Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Signal Dressing

Tuesday 27th June

Seven of us off to Broadway today to get some, if not all of the fittings, onto the three signal posts at Broadway North. Quite a truckload of stuff to start with:

We understand that work begins in the next couple of weeks to brick up the access gap in platform 1, so the window of opportunity to truck heavy parts up north will be over - so here we are.
The route indicator signal got our first attention. The main task being to fit its ladder. This is bolted to the two platforms and needs a secure base before using it. We did this by setting it on a substantial piece of sleeper cut-off. We will eventually cast a concrete block with studs as a final fix:

Luckily all bolt holes matched up with both platforms level after a bit of adjustment with many supporting hands: 

Then the fitting of the finial and spectacle plate and signal arm. Once the finial was fitted the other heavier parts were hauled up by rope

And the angle cranks fitted at the bottom of the post to which the signal wires will be connected

A shot of the top end before the signal arm is attached 

And a view of the finished job so far. Down rod, lamp cases and electrics to follow in due course.

Then on to the other two signals at the ends of the platforms, both of which need their ladders fitting. 
These two will not have platforms but safety hoops at the top. We separated into two teams for this starting at the top to fit finials. 

And then working down to to the balance weight assembly

As far as we got today with most of the fittings on . The position  and length of the ladder to platform 1 signal was measured - cut to length but we ran out of time so it will be fitted next visit.
Now beginning to look like a Railway!

 A view looking north from the signal box you can just make out the 3 signals in the distance.

There was the accompanying sound of enthusiastic riveting going on on the station roof  throughout the day - it certainly is a magnificent structure close up.

We haven't got as far as preparing the hole and foundation for the wooden post yet, but now that the spear fencing is complete up to the Evesham road bridge I can reveal its approx position as shown by this block in th foreground :

And finally, as requested by blog reader Graham, a couple of shots of the inside of the Broadway signal box:

PS  We are hoping shortly to acquire some of the parts to move on work in the locking room . These include a locking tray and a number of electric locks. 



  1. What is the purpose of the two handles in vertical frames between the windows and the lever frame?
    Andrew Harris Whitby Ontario

    1. They are signal wire adjusters. For the signals furthest away from the box extremes of temperature will expand/contract the metal wires connecting them so this is a means of tightening or loosening them to compensate.

    2. These adjusters are usually applied to wires greater than 300 yards long

  2. Thanks for the box shots,

  3. I must admit that I noticed the signal arms go on when watching the security camera images. Yes, it does look more like a railway now. I noticed from the internal pics of the box that you have the Up Distant lever painted for use. Is this for use before any extension north of Broadway? and can you tell me (as more professional than I), what year the distant levers were changed from green to yellow please? Well done S&T. Regards, Paul.

    1. Paul
      Yes, this lever will control the distant signal for the current layout. As far as green/yellow is concerned our best assumption is that this happened in 1923 when the four main railway companies were created. When we acquired the lever frame from Clayton near Banbury which is now operational in our Gotherington box, this had a green distant lever and dated 1901
      Regards. Curly

    2. Thanks for the prompt reply. That clears up a few matters that I was thinking about. Such as, when we were restoring Highley signal box on the SVR, we took off the old paint and lever no.1 which was painted white as a spare was green underneath. regards, paul.

    3. The change from Red to Yellow for Distant signal arms was the decision of a meeting of the IRSE in 1921, although it took until 1929 for the GWR to finish the work on their lines. Presumably the levers operating these signals were repainted from green to yellow at the same time as the arms were done at each box.

    4. Thanks for the clarification

  4. Looks brilliant, well done. Is it me or an optical illusion, does the signal at the north end of platform two look to be leaning slightly?

    1. Yes, there is a hint of lean as the post settles in - it will be perfectly vertical for the first train past it!!! We still have to anchor the base of the ladder to a concrete block.

  5. Just an observation but I noticed that the signal spectacle colours are red and green. Shouldn't they be red and blue - so that blue spectacle with yellow light = green?, or is there another reason for the green spectacle? Regards, Paul.

    1. We will not be using yellow bulbs or oil lamps We will be using white led's (not strictly heritage!) so green will show.

    2. Thanks for the reply. Now I know! Regards, Paul.