Blackfriars Junction signal box

Blackfriars Junction signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was opened by the Southern Railway on 21st March 1926. The box was fitted with a 120 lever Siemens & General Electric Railway Signal Company power frame and was destroyed by a German bomb dropped in an air raid on the night of the 16th & 17th April 1941.

A temporary box was constructed a few yards south of the bombed one, fitted with a hastily constructed 23 lever Westinghouse 'L' frame was opened on 2nd June 1941 by the Southern Railway. The temporary box opened with 17 working levers, probably only 17 total, though may have been 23 total at that date. There were 35 working levers from 27th July 1941. Signalling alterations were made to the track layout at various stages over the next couple of years as more lines were restored to use.

Although JD.Francis' book list the frame as being 23 levers on 4th January 1942 BJ.25 and BJ.26 signal were brought into use, and BJ.27 signal was already in use. Despite being temporary it was not closed until 11th August 1946 when replaced by the 'new' signal box fitted with a new refurbished Westinghouse 'L' frame.

Blackfriars Junction {new} signal box was opened by the Southern Railway on 11th August 1946 replacing the temporary 1941 signal box It was built to the Southern Railway Type 13 ("glasshouse") design and was fitted with a 119 lever Westinghouse 'L' frame (frame number 105). A panel was installed in addition to the frame on 10th March 1974 to control the Holborn station was a "Domino" style entrance-exit panel which now resides in the National Railway Museum's reserve signalling collection. The box was closed on 14th February 1982 when signalling of the area passed to Victoria SC.

Blackfriars {Junction} signal box taken arond 1980's, with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame.

A good clear exterior picture of Blackfrairs signal box about a year before closure in 1982.
Picture is reproduced by kind permission of Irwell Press Ltd. from their British Railways Illustrated series

The frame is a Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Frame and was electrically interlocked between levers with electrical lever locking, The frame was formed of 10 x 12 way sections which make a total of 119 levers {10x12)-1=119 as the last “lever” space is unavailable. 28 of these levers worked the points, 73 signal levers operated the coloured light signals, and there were 18 spare levers when the frame was supplied and installed

The Westinghouse Brake & Saxby Signal Co. Ltd style 'L' lever frame, with its indicators behind the levers, the 4 glass roundels showed the signal aspect, being Red, Yellow, Green & 2nd Yellow reading from bottom to top. The two aspect indicators showed the 'N' and 'R' to indicate the points as either being Normal or Reverse, The train describers sending units are fitted on top of the frame box with the receiving units on the right hand side at 45 degrees. Emergency bell plungers are provided next to adjacent signal boxes in the middle of the instrument shelf..

the SR standby frame ended up at Hither Green, Blackfriers and Shepherds Lane


Attached is Southern Railway special notice S.613 LED for the opening of the temporary Blackfriars Junction signal box.

Attached is Southern Region signal instruction 23 notice this and signal instruction 23 track diagram for the opening of Blackfriars signal box. These diagram(s) are taken from the website of the Signalling Record Society Research Note37. These images are copyright of the Signalling Record Society, and reproduced by permission.

Adjacent boxes

When opened, the box worked rhe Local and Through lines (Farringdon to Herne Hill line)

To the south

Walworth Coal Sidings, 1m 287yds away, was the adjacent box. Walworth Coal Sidings box was closed on 15th February 1970 and Loughborough Junction box (2m 18ch away) became the adjacent box. Loughborough Junction box was closed on 29th November 1981 when Victoria Signalling Centre became the adjacent box.

To the north

Holborn, 1014yds away, there wasn’t a signal box as Holborn Viaduct was a terminus and what is now the Thameslink line had not then been re-opened.

Branch (Blackfriars to Metropolitan Junction line)

Metropolitan Junction, 834yds away, was the adjacent box. It was closed on 19th April 1976 when London Bridge Power Signal Box became the adjacent box.