Cambrian Railway


Opened: 1897

Closed: 1988

Location code: W87/17

WelshpoolWelshpool station was resignalled in 1897, and uniquely (as far as the Cambrian Railway was concerned) the two new boxes were of London & North Western Railway design. The joint LNW and Great Western line from Shrewsbury joined the Cambrian a few miles north of Welshpool, so no doubt the LNW was involved with this resignalling because they benefited from the new facilities.

Welshpool North box (known as Welshpool after the South box closed in 1931) was to the LNW's design used between 1876 and 1904 (an all wood example of this type is illustrated at Widnes No.7) although later modifications were carried out with the provision of a covered porch to bring it in line with the other boxes on the Cambrian, such as at Aberystwyth and Newtown.

Inside Welshpool boxAs built, Welshpool North contained a LNW Tumbler locking frame (similar to that at Widnes No.7) but when the South box was abolished in 1931 this was replaced by a second hand Dutton frame of the type typically found in boxes on the Cambrian lines. Being fitted in GW days, though, the original Dutton locking arrangement was replaced by the GW's standatd 5-bar tappet inter locking.

Dutton frames are very distinctive in looks, notable for the large, curved catch-handles and the fact that through the lever pivot being severely cranked from the centre-line of the levers, they appear to rise up from floor level as they are pulled. A few examples of earlier Dutton frames (even more unconventional in design) were used on the Cambrian although these were all replaced at an early date. One surviving example remains at Douglas whilst another belongs to York Railway Museum.

Monopolising the block shelf space is a BR (LM) illuminated diagram, surrounded by bells for the token instruments and sundry repeaters.

Welshpool closed in October 1988, and the line is now controlled by Radio Electronic Token Block from Machynlleth box.

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All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated