Bridgnorth signal box

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Bridgnorth Signal Box
Interior of Bridgnorth Signal Box
The pre-preservation signal box, photographed in September 1962 (Sellick Collection)
Reconstruction of the signal box in progress (David Cooke)

A signal box at Bridgnorth that works to Hampton Loade (short section) or Highley (long section) using ETT regulations.

Bridgnorth has had a number of signal boxes during its existence. Initially construction of two boxes was authorised in 1891 and these were brought into use in October 1892. Bridgnorth North signal box was situated north of the station on the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) side, where the two lines converged into the single line. The foundations can still be made out on the embankment side. Bridgnorth South Signal Box was at the south end of the station on the UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) side, opposite Pan Pudding Hill where it could control access to the goods yard[1]. A photo of the latter box circa 1900 appears in SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society news edition 44. In 1923 both boxes were replaced by a large single central signal box[2]. It was far larger than Bridgnorth Station layout really required with many spaces in the lever frame. This was future-proofing for alterations required for the planned line to Wolverhampton that was never constructed. This was closed by BRBritish Rail or British Railways on 2 December 1963, and the upper structure was demolished in 1965 just before the arrival of the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Society[3].

The masonry base of the former central signal box was originally slightly longer than it is today. Evidence of this truncation may be found by inspection of the brickwork towards the northern end on the front wall. The upper timber section was replaced by an ill-fitting box originally built in 1925 which was relocated from Pensnett in December 1968 and erected during the following year. The frame originated from Windmill End Junction signal box[4], with parts of the interlocking and signalling instruments taken from Arley signal box, which would later require that box in turn to be re-equipped when the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society extended southwards[5].

Repairs and refurbishment in preservation

  • The signal box suffered a fire on the night of 1 January 1977. This initially started in the mains electricity switch-gear under the staircase; the staircase and surrounding floorboards were well alight before the fire brigade arrived. Structural damage was mainly confined to the south end of the box, but smoke and water damage was caused to much of the equipment. The burnt woodwork had been replaced by mid-February, and the burnt wiring replaced on a "make do and mend" basis in time for the 1977 running season[6]. Further work was done to the box as part of a major re-laying of track at Bridgnorth, with the box being closed, and the token instruments being moved to the Station Master's office, between 25 September 1977[7][8] and 6 August 1978[9][8] to allow this work to be carried out.
  • At an unknown date recladding and repainting of the upper level was undertaken by contractors.
  • In October 2018 recladding, refurbishment and repainting of the upper level was undertaken by Bridgnorth 'Wailing Wall' volunteers.[10]

    Signalling diagram

Bridgnorth Signal Diagram.jpg

Signalling diagram in Bridgnorth as of October 2015.

Levers and Lever Leads

List of levers

No. Colour Description Lever Sequence
1 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
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 To No. 1 Platform Line Inner Home 12 11
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 To No. 1 Platform Line Calling On 12 11
4 Red No. 1 Platform Line To Hollybush Road Siding Starting 29
5 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 No. 2 Platform Line Inner Home 13 11
6 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 No. 2 Platform Line Calling On 13 11
7 Red No. 2 Platform Line To Hollybush Road Siding Starting
8 SPACE
9 SPACE
10 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 Engine Shed Sidings Inner Home 14 13 11
11 Blue F.P.LFacing Point Lock, equipment that physically locks points so that they cannot move.. For 12 13 or 12
12 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 No. 2 Platform Line Facing / No. 1 Platform Line
13 Blue F.P.LFacing Point Lock, equipment that physically locks points so that they cannot move.. For 14
14 Black No. 2 Platform Line Facing / Engine Shed Sidings
15 Red Engine Shed Sidings To UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Starting 14
16 Red Engine Shed Sidings Starting (Disc)
17 SPACE
18 Red No. 1 Platform Line To Carriage Siding Starting 19
19 Black Carriage Siding Safety
20 Red No. 2 Platform Line To UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Calling On
21 Red No. 1 Platform Line To UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Calling On 12
22 Red+White Band UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Advanced Starting
23 Red No. 2 Platform Line To UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Starting
24 Red No. 1 Platform Line To UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) Main Starting 12
25 Red Disc For 19 19
26 Blue/Brown Interl'k'g Lever For Boiler Shop Ground Frame
27 Black Safety Points in Hollybush Road Siding (Slotted)
28 Red Disc For 27 27
29 Black Platform Lines / + Over
30 Red Disc For 27 27 29

Signalling controlled from the box

All signals at Bridgnorth are of late GWRGreat Western Railway/BRBritish Rail or British Railways(W) steel tubular post and enamel arm design. 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) Home, is motor worked.

Possible replacement

No firm plans have been made, but consideration has been given to replacing the current Bridgnorth signal box. Its location is inconvenient for modern operations and also takes up space adjacent to the station that may better be used in one way or another to deal with the high flow of passengers the station now sees. A new signal box would likely be located on the opposite side of the line at the station throat, between the bracket carrying Nos.23 and 15 signals and the Cleobury Road Bridge. This would enable quicker token exchanges with incoming and outgoing trains, and the signalman would be able to see the tail lamp of all arriving trains rather than requiring affirmation of the train's complete state from the crew. The signalman would also be able to see most of the signals within the box's control rather than requiring their being repeated by block shelf instruments. Heavy resignalling would not be necessary, although the opportunity may be taken to reconnect George's siding, currently home to four Mk1 carriages in BRBritish Rail or British Railways(S) green and in use as staff accommodation, and make the easternmost road of the yard a through road with a connection to the running lines at the north end of platform two. If the box were to be replaced, there are no certain plans on what would happen to the current box. Demolition, retention as a visitor attraction or reuse of the box for another purpose are all possibilities.

See also

References

  1. Bibliography#Books Marshall (1989), p131
  2. Bibliography#Books Marshall (1989), p134
  3. Bibliography#Books Marshall (1989), p166
  4. Signal Box Register, Volume 1: Great Western, revised 2011 edition, Signalling Record Society (plus correction sheet #9 )
  5. Bibliography#Books Marshall (1989), p200
  6. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society news 43
  7. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 46
  8. 8.08.1 Bridgnorth signal box on the SVR Signalling web site
  9. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 49
  10. Bridgnorth Station SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Facebook page 8 October 2018