New South Wales Government Railways

by John Hinson

Merrylands signal signal box
Photograph 28/9/67, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

Merrylands signal box opened in 1937, and controlled a small station and level crossing. The station is on an electrified suburban line in Sydney, between Granville and Liverpool. The box was built from a substance known as "Fibro" (compressed fibrous asbestos sheeting). The interlocking machine is a standard NSWGR tappet design dating, from about 1912, which was introduced by Byles. The first examples (about 30) of which were made by contractors.

Interior of Merrylands box
Photograph 28/9/67, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

At the time these photographs were taken, Merrylands marked the end of Automatic Block working from Granville (towards Sydney) , and Manual Block applied between here and Guildford box. Later, the automatic signalling was extended throughout the area controlled by this box.

The instruments on the block shelf are "NSW Standard Block" patented in 1912 by the Chief Electrical Engineer and the Chief Traffic Manager. One instrument is provided for each line and are a 4 position rotary block with starting signal control by track circuit occupancy. Line Clear is given by the receiving signalman, Train on Line is normally auto activated by the track circuit and confirmed by the despatching signalman. When the train arrives at the far end the receiving signalman send Train Arrived and when repeated by the despatching signalman the instruments change to Line Closed, their normal position.

The frame has 16 levers and is a NSWR Type A cam and tappet machine, a type first manufactured in 1912 from a design introduced by Byles. Full production of this type commenced in 1914 and continued until about 1975.

The level crossing was replaced by a bridge in 1969. Merrylands box closed in 1972, after which date its functions were controlled from Granville.

Additional notes by Bob Taafe and Graham Harper

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson