PHOTO GALLERY: NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY
OPENED: 1935 CLOSED: 1985
Click or tap the images for enlarged views
A small change was made to the North British Railway’s 1908 design in 1919 where the small windows above the main panes were eliminated and replaced by horizontal boarding. Maybe the signalmen found they were getting dazzled by sunlight!
This new arrangement is illustrated well by Dundee Central. This signal box was between Tay Bridge station and the Tay Bridge, and was the junction for the Caledonian Railway’s branch to Perth.
Relatively few signal boxes of this type were built in the remaining years of the NBR, but the design continued in use with the London & North Eastern Railway in Scotland after the 1923 grouping of the railways and Dundee Central was one of the the last of this type – built as late as 1935.
This view looks south past the signal box. The signal in the foreground controls the outlet from the carriage sheds (discussed further below) but beyond the central telegraph pole that carries the block and telephone wires across all the lines is the Up junction signal for trains towards the Tay Bridge (left) and Perth (right). The tall bracket home signal from the Perth direction can also be made out amongst the numerous other signals in this view.
There is a lot to interpret in this view looking north from the signal box.
- On the left is Dundee locomotive shed, with a tank locomotive to the right of the turntable, partially obscured by some stabled coaching stock.
- Immediately behind the stabled stock is the Down line, descending towards Dundee Tay Bridge station.
- The coaching stock occupies one of two carriage sidings, with a narrow cleaning platform between them. It is doubtful this would have provided exterior washing facilities given the limited space, but it would have allowed easy access to those employed on interior cleaning.
- Immediately to the right of the carriage sidings is the Up main line climbing up for the station.
- To the right of that, are a mass of sidings for stabling coaching stock, some of which are covered by a large carriage shed.
- The signal in the centre of the picture is provided with a full size main arm leading out onto the Up Main, for no obvious reason. In many other locations a pair of discs would have sufficed, but Dundee Central was lavishly signalled throughout.
A look inside the box shows the 85-lever frame fitted out with a complete set of L&NER ivorine plates. The frame is basically of Stevens & Sons design, as found in so many boxes in Scotland, but a sharp eye might notice the tops of the lever handles are exceptionally rounded and this is a firm indication that the frame was actually built by another signalling contractor – the Railway Signal Company,
Two pairs of North British Railway three-wire, three-position block instruments signal trains on the main lines, but towards the far end is a British Railways (Scottish Region) instrument working to Buckingham Junction on the Perth line.
The signal box closed on 14th April 1985, with the signalling converted to colour-lights controlled by a new Signalling Centre at Dundee.