints of photographs
at 433shop
Click here

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated