Clapham Junction 'B' signal box

Clapham Junction "B" signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was opened by British Railways on 12th October 1952. It was built to the British Railways Southern Region Type 15 design and opened fitted with a 103 lever Westinghouse 'L' frame

It replaced the following former LBSCR boxes, Clapham Junction "B", opened in 1910 fitted with a 90 lever frame; Clapham Junction "C", opened in 1892 fitted with a 38 lever frame; New Wandsworth, opened in 1895 fitted with a 50 lever frame; and Pouparts Junction, opened in 1895 fitted with a 35 lever frame.

Clapham Junction "B" was closed on 28th November 1980 after 28 years service when the signalling in the area was taken over by Victoria Signalling Centre. The Westinghouse frame was removed and box was used as an office.

Clapham Junction station is a complicated affair with 12 parallel running roads, with 8 going to Waterloo, and 4 going to Victoria. Clapham Junction 'A' controlled the Waterloo lines with Clapham Junction 'B' controlling the Victoria lines. Going away from London the Waterloo tracks split with 4 continuing on the main line via Wimbledon, Surbiton, Woking and beyond, whilst the other 4 tracks became the local lines via Barnes and onwards Chiswick, Feltham and eventually Reading. There were also 52 sidings at the station and well as several connecting tracks to and from other Regions via Olympia.

News 2012

Research in 2012 has revealed that the National Railway Meseum at York request that the lever frame once decommissied should be sent to them for display and use.

Bryan Hymas of the bluebell railway sent me the following informatio.

On Wednesday 13th May the Bluebell Railway took into their possesion the NRM parts of Clapham B frame. NRM believe they only received a part of the 103 lever frame and can only assume the rest went for scrap, the paperwork is a bit vague

Bryan Hymas met with Cyril Barnes who's signature was on the disposal documents for the Clapham B frame to NRM. (dated 4/11/80) Unfortunately he could not remember what happened but guessed that only a part was sent to the NRM and the rest went as scrap. The letter states "the precise number of levers required by the NRM cannot be identified until the frame is taken out of service on 16/11/80" not sure why that would be but does suggest that the full frame would not be required.

The ex Clapham Junction B fame components are scheduled to be install at the Bluebell Railway to handle the East Grinstead extension.

News 2014

Frame now installed in Kingscote signal box on the Bluebell Railway

Clapham Junction B signal box taken arond 1951/2, just before opening with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, adjacent is the old mechinical Clapham Junction B signal box which it eventually replaced.

Another photograph again taken at the same time as the photo above showing the new signalbox before being brought into use as the nameplate is covered up. The old signalbox is just visible behind the new signalbox. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd Clapham Junction B

A more general view of the rear of the new signal box before commissioning alongside the old mechanical Clapham Junction 'B' signalbox and its immediate surrounding area including sidings. Photo is taken from Pigs Hill sidings. Photo by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Clapham Junction B old mechinical lever frame in the old signal box - interior view

This picture is of the inside of the old Clapham Junction 'B' signalbox, opened in 1910 and fitted with a 90 lever frame. It is included as it is of historical interest, though it does not really belong to the power frame era. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Clapham Junction B signal box taken arond 1952, just after commisioning with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, notice the old mechinical signal box has been removed.

This picture is taken shortly after commissioning, certainly within the first year of operation, notice that the old Clapham Junction mechanical signalbox has now disappeared. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Clapham Junction B signal box taken arond 1952, just after commisioning with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, notice the old mechinical signal box has been removed. Picture taken from Piggs Hill sidings.

Picture above is the rear of the signalbox looking from Pigs Hill sidings which clearly shows the rearwards extension of the relay room and facilities for staff. Photo by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Clapham Junction B signal box taken arond 1952, just after commisioning with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, notice the old mechinical signal box has been removed. Picture shows a more general view from Piggs Hill sidings.

A more general view of the signal box and its immediate surrounding area including sidings. Photo again taken from Pigs Hill sidings Photo by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

SR Signalling Project Track diagram

Attached is the 4 page document called 'Brighton Line Re-signaling, Southern Region' orignally published by the Railway Magazine in December 1952. This is available in a PDF file format for further study by pressing the link above.

Clapham Junction B after closure in the 1980's with the Gatwick Express passing with the down Victoria to Gatwick train.

Pictured above is a 1980's picture of Clapham Junction B signalbox, which was by then closed and converted to a Permanent Way mess room. Passing the closed signalbox is the class 73 electric forming the down 'Gatwick Express' service that runs every half hour between Victoria & Gatwick Airport.

Clapham Junction B signal box internior taken in 1950's, with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, notice the train describers and block instruments. London end view

The Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd 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 train describers sending boxes are fitted on top of the frame box whilst the receiving train describer units are housed next to signalling diagrams. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

The frame is a Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Frame which is all electrically locked. The frame was formed of 8 x 12 way and 1 x 8 way section which making a total of 103 levers, {8x12}+8}-1 = 103 levers, as the last “lever” space is unavailable. 25 of these levers worked the points, 65 signal levers operated the coloured light signals, there were two special levers and 11 spare levers when the frame was supplied and installed. This made the working lever total of 92.

Clapham Junction B signal box internior taken in 1950's, with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, notice the train describers and block instruments. Country end view

Emergency bell plungers are provided next to adjacent signal boxes, again mounted on the block shelf. Telephone concentrators are provided at each end of the frame at 45 degrees. The desk for train recording is situated in the immediate front area. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Clapham Junction B signal box internior taken in 1970's, with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame, notice the train describers and block instruments. With Tony Williams one of the relief signalman

The gentleman in the colour interior photo of Clapham B is Tony Williams a relief signalman that Graham Floyd had known for many years, Tony, now passed away also worked the A & C boxes. The lever frame was fitted with "F" lights on the signals, this became lit when the lever was normal, all points in the route correctly detected and all relevant track circuits clear. You could pull the lever at any time provided that the locking was correct but the signal would not clear unless the "F" light was lit before the lever was pulled. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd. Clapham Junction B closeup of the Westinghouse lever frame and track diagram taken in 1952

The signalbox track plan in detail is shown here, the two railway lines at the top centre of the drawing, plus Pig Hill sidings line are the tracks leading to Latchmere Junction, Olympia and beyond. The 4 tracks leading Battersea Park and Victoria station leave middle left of the drawing. with the 2 tracks leading to Longhedge Junction leave just before the Victoria lines at 45 degrees downwards at the left hand end.

The 4 railway tracks on the right lead to Balham, Streatham, East Croydon and eventually Brighton and the south coast. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

An interesting comparison with the original drawing above can be made by scrolling back and forwards between the two drawings, the only obvious point is that the old goods yard at the left hand end of the drawing have gone. Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Clapham Junction B

An unusual view of the lever frame looking along the lever from the high end lever numbers to low end numbers at the far end.

One can see the telephone concentrator unit for the signal post telephones. In the middle distance the block bells can be seen and in the immediate foreground above the lever frame indicator panel the Train describer units can be seen

Clapham B was nicknamed "two lever junction" because all the signals on the through lines and all but two signals on the local lines were Semi automatics the two that were controlled protected the junction to the West London Line, the down one was lever 25 but I'm not sure about the up one. So this means that during the day when Clapham B was double manned each man had one lever to regularly work!

Clapham Junction B

An unusual picture in signalbox terms, this is the interior of the modern facilities provided for the signalmen, in today's {2005} terms it seems rather basic, but one has to remember that the new style signalboxes were centrally heated, and these facilities seemed a luxury compared to the mechanical signalbox facilities.
Picture above by kind permission of © Graham Floyd

Diagrams

Attached is British Railways signal instruction No2 of 1952 notice and signal instruction No2 of 1952 track diagram1 and signal instruction No2 of 1952 track diagram2 and signal instruction No2 of 1952 track diagram3 this can be downloaded in PDF format, this covers the opening of Clapham Junction 'B' Balham & Streatham Junction signal boxes. 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

London Victoria to Victoria (up and down Thro and Local Lines) Northbound and Southbound
Battersea Park Junction box, 1m 599yds to the North was the adjacent box, and Balham box 2m 641yds to the South, was the other adjacent box. Battersea Park Junction box was closed on 07/10/1979 when Victoria Central box (2m 509yds away) became the adjacent box.

Clapham Junction "B" to Latchmere Junction ( up and down West London Extension line )
Adjacent box was Latchmere Junction box (949yds away). Latchmere Junction box was closed on 24/04/1983 and Victoria Signalling Centre (located at Clapham Junction) became the adjacent box.

Clapham Junction "B" to Longhedge Junction line (up and down branch line)
Longhedge Junction box, 0m 1684yds away, was the adjacent box until it was closed on 23/07/1978 and Stewarts Lane box (1m 586yds away) became the adjacent box. Stewarts Lane box was closed on 17/05/1980 when Victoria Signalling Centre took over the signalling at Stewarts Lane.

Connection between Central and Western Sections
There was a transfer line at Clapham Junction station between the Central and Western Sections controlled by both Clapham Junction A. and Clapham Junction "B" boxes.