Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Banbury North signal box

Banbury North Signal box and Chiltern train

On Sunday I visited Banbury North signal box. Pretty interesting you'd think and you would be right.

However, the visit was because the box is due to be demolished in a couple of weeks thanks to an upgrade of the line through the station. The semaphore signals have gone and the box will follow. 

Route map

As it was, the good people at Chiltern Railways had arranged to let visitors in. High-vis was issued to those booked on, but as it was we were surrounded by specially placed fences between the end of the platform and the stairs up to the box. 

Lever frame

Built in 1899, this is a Type 7 box. Large, but still operated by a single signaller. It's stood largely unaltered for all these years, apart from a few modern additions inside to make the operators lives a little more comfortable. That and a fax machine that looks like it dates back to Brunell. 

Train describer

Anyway, the reason for this sudden post is that you might just be able to book on a free tour yourself.

Visit banburynorth.youcanbook.me right now.

or head to www.facebook.com/groups/banburynorthsignalbox on Facebook to find out more.

I've also posted more photos over on Flickr. 

Signalmans rest


Mark said...

How is a working signal box from 1899 not a listed building?

Phil Parker said...

I think the problem is location. There was a project looking at trying to find it a new role as a community centre but Network Rail charges stuffed that. Signal boxes aren't easy as any emergency exit is likely to be on to the track, hardly ideal!

At least the mechanism will go to good homes. Most of the instruments go into store as the Worcester box will continue in service until 2049, as will the Shrewsbury monster!

Unknown said...

Unfortunately the signup is now closed /full.

Interesting photos. Anymore would be great as I have a friend who is very interested in signaling.

Are any parts of the box going to be saved by anyone?