Deutsche Bundesbahn

by John Hinson

Wref signal box
Photograph by Simon Lowe, 20/5/02

This is Wref signal box, in Würzburg, Germany, which opened in 1924. On Deutsche Bundesbahn (the German state railway) it is rare for a box to be known by its geographical name and instead a set of initials, or acronym, is displayed.

W Würzburg The name of the city
R Rangierbahnhof Marshalling Yard
E Einfahrt Entrance
F Fahrdienstleiter Chief Signalman

So this is WREF STELLWERK, for Stellwerk translates as Signal box.

Note the interesting signal in the foreground, this is a points indicator of a type used at "Y" points where there is no specific straight or diverging route.

Interior of Wref signal box
Photograph by Simon Lowe, 20/5/02

Interior view, showing the double-wire turnover frame. The majority of mechanical signalling installations use the double-wire system.

Some of the red signal levers in the main frame have additional tiny levers associated with them. These select the aspect to be displayed (one semaphore arm or two).

Signal diagram at Wref
Photograph by Simon Lowe, 20/5/02

Above the lever frame, a diagram of the signalling is displayed. To see a larger-scale image of this diagram, please click on the view above.

Block apparatus at Wref
Photograph by Simon Lowe, 20/5/02

To the right of the frame is the block apparatus used for signalling the trains.

The small handles visible under the block apparatus are the route levers. After the points and point locks have been set as required, the route lever is operated. Provided that the route is set correctly, the it can be moved to its fullest extent to lock the points in position. The block instrument, can then be operated by pressing the key above, locking the route lever and releasing the signal concerned. The route lever then remains locked until the train has passed over a track circuit or rail contact to prove it has passed.

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