Gloucester Road Junction signal box

Gloucester Road Junction signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was opened by British Railways on 21st March 1954 at the same time as Norwood Junction It was built to the British Railways Southern Region Type 15 design and was fitted with a 131 lever Westinghouse 'L' frame. Southern Region Resignalling of the London to Brighton Line which occurred between 1950 to 1955 which aimed to abolish all the semaphore signalling from the south end of the London Bridge scheme and also from just outside of Victoria which met at Windmill Bridge Junction (latterly known as Gloucester Road Junction) north of Croydon, and continued to Coulsdon. The objective was to removing the Sykes Lock and Block working and replacing it with track circuiting and colour light signalling. The whole scheme cost £2 million pounds and involved 11 new signalboxes having a combined total of 841 levers, replacing 32 manual signalboxes with a total of 1,515 full sized levers. It replaced the following former London, Brighton & South Coast Railway signal boxes. Norwood Fork Junction opened in 1902 fitted with a 65 lever frame, Selhurst Junction opened in 1903 fitted with a 78 lever frame, Gloucester Road Junction opened in 1903 fitted with a 54 lever frame, and Windmill Bridge Junction fitted with a 48 lever frame (numbered 1-48) and 3 slides (numbered A-C).

The box was closed on April 7th 1984 after continuous use for 30 years and was demolished in May 1986. The box was replaced by Three Bridges Signalling Centre.

Part of the Gloucester Road lever frame has been preserved at 2 locations, Kingsmere East signalbox on the Moors Valley Railway, and at Lakeside signal box on the Swanley New Barn Railway

Gloucester Road Junction Above: The 3 story signal box was created by the need to accommodate the necessary relays within the space available, the 'Odeon' style box is seen here with an apparent all round clear view of the surrounding tracks despite the use of illuminated diagrams and magazine type train describers. Photographed 17th March 1954 just a few days before it was commissioned and brought into use. BR{s} The box was usually double manned by two signalmen.

SR Signalling Project Track diagram

The map reproduced above is from the 3 page document called 'Colour Light Signaling in the Norwood Triange' orignally published by the Railway Magazine in May 1954. This is available in a PDF file format for further study by pressing the link above.

Gloucester Road Junction, Norwood Junction & East Croydon basic track diagram

The complex track layout is shown above, with Norwood Junction, Selhurst & East Croydon clearly visible. The signalbox was located at Gloucester Road Junction on the map. Picture from the Railway Magazine reproduced by kind permission of Middleton Press, from their Victoria to East Croydon book in the Southern Mainlines series published in 1987 ISBN 0906520401

Gloucester_Road_Junction_exterior_021980

BR(SR) Gloucester Road Junction signal box - c.02/1980. Picture reproduced by kind permission of © John Turner 53A Models of Hull The actual date the image was made is unknown; the indication given is based on the film processing date imprinted on the original slide.

Gloucester_Road_Junction_exterior_2_021980

BR(SR) Gloucester Road Junction signal box - c.02/1980. BR(SR) Gloucester Road Junction signal box - c.02/1980. Picture reproduced by kind permission of © John Turner 53A Models of Hull The actual date the image was made is unknown; the indication given is based on the film processing date imprinted on the original slide.

The frame is a Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Frame which is all electrically locked. The frame was formed of 11 x 12 way section which making a total of 131 levers, {11x12}-1 = 131 levers, as the last “lever” space is unavailable. 42 of these levers worked the points, 72 signal levers operated the coloured light signals, and there was one 'Release' lever and 16 spare levers when the frame was supplied and installed. This made the working lever total of 115.

Gloucester Road Junction

The Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd lever frame, with its indicators behind the levers. The train describers sending boxes are fitted on top of the frame box whilst the receiving train describer units are housed between the signalling diagrams, with the emergency block bells on top of the describers.. 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.

Gloucester Road Junction

Gloucester Road Junction was one of the most complicated post war interlocking in the pre panel era. Here we see the low end lever numbers starting at No1 lever being operated in a busy period, the rush hour! Note this end of the frame has 4 emergency block bell plungers, the next picture has 7 block bell plungers, i.e. the other end of the frame. Levers 1 onwards worked the West Croydon lines. The signalman is moving Norwood Fork junction down line points {if I have counted correctly!}

Gloucester Road Junction

Another view of the high end section of the lever frame, courtesy of Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company shows the typical intermediate period installation with one lever per function, electro mechanical interlocking and signal indications behind the levers. Emergency block bell plungers are provided to adjacent signal boxes mounted on the block shelf. The top indicator behind the signal lever is the "F" light and 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.

Gloucester_Road_Junction_interior_021980

BR(SR) Gloucester Road Junction signal box Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Lever Frame - c.02/1980. Picture reproduced by kind permission of © John Turner 53A Models of Hull The actual date the image was made is unknown; the indication given is based on the film processing date imprinted on the original slide.

Gloucester Road Junction

This is the "Local" end diagram at Gloucester Road. The layout is almost at its final version, but still retains the "Emergency Spurs" at the top of the diagram, and no crossovers between the Fast and Slow Lines at Selhurst.but it must have been towards the end! Picture above by kind permission of G Williamson.

Gloucester Road Junction

Detail photograph of 'Fork Junction' which is at the Norwood Junction end of the diagram. Selhurst train depot tracks are just visible at the top of the track diagram. Picture copyright © D Cullum, reproduced by kind permission of Middleton Press, from their Victoria to East Croydon book in the Southern Mainlines series published in 1987 ISBN 0906520401 Gloucester Road was unique it had motor worked 'bolt' lock on a set of hand points in Selhurst depot! As far as I know the only "L" frame in this country with an all blue lever! Lever 40 is shown on the re-signalling diagram as a bolt lock

Reversible Line
From the 1st June 1958, the down relief line. between Windmill Bridge junction at Gloucester Road and South Croydon was signalled as 'Reversible' line, any down train could travel over the line as before. However Up direction Oxted line trains only could now run in the UP direction. This was done to reduce the number of Up direction train movements onto the up main line, which in effect cut the two main line tracks for the duration of the movement. East Croydon had overall control of the Reversible line and its signals, East Croydon releasing the signals at both Gloucester Road Junction and South Croydon. Trains could also enter or leave the Reversible line at East Croydon if so desired.

Diagrams

Attached is British Railways signal instruction No1 of 1954 notice and signal instruction No1 of 1954 track diagram this can be downloaded in PDF format, this covers the opening of Norwood Junction, and Gloucester Road 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