South Indian Railway

by John Hinson

Madras Egmore signal cabin
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 5/46,

The signal cabin at Madras Egmore opened in 1935, when the suburban line between Madras Beach and Tambaram was electrified.

In front of the box are the two electric suburban lines, with a siding nearest the camera. Behind the box runs a single track steam line which terminates at a three platform terminus here. Main Line stock can be seen in the carriage sidings on the far side. This single line runs parallel with the suburban lines and is worked by Neale's Ball Token instruments. There are crossing loops at many of the intermediate stations along the line.

General view of Madras Egmore
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 5/46

A general view of the layout at Madras Egmore, taken from the signal cabin window, shows the through electric suburban lines to Madras Beach on the left, with the station platforms in the distance. The steam line running into the impressive train shed of the terminal platforms is to the right. All of the lines here are metre gauge.

Power frame inside Madras Egmore cabin
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour 5/46,

The signalling of both stations is controlled from this Siemens all-electric power frame of 1935. The diagram clearly shows the main line terminus top left, with the single line running across to the right. Below are the suburban electric lines.

The electric lines signalling to adjacent boxes is fully automatic, and "king levers" allow the signals at Madras Egmore to work automatically, too.

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson