THE SIGNAL BOX
Photograph from the collection of Dr J W F Scrimgeour
Viaduct Junction was a sturdy brick-built power box at the Flinders
Street end of the through platforms of Spencer Street station in Melbourne. It
controlled the junction of the goods lines with the passenger lines; there were
only four tracks between here and Flinders Street
"A" for all traffic. All goods trains for the eastern side of Victoria had
to pass through Flinders Street.
Photograph by Dr J W F Scrimgeour, 3/10/67
The box contained a McKenzie & Holland electro-mechanical frame installed when the cabin opened in 1925.
Notice that this type of frame has no catch handles on the miniature
levers. Indications are displayed in the discs behind as follows:
Signals: number illuminated indicates signal showing a proceed indication
Points: Normal or Reverse position indicated by the number illuminated, whether normal or reverse dependent on lever position. Levers cannot be moved fully over until detection is achieved.
Similar frames were installed at Footscray, Dandenong, South Kensington, Caulfield and Frankton Street.
The plate on the right-hand end of the frame reads:
McKENZIE & HOLLAND
Mounted on top of the frame is a most splendid telephone concentrator with a huge range of selector keys, plus two dials and handsets.
Hanging from the ceiling is the "illuminated" diagram, on which track circuits are shown and lit from behind when clear. The layout can be seen clearly, with the six passenger lines through the station and the goods lines (bottom) funnelling down to four lines towards Finders Street. The terminal platforms controlled from Spencer Street No1 cabin are not shown on the plan, but are above the top left running lines and platforms.
Today, the box is nothing but a memory. The signalling of the through platforms are controlled from the Metrol Control Centre in Melbourne.
Affitional notes klindly provided by Russell Beddoe
Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson