Stop and think!


Previous competitions have covered a variety of signalling subjects.

Details of the questions and the correct answers will be found below, together with the names of the winners.



Middleton TopThe January "mystery location" had a slight twist to it, but this didn't seem to fool anybody. Depicted was a photograph of a signal at the top of a railwayless incline, gated with a sign inviting cyclists to dismount.

It is, of course, Middleton Top on the former Cromford & High Peak Railway in Derbyshire. Now part of a heritage trail, there are several places where old railway equipment can still be seen. It is believed, incidentally, that signals such as this were never intended to be operational signals - more an indication of the point at which normal train operations should not proceed beyond, as traffic was winched down the inclines.

From the 26 correct entries received, Joe Hosking was selected at random to be declared the winner.

Click on the image for a larger view


The February quiz had a twist in its tail. The odd one out had to be chosen from the following locations - Cardiff, Claremont, Hexham, Penrith, Richmond and Windsor.

All of these places exist in Australia, and had signalled stations. All but Claremont also exist in the United Kingdom so Claremont is the odd one out.

The winner, chosen at random, was John Batts who has set a couple of quiz questions in the past but never been selected as the winner.

The question was set by Anthony Koch, one of our Australian correspondents.

MARCH 2005

The March quiz was cancelled owing to ill health.

APRIL 2005

Some anagrams of signal box names were presented for the April competition.

The very first entry, from Steve Ryszka - received within twelve hours of the start of the month - was absolutely correct. Steve translated the locations as follows:


Keith Junction






East Farleigh
MAY 2005

The May quiz asked the identity of a signalbox from a photograph taken a few years back. The box is still there today - and didn't prove a difficult identification and many correct answers poured in.

Only one can be the winner, though, and the name drawn at random is Neil Kearns - who correctly identified the box as Gobowen North. These days, this is the only box at Gobowen so the "North" has been dropped.

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JUNE 2005

It must be the silly season! This compromising photograph of your webmaster taken many years ago (he claims) was put up for a comical caption. Eventually. after much coaxing and promises of non-reprisal, the entries started to come in. As always with any caption competition, there were many amusing ones and it was very difficult to select the best.

The prize goes to Rob Daniels for the caption L.O.Arabia on duty at 14.30 Hrs but two good runners up were Andy Hides with "I'm a little teapot short and stout. Here's my handle..." and Matthew Turner with "I know i'm not supposed to touch the levers without my cloth, but I can't remember off the top of my head where I put it." Well done all!

Click on the image for a larger view

JULY 2005

Hatfield No4July saw another of our "if it isn't a signal box, what is it?" series. This particular building appeared in hatfield in the 1970s and I must admit it gave me quite a surprise as I drove past at 5.30 am on my way to work on a misty morning. I had to wait until the afternoon to return to find out what I really saw.

It was a site hut for building development - and given that Hatfield only ever had three numbered signalboxes it became affectionately known as Hatfield No4.

The first correct answer came from Allan F Skellern who receives our small prize for this month

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Severn Bridge Junction diagramBack to the un-named diagrams series for August - and such an easy one to identify that there were a huge number of correct entries to select from. Plucking a name out of the air, Steve Fairlie is selected as the winner, correctly identifying the diagram as that of Severn Bridge Junction, Shrewsbury.

Click on the image for a larger view


The complexity of the September Quiz caused one casual visitor to suggest we were all "sad ******s" but of course we all know he was the sad one for not having a better purpose than to hang around sites that had no interest to him.

This months quiz asked about the different signalling systems that the 12:47 (weekdays) train from Oxford to Hereford would pass through. The correct answers are:

From To System
Oxford Station Wolvercote Junction Track Circuit Block
Wolvercote Junction Ascott-under-Wychwood Track Circuit Block (Single Line)
Ascott-under-Wychwood Moreton-in-Marsh Absolute Block
Moreton-in-Marsh Evesham Electric Token
Evesham Norton Junction Electric Token
Norton Junction Worcester Shrub Hill Absolute Block
Worcester Shrub Hill Henwick Single Line by Acceptance Lever
Henwick Newland East Absolute Block
Newland East Malvern Wells Absolute Block
Malvern Wells Ledbury GWR Lock & Block
Ledbury Hereford (Shelwick Junction) WR Tokenless Block

Lots of people must have got their books out and studied them, for many correct answers were received - but there can only be one winner and the name drawn at random was Colin Stanaway who wins the prize.

The quiz was set by Geoff Marsh.


Signalman's RetreatThe October quiz asked about an interesting signalbox, named "Signalman's Retreat", surrounded by greenery. A large number of people instantly identified this as a display at the 2003 Chelsea Flower Show, which won the RHS Wigan Cup for the best exhibit from a local authority - in this case Southend Borough Council.

From the many entries received, David Knights has been randomly selected as the winner.

Click on the image for a larger view


My attempts to confuse people with the following failed miserably:
On Monday, the signalman at "Box A" has a train run away towards "Box B", and sends the bell signal 2-5-5.
On Tuesday, the signalman at "Box B" has a train run away towards "Box A", and sends the bell signal 2-5-5.
Both runaway trains are on the same running line, and both signalmen have carried out their rules correctly. How can this be?

Lots of people spotted that this could only be the case if the line was a single line. From these, Christina Hunt's name was drawn from the hat to be the winner.


Regrettably, there was no quiz for December.