Cardiff West signal box


Cardiff West signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Saxby Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frames was opened and commissioned on 7th January 1934 by the Great Western Railway and the signalbox was built to the Great Western Railway Type 18 design. It was fitted with a 339 lever Westinghouse 'L' frame

Cardiff West signalbox was the first part of a two part resignalling scheme of Cardiff station, comprising of an East and West Signalbox. Cardiff East signalbox was commissioned on the 28th May 1933.

Cardiff East and West signalboxes was the only purchase and involvement with Westinghouse Style 'L' Lever frames by the GWR. Both signalboxes remained in use until Cardiff Power box came into use on 27th March 1966 and replaced both boxes. Cardiff East and Cardiff West were only 627yds apart

Cardiff West signal box exterior

This is the Great Western signal box at Cardiff West. Signals and points are power operated. The three-floored box has steel framework with red-brick filling. The ground floor contains the switchboard, transformers and rectifiers. The first floor has the relay racks and other equipment. The top floor is the operating room with an interlocking frame having 339 levers.

Cardiff West signal box with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame around 1930's

The official WB&SCo. picture of the Style 'L' Power Frame at Cardiff. The frame was formed of 27 x 12 way section and one eight way section which made a total of 339 levers, {27x12}+8}-1 = 339 levers, as the last “lever” space is unavailable. 57 of these levers worked the points, 229 signal levers operated the 2 aspect coloured light signals, there were no special levers installed and 53 spare levers when the frame was supplied and installed. This made the working lever total of 286. As can be seen two track diagram's were provided.

Cardiff West signal box with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame with its signalmen present. Cardiff West signal box with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame and diagram detail

Pictured above is a detailed view of the high end numbers in the lever frame, in this picture can be seen the the 1930 style standard Great Western Railway block instruments which were manufactured by the GWR Reading Signal works {without their cases}. These were then fitted into pre-cut holes provide by Westinghouse. Behind the signalling levers one can see the glass roundels showed the signal aspect, being Red and Green only as the coloured lights were the searchlight type. The flat indicators showed an 'N' and 'R' indication for points to show the points as having been detected in their Normal or Reverse position.

In the GWR's 1933 resignalling at Cardiff, those shunting signals which were elevated used a different type of route indicator. These were known as 'pointer light' route indicators and were very similar to those designed by W.K. Wallace and put into service at the LMS Northern Counties Committee's terminus at York Road, Belfast in 1926. The pointer light route indicators used at Cardiff comprised pairs of small red and green lights, one pair for every possible route from the signal (up to a maximum of ten). These lights were all extinguished when the associated shunting signal displayed a 'stop' aspect. When the signal was cleared, all the red lights in the route indicator were illuminated, except for the one that corresponded in position to the route that was set. In that position, the green light would be illuminated instead [6.30].


To follow

Adjacent boxes

Cardiff East signalbox, 627yds from Cardiff West

On the South Wales main line

Newtown West box , 687yards from Cardiff East and Cardiff West was 676yds from Canton Sidings box.

On the Riverside branch

Cardiff West worked to Riverside North 924yds away

On the Penarth line

Cardiff West worked to Penarth Curve East ?yds away on the goods lines only, and to Penarth Curve South 489yds away on the main lines.