Cataluna Railways

by John Hinson

Interior of Plaza Cataluna signal box
Photograph 1929, from the collection of Dr. J W F Scrimgeour

This posed photograph was almost certainly taken just before this signal box was commissioned in 1929. Plaza Cataluna is the Barcelona terminus for the suburban electric line, and is completely underground.

The 24-lever power frame was manufactured by GRS in the United States and is of their "Model 2" design. The alternatively up and down pistol-grip handles of the slides operating the points and signals are normally around waist height, so the signalman in this view must be rather "vertically challenged".

The diagram shows the straightforward layout at this four-platform terminus. The devices on the wall are clockwork time releases, usually used to impose a time delay before points can be moved if a signal is cancelled. To the right of these is an exposed fuse-board which would give any self-respecting health & Safety Inspector nightmares.

Plaza Cataluna box was completely destroyed by a bomb attack during the Spanish Civil War.

About the photographs

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson