THE SIGNAL BOX

SIGNALS

BRITISH RAILWAY SIGNALS

Furness Railway Signals

Distant signal

The Furness Railway favoured "slotted-post" signals, where the arm was pivoted within the thickness of the post. This practice was a survivor from the era when arms actually slotted completely within the post so as to be not visible when the line was clear. Such practices were discontinued in early days of signalling, and arms such as this would only be lowered to an angle of around 45%.

Another early feature, common on the Furness Railway, was to position the lamp lower down the post than the arm. It was, in fact, quite difficult to mount the lamp alongside the arm on a slotted-post signal. Arranging the arm and lamp this way did have advantages in having an arm that would be clearly visible against the sky in daylight, but a lamp that was nearer driver's eye level by night and easier to access by the lamp-man.

For some reason this signal, on the approaches to Millom, had been "fixed at caution" for many years. Such practice usually indicates a low speed restriction or a little-used line, but neither applied here. It looks as if attempts had been made to get the signal operational again, as an LMS-pattern spectacle has been fitted in place of the original. However, this did not happen, and the signal was subsequently replaced by a motor-operated upper quadrant semaphore.

More details and a view of the entire signal will be found in the Photo Gallery Page covering Millom.

Slotted-post distant signal at Millom