Shepherds Lane signal box

Shepherds Lane signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was opened by British Railways the 8th March 1959 It was built to the British Railways Southern Region Type 16 design (like Herne Hill which still stands) and opened fitted with a 23 lever Westinghouse 'L' (which was a refurbished part of a 143 lever frame (frame number 93) purchased by the Southern Railway in case of war damage. It was the fourth box at this site to bear the name.

It replaced an “ARP style” WW2 replacement box, which had opened on 21/111943, with 14 (11 working, 3 spare) levers. It also displaced Brixton Junction, 1870’s, 20 levers and Canterbury Road Jc, 11/01/1914, 30 levers.

Shepherds Lane signal box was closed on 29/11/1981 when Victoria Signalling Centre took over signalling of the area.

Sheperds LAne Exterior

Sheperds Lane Exterior

The two exterior pictures of Sheperds Lane signal box by courtsey of Tony Ace who operated the signal box © Tony Ace

This was the first (going Down) new box on the Kent Coast Phase I scheme, as Victoria and Factory Jc already existed. It was the only new box on the scheme to have a new (albeit miniature) lever frame; all other new boxes were panels. (Some old mechanical boxes were also retained, with their old frames.) New coloured light signals were installed from Factory Jc to Ramsgate, as Victoria had been converted in 1939. The Catford Loop and Sheerness branch were also included in this scheme.

Possibly Shepherds Lane had the L frame as it was a small box and the bits were available, to save the cost of another panel – but why wasn’t the 1943 box modernised? Probably because it was too small to take on Brixton and Canterbury Road junctions.

Sheperds Lane with Tony Ace at the Lever Frame

Picture of Tony Ace working the lever frame picture dated 1978/79 courtsey of © Tony Ace

The frame is a Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Frame which is all electrically locked. The frame was formed of 2 x 12 way of 23 levers, {2x12}-1 = 23 levers, as the last “lever” space is unavailable. 4 of these levers worked the points, 12 signal levers operated the coloured light signals, there were 2 special detonator levers and 5 spare levers when the frame was supplied and installed. This made the working lever total of 18.

Sheperds Lane Lever frame

the SR standby frame ended up at Hither Green, Blackfriers and Shepherds Lane with the help of some additional casing parts or in the case of Shepherds Lane some specialist casing parts because this frame had one of the extra height indication panels.

Sheperds Lane Signal box diagram

Sheperds Lane Signal box diagram

Adjacent boxes

Main line west
To the west Factory Junction (1m 379yds away) was the adjacent box. Factory Junction was closed on 17/05/1980 when Victoria Signalling Centre became the adjacent box
Mainline East
To the east Herne Hill (1522yds away) was the adjacent box. until closure.
Catford Loop
Cambria Junction (1594yds away) was the adjacent box until it was replaced on 07/02/1971 by signalling controlled from Loughborough Junction box.
Brixton Spur
Loughborough Jc (1542yds away) until closure.