OurSignalling

The railway is fully signalled with three signal boxes and one gate box to prototypical British signalling based on mid-1950s practice. With the exception of the signals, which are scale models, the signalling system is constructed from full-size equipment recovered when it became redundant.

The signalling system is extremely reliable, and failures are extremely rare (approx. 2/3 incidents a season). All relays are BRB 930/960 specification and live in heated Relay Rooms and locations. Considering that the power is turned off from Sunday evening to the following Sunday morning in the summer and is off during the Winter months from November until the end of April - when switched on, it always works.

Hardwick Signal Box

Hardwick
Signal Box

Hardwick is a 23-lever frame that was part of the original Crewe South Junction (which had 227 levers and was used from 1939 until 1986) and was installed and commissioned in 1993. The Signal Box is equipped as far as possible as an old LMS Signal Box would have looked in around the 1950s. It has an illuminated diagram made of timber with a hand-painted track layout and two red lamps at the extremities of each track circuit. Following basic LMS practice, the point operating levers have notched quadrants at the 'B', and 'D' positions for point indication locking. The signals have quadrant notches at the 'B' position for back locking. Of course, being an all-electric locking frame 'A' and 'E' locks and quadrants are provided on all levers.

At Hardwick, following LMS tradition, one lever is provided for a signal no matter how many routes are available from that signal. To aid the signalman, the lever is provided with an indication that shows what route (or destination) is presently set for that signal. The pull plates are in front of the lever on a standard shelf for all 'L' frames (with temporary labels, but the intention is to replace them with brass pull plates as originally provided). The signal indications simply show red when the signal is in danger and white when the signal is "off". Although the Railway is completely track-circuited, absolute block working is in force to the next Signal Box using Midland Railway-type instruments (circa 1914) will full track circuit controls.

Cockcrow Hill Signal Box

Cockcrow Hill
Signal Box

Cockcrow Hill Signal Box is a 16-lever Stevens "Knee Frame" with electrical locking. It was commissioned in May 2001 replacing an LMS 1943 tappet frame after the layout at Cockcrow Hill Station was completely re-modelled. 12 levers are fitted with combined lever locks, and the circuit controllers and the other four levers have circuit controllers only.

The Railway Signal Co manufactured this frame, and it was originally installed at Waterloo Station on the "Waterloo and City" line. It is thought to be over 80 years old.

Everglades Junction Signal Box

Everglades Junction
Signal Box

Everglades Junction is set out as a Southern Railway Signal Box as it would have been around the 1950s. The Westinghouse 'L' frame is of 31 levers and came from South Croydon when the Three Bridges re-signalling scheme was introduced in April 1984. As the frame was installed in 1953, it had quite a short life on BR - even so, it is now 50+ years old. The frame came complete and is installed as per the original SR standards in 1980 and expanded and re-wired in 1991. It controls 3 and 4-aspect signalling, and again following SR practice, the aspects on the signals are repeated on the frame including junction indicators. One signal lever controls all possible routes from that signal, with a separate lever for a "warning" route. Again following SR practice, there are no indication quadrants, the lever position and detection being in the circuit for the release of the signal lever. 'Free' indications are also shown above the signal levers.

A standard SR illuminated diagram is provided. Block Working to adjacent Signal Boxes is via Southern Railway Standard instruments (circa 1920s) with full track circuit controls. In true SR practice, the "tapper" for the Block Bells is not part of the bell but mounted separately using brass plungers.

There is also a Train Describer, using a VDU display with automatic code 'set up' and automatic 'code change'. This is to help the signal men keep track of the trains and count of the number of trains that run over the system in any one day.

Lesters Crossing Signal Box

Lesters Crossing
Signal Box

Our smallest box on the railway, Lesters Crossing, allows us to control the level crossing on the Down North Hardwick Line which circumnavigates around the bottom car park/field. You can see the box being operated on a busy Sunday or when a party is taking place in the field.

The box is currently operated by a switch panel that allows the signaller to control the signals on the branch line and the actuator-operated crossing gates. In addition to the switch panel, we have added a lever frame (co-acting) to control the signals and points in the area.