THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

TOOWOOMBA "A"
Queensland Government Railways

by John Hinson

Toowoomba 'A' signal cabin
Photograph 22/9/67, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour,

Toowoomba "A" box controls the triangular junction between the Brisbane line and the main line between the South-West (Warwick direction) and the West (Roma etc.). It also supervises the operation of the passenger station (on the Warwick line) but some of the signals and pointwork here are worked from an auxiliary cabin (or ground frame) inside the station buildings.Until 1959 this part of the layout was worked by Toowoomba "B" box.

Signal gantry at Toowoomba "A"
Photograph 22/9/67, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour,

This picture shows a steam-hauled freight that has arrived from the Warwick direction, awaiting a signal to continue on its journey. It is probably waiting for the arrival of a train in the opposite direction on one of the single lines.

Signal gantry at Toowoomba 'A'
Photograph 1990, by Frank Archer

A 1990 view of the same signal gantry, from the driver's side, shows that very little changed in the intervening years, although one sidings has been lifted.

The lines curving to the right are part of the triangular junction with the Brisbane line.

The signals read as follows:

13
Up Starter
from
No2 Main
to
Gowrie Junction

11
Up Starter
from
No2 Main
to
Brisbane

20
Shunt
No2 Line
to
Dead End
21
Shunt
No1 Main
to
Dead End
12
Up Starter
from
No1 Main
to
Gowrie Junction

10
Up Starter
from
No1 Main
to
Brisbane

The single through platform is behind the cameraman on the No2 Main Line, but there are also three dead-end bay platforms used for terminating trains. No1 Main Line is used for trains not calling at the station.

Also visible in this view, near the foot of the right-hand post of the gantry, is a point indicator. The relative position of the red and white portions on this revolving indicator identify which way the points are set.

Shunting signal at Toowoomba
Photograph 1993, by Frank Archer

A close-up view of a dwarf signal at Toowoomba. Like those illustrated at Brisbane Central, these signals served the same function as their full-sized counterparts. This particular example, worked by lever 11 of the auxiliary cabin, survived to become the very last signal of this type in use on the Queensland Railway.

Interior of Toowoomba 'A'
Photograph 22/9/67, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour,

Toowoomba "A" opened in December 1915 with a 70-lever McKenzie & Holland lever frame, later extended to 80. Lever 78, the striped lever in the foreground, releases the "B" auxiliary cabin at the station.

Above the levers, the shelf only carries signal repeaters - no block instruments are to be seen as all three routes from here are single lines. The Electric Train Staff instruments for the Brisbane and Roma lines were in the signal cabin, but that for the Warwick line was in the station building.


Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson