Hither Green signal box

Hither Green signal box was opened by South East Railway on the 30th April 1905 when the line was quadrupled, and was a standard SER clapboard wooden structure, with a full size frame of (probably) 45 levers, in the front of box.

The layout was slightly simplified with the abolition of the Up Through Loop on 15th August 1937.

The signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was installed in 1946 with its 23 levers, in the back of box. It was part of L93, not a new frame from WBSCo.

Outside there were only two colour light signals, the Down Homes from Parks Bridge Jc dating from 1929. (This box was the main line fringe to the 1929 scheme.) Unique (I think!) among the Southern L frame boxes, all the other signals were motor semaphores, converted either before or with introduction of the power frame. The 3 points were motor worked.

Hither Green was closed on the 4th February 1962 and was replaced by Hither Green panel box as part of the Kent coast Phase II scheme.. The Hither Green power signalling scheme displaced 3 mechanical signalboxes on the 4th February 1962

Why was the power frame provided?.

The box was not war damaged, nor was there a change in control area or layout. At a guess it was because the mechanical frame was worn out after 40 years’ use; not unreasonable as since 1929 this was the first traditional box out of London on the SE main line, and handled almost as much traffic as some of the 1920’s cls boxes further in. (St Johns and Parks Bridge Jc had full size frames, but only dated from 1929 and only ever worked cls.) The Dartford Loop turns off here, so there is less traffic southwards to HG Station B, Sidings A, B and C, and so on. Quite likely there were enough bits of L93 to do the job, and a power frame was seen as a good idea at this location.

The frame is a Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Frame which is all electrically locked. The frame was formed of 2 x 12 way which making a total of {2x12}-1 = 23 levers, as the last “lever” space is unavailable. 3 of these levers worked the points, 16 signal levers operated the signals, and 4 spare levers when the frame was supplied and installed.

Hither Green A interior

Here we have a good interior view of the lever frame and a partial view of the diagram.
The Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd lever frame, with its indicators behind the levers. It is interesting to note that there are very few 4 glass roundalls, as the box only conlrolled two 4 aspect colourd light signals, the rest of the signal being semaphores.. Looking at the picture above we only have one coloured light indicator visable. I would love to know what selection of roundels was provided for the semaphores, but I don’t! I would guess at R/G except the distance with Y/G.
Picture above by kind permission of Peter Ball, © Peter Ball. Larger picture availiable by double clicking picture

Diagrams

Hither Greene Station A diagramDiagram above by kind permission of Signal record society © Signal record society
Larger diagram availiable by double clicking diagram.

Adjacent boxes

Main line to the north west :
Parks Bridge Junction (1427yds away), to the south-east was Hither Green Station "B" (383yds away)

Main line to the south :
Hither Green Station "B" (383yds away)
Link to picture of Hither Green Station "B" exterior
Link to Picture of Hither Green Station "B" interior

Dartford Loop Line :
Lee Junction was 652yds away

There were no changes throughout the period that the signal box was in operation.