Österreichische Bundesbahnen

by John Hinson

Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof signal box
Photograph 8/55, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

This signal box controlled the west end of the hauptbahnhof (main station) at Innsbruck, signalling the junction of the double-track Brenner line with the single Arlberg line in addition to the station throat. This view is taken from the Arlberg line, with a shunting signal in front of the box. Just in front of the signal is a points indicator showing the lie of the points alongside it.

At this time, the station had six signal boxes. All of them would have been supervised from the Station Master's office, where the station block instruments and the block instruments for the double line were located. The Arlberg line was probably operated by Telephone Block.

Interior of Innsbruck HBF
Photograph 8/55, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

This signalling at the west end was worked from a 43-lever double-wire frame.

At the far end of the frame is the "block apparatus" by which the Station Master would indicate which route was desired.

General view of Innsbruck station yard
Photograph 8/55, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

This picture was taken from the signal box window, allowing a panoramic view of the station throat. There is much of interest to be seen here. Although the entire area is electrified, the DC catenary is lightweight and mounted high, allowing an uncluttered view.

Each set of points, whether hand-operated or controlled from the box, has a point indicator associated with it. Those for simple points simply show a vertical stripe or diagonal arrow (with a white dot on the rear) to indicate the lie, but things get more complex at a set of slip points. For these, two short diagonal stripes are displayed. For some indications, these two stripes will be in line, as seen in the middle-right of this view showing that the points are set for a straight route top left to bottom right. To the left of this indicator is another with the two stripes at right-angles to each other, showing the the route set is top right to bottom right. The indications are explained below:

Indicator for left-handed points Indicator for right-handed points Indicator for slip points
Left-handed points Right-handed points Double-slips

Once the principles of these indicators is grasped, it will be easily understood that one indicator (with indications front and rear) can serve an entire double slip.

Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof station was resignalled during the 1960s.

Additional notes by Harald Mueller

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson