Arley signal box

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Arley Signal Box

A signal box situated at Arley station, working to Bewdley North and Highley using ETT regulations in both directions. It can be switched out if trains are not required to cross.


Description

The current signal box was reconstructed from 1974 to 1976 approximately on the site of the original signal box, which had been demolished by SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers at a time when extension southwards from Hampton Loade seemed unlikely. The frame, which has 30 levers, is originally from Kidderminster Station signal box (not to be confused with the post-preservation Kidderminster Station signal box), supplemented by specialist parts from Severn Beach and Gelli Las (Mid Glamorgan)[1]. The box superstructure was moved by road from Yorton, on the LNWRLondon & North Western Railway route between Shrewsbury and Crewe, to Hay Bridge, from where it was moved by rail to Arley. The signal box was fully commissioned on April 10th 1976.

At present 23 levers are in use, with 6 spaces and one spare lever. The repeater for signal number 6, the only stop signal not visible from the box, originates from the Didcot Newbury & Southampton branch of the GWRGreat Western Railway.

Operational Features

Arley is one of two signal boxes on the SVRSevern Valley Railway that can be switched out, the other being Hampton Loade. When the box is switched out the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Loop cannot be used. Arley and Hampton Loade are also the only signal boxes on the SVRSevern Valley Railway that are 'crossing places' as per the ETTElectric Train Token regulations.

Unusually, when the box is switched out the yard can still be accessed, by operating the signal box lever frame as a ground frame. An intermediate token instrument is provided inside the P.WayPermanent Way hut to enable trains to be locked into the yard. One side effect of this operation is that whilst the yard is being shunted, the Highley and Bewdley North signalmen are unable to communicate by bell signal.

Arley is the only SVRSevern Valley Railway signal box the electrically locked levers of which are operated by the lever catch handles, so the signalman does not have to push a separate release plunger.

History

Before preservation, the original signal box was a mirror image of the still-extant signal box at Highley, and had a 14-lever frame with no switching out facility. Other minor changes include two stacked disc signals at the toe of the yard points as per normal GWRGreat Western Railway practice, and a bracket for entry to the yard at the up home signal. A diagram is available on the signalbox.org website.

A major factor in the collision at Abermule in 1921 was that the tablet instruments which controlled the single line working were installed in the station building rather than the signal box, a practice condemned by the inspecting officer Colonel Pringle.[2] Despite this, the token instruments at Arley were installed in the station booking office, only being moved to the signal box by the SVRSevern Valley Railway in preservation.[3]

Arley signal box closed under BRBritish Rail or British Railways ownership on Sunday 28 June 1964. The Train Register recording the closure was formerly on display in The Engine House at Highley.

Following closure, parts of the lever frame and much of the other equipment was used to reinstate Bridgnorth signal box in 1969[4]. An element of these parts' removal by SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers was, ironically, the demolition of the Box, meaning an entire new Box and frame had to be sourced when the SVRSevern Valley Railway extended southwards (which seemed extremely unlikely in 1969 when demolition occurred). A fragment of the original interlocking is in the care of Kidderminster Railway Museum and provides an interesting demonstration on the operation of tappet interlocking.

After preservation, Arley became the first SVRSevern Valley Railway signal box with worked distant signals.

Diagram

Arley box diagram.gif

List of levers

No. Colour Description Lever Sequence
1 Yellow DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main Distant 2 3 6
2 Red DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main Home 11 10
3 Red DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main Start'g
4 Red DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main To DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Loop Home 10
5 Red DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Loop To DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main Start'g 16
6 Red with white band DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main Adv'c'd Start'g
7 (space)
8 (space)
9 (space)
10 Blue F.P.LFacing Point Lock, equipment that physically locks points so that they cannot move.. For 11 NIL or 11
11 Black DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main To DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Loop Facing / DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Main
12 Blue/Brown Switch'g Out Lever 11 10 15 17; Notch 3: 1 25
13 Red Disc for 14 14
14 Black UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Facing / Sidings
15 Blue F.P.LFacing Point Lock, equipment that physically locks points so that they cannot move.. for 14 NIL or 14
16 Black UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Facing / From DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Loop
17 Blue F.P.LFacing Point Lock, equipment that physically locks points so that they cannot move.. for 16 15 or 16
18 Red Disc at 14 15
19 Red UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main To Sidings Home (Disc) 14 15 17 18
20 (space)
21 (space)
22 (space)
23 Red with white band UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Start'g 11
24 Red UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Home 15 17 18
25 Yellow UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Distant 24 23
26 White (spare)
27 Blue/Brown Release Lever For 14 When Switch'd Out 12
28 (space)
29 (space)
30 (space)

Signalling controlled from the box

The DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Home signals post, bracket and assemblies were originally the UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) From Shrewsbury Inner Home signals at Bewdley North. It was originally located at the south end of Wribbenhall Viaduct, somewhat further south than its modern replacement, but was removed from there on 4 January 1976 due to rot in the lower part of the post.[5] These are wooden post GWRGreat Western Railway design signals as is the UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) distant. The UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) distant (signal 25 on the diagram above) is the only signal on the SVRSevern Valley Railway included in the Wyre Forest District Council Local Heritage List.[6]
All other signals at Arley are of late GWRGreat Western Railway/BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) steel tubular post and enamel metal arm type. Signal 23, on the up platform, was originally the up starting signal at Llangollen, and removed by SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers before preservation efforts commenced there. Signal 1, the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Distant, is motor worked.

Gallery

Adderbury Signal Box

As noted above, the original Arley Signal Box was demolished. The somewhat larger signal box from Adderbury, on the former GWRGreat Western Railway to Kingham branch, was donated to the SVRSevern Valley Railway in early 1973 as a potential replacement[7][8]. It was dismantled at Adderbury in April 1973, and transported to Arley where it was unloaded as a 'kit of parts'[9]. However by the following year the process of installing the former Yorton box had begun. The fate of the Adderbury box is unknown.

See Also

References

  1. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 100, "Twenty years of Severn Valley signalling", John Phillips
  2. Red for Danger, L.T.C. Rolt
  3. Marshall (1989), pp. 134-135.
  4. Marshall (1989), p. 200.
  5. \SVRSevern Valley Railway News 40
  6. WFDC Local heritage list
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 26
  8. Arley Station website history page
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 28