Madrid, Zaragoza & Alicante / Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Espanoles

by John Hinson

Mora La Nueva signal box
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Mora La Nueva (or in Catalan, Mora la Nova) is a rugged looking concrete signal box dating, probably, from around 1915.

Interior of Mora La Nueva box
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

The layout is controlled from this American-built GRS power frame.

General view of station area at Mora La Nueva
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

Viewed from the signal box, the station buildings look equally sturdy. A passenger train loads at the wide main platform, but other lines through the station have to make do with rather more meagre station facilities.

In the distance, a number of the three-position upper quadrant signals controlled by this box can be seen.

Three-position signals at Mora La Nueva
Photograph by Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

One of the signals in the above view is this three doll bracket. The signal arms, including the miniature arm below the landing, are all three-position upper quadrant signals, but none appear to have any lens for when the signal is cleared to the vertical position. This may be because these signals never clear to the third position, owing to the low permitted speed for movements through the station.

The signals all bear individual identification plates. The figure 4 probably refers to the slide in the box that operates the signals selectively, according to how the points are set, and the letters most likely identify the direction of travel and the line to which they apply. If this were an English-speaking location, it would be tempting top suggest that the S indicated Southbound, and B and T stood for Bay and Through, but maybe not . . .

By the mid 1970's, the semaphore starting signals were still in use, but the homes had been renewed as standard RENFE colour light signals. A colour light advanced starter had been provided in connection with automatic block towards Reus (Barcelona) as the line was controlled under CTC (Centralised Traffic Control). Telephone block still applied towards Zaragoza. The line was electrified on the DC system.

Since that date, the remaining semaphore signals have been replaced with colour lights.

Additional notes by Jean Thouvenin

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson