THE SIGNAL BOX

OVERSEAS

GHORPURI JUNCTION
Great Indian Peninsula Railway

by John Hinson

Ghorpuri Junction and signal box
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 1946

Ghorpuri Junction was a railway crossroads. Here, the metre gauge Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway from Ghorpuri (bottom left in this view) crossed the Great Indian Peninsula Railway's 5' 6" (broad) gauge before curving left so that both lines ran together towards Poona. Out of view to the right of this photograph, the GIP line to Hadapsar, and on to Raichur and Madras became single.

The level crossing gates make no attempt to secure the line from the pedestrians of all ages that are meandering across the line with their trolleyload of belongings.

This intersection of lines was clearly not the only layout controlled by this box, as proved by the large rack of point rodding running towards the cameraman.

Inside Ghorpuri Junction cabin
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 1946

Ghorpuri Junction cabin contains rather more equipment than the last view hinted.

Dominating the scene is a 70-lever Westinghouse lever frame manufactured in Chippenham, England. Many frames of this type were supplied to India and other overseas locations, long after other types ceased manufacture.

The instrument shelf contains little other than four Hepper's Key instruments - these release keys that control ground frames for points out of range of mechanical operation. These instruments were invented by Major Lawless Hepper of the North Western Railway.

Block instruments at Ghorpuri Junction
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 1946,

The reason for the instrument shelf looking so sparse was that the signalling instruments were located on cupboards along the back wall of the box.

The three block instruments in this view are:

  1. Neale's Ball Token instrument, working to Hadapsar on the GIP single line towards Raichur
  2. Tyer's One-wire, Three-position instrument for the double line to Poona "C" on the MSM metre gauge line
  3. Tyer's One-wire, Three-position instrument for the double line to Poona "B" on the GIP broad gauge line

The MSM line to Ghorpuri "B" box on the MSM line was signalled by "Station Telephone Block".

Neale's Ball Token instrument in Ghorpuri Junction
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 1946,

Here is a closer view of the Neale's Ball Token instrument working to Hadapsar. The original models of this type were wooden-cased, as seen here, but later examples were metal-cased, as illustrated at Renigunta. Mr J E Neale was the Telegraph Superintendent of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, although the system was subsequently used on other lines.

A detailed explanation of the operation of this type of instrument will be found in Apurva Bahadur's article on Indian Single Line instruments.

Compiled from notes by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour and Rangachari Anand

About the photographs



Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson