New Zealand Government Railway

by John Hinson

Newmarket Junction and signal box
Photograph 1968, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Newmarket Junction was a curiously laid out triangular junction with quite a large station, just two miles south of Auckland. This view shows the signal box and the scissors crossing between the main lines to/from the south (left) and the branch from the north (right). On both sides of the main line were the company's Auckland workshops. By the date of this photograph (1968) colour-light signalling had been provided although the original signal box was retained to control them.

This drawing shows how the triangle led only to a spur line, which rises steeply in relation to the double-track main line alongside it.

Interior of Newmarket Junction box
Photograph 1904, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Two fascinating interior views were taken of the box many years earlier, when all routes were single line. These were probably official record photographs, for they show the transition from the use of Winter's block instruments to Tyer's No7 Tablet for the single lines.

The 42-lever frame is, as might be expected, of McKenzie & Holland origin. In both photographs, some levers have been placed in mid-position - the reason for this is unknown. Perhaps the signalman just wanted to baffle people in years to come.

Winter's block instrument
Photograph 1904, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

An enlargement of the previous view allows closer examination of one of the Winter's "English Pattern" blocks.

Similar instruments were also used in parts of Australia, see the Winter's block instruments page for more information.

Interior of Newmarket Junction box
Photograph 1904, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

The signalman leans proudly on the other Winter's instrument in the box, working to Remuera. Two of the three new Tyer's No7 pattern tablet instruments for the sections to Remuera and Auckland are to the left. The block bells are on the shelf above the windows, and some distinctly dubious-looking temporary wiring can be picked out.

The instrument for the third single line is just discernible in the shadows behind the signalman in the previous view.

Newmarket Junction cabin was abolished on 29th January 20008 and both the signal box and station were put into safe storage at "a secret location" to avoid vandalism early that year. Anew station has been built here and control of the area has been added to Auckland/Britomatt signal control centre.

Additional notes by Patrick Monaghan and Bob Taafe

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson