Waterloo signal box

Waterloo signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was commissioned on the 18th October 1936, as the final part of the re signalling project to modernised the the main lines to Hampton Court Junction from Waterloo. 4 aspect coloured light signalling was provided except at Waterloo station where there were some 2 and 3 aspect signals provided.

The signal box lever frame remained in use for 48 years until its operation was take over by a new NX Panel on February 5th 1984 in the same signal box. Waterloo box was closed and the entrance-exit panel was moved to a temporary box (to allow construction of Waterloo International station). The signal box closed on 30th October 1990. The signal box was demolished to make way for the Waterloo Eurostar train terminal. The panel/temp box finally closed when control of Waterloo station passed to the Wimbledon Signal Centre Wimbledon on 21st April 1991.

Waterloo signal box exterior view taken around the early 1960's.

The signal box was by far the biggest signal box structure built by the Southern Railway and a one off design. It was built almost entirely of concrete on the site of the old blacksmiths shop at the west side of the station throat. The ground floor provided the relay room, and room for the signal maintenance staff and small workshop and stores. Picture copyright © www.transport-of-delight.com, reproduced by kind permission of Transport of Delight owner John Bradhshaw.

Waterloo signal box exterior view taken 11th August 1987.

Pictured above shows Waterloo signal box on the 11th August 1987. Reproduced by kind permission of © David A Ingham

North Kent East signal box around 1960, with its Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co. Ltd miniature power lever frame

The frame is a Westinghouse Style 'L' Power Frame which is all electrically locked. The frame was divided into three sections containing 75, 159 and 75 levers each. The 1st & 3rd Frames of 75 levers comprised of 5 x 12 way section and 2 x 8 way sections, and the 2nd Frame was formed of 12 x 12 way sections and 2 x 8 way sections. This made a the total at 309 levers. the last “lever” space is unavailable. on each frame. 77 levers worked the points, 203 levers operated the coloured light signals, there were 2 special levers and a total of 27 spare levers across all the frames when supplied and installed. This made the working lever total of 282.

Robin Thorne was a train booking clerk (boy) in 1945-48

Waterloo interior 1955

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 and receiving boxes are fitted on top of the frame box. Each frame controlled a different section, Main Lines, Local Lines and the Windsor Lines.

Waterloo signal box lever frame and interior 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing the centre section or lever frame 2 with its 159 levers. In addition is one of the three train booking desks, notice the tea pot on the desk!
Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo signal box lever frame 2 closeup 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing a close up of the second 159 lever frame, this is the only section that had two diagrams over the lever frame. The indicators behind the levers, the 4 glass roundels showed the signal aspect, being Red, Yellow, Green & 2nd Yellow reading from bottom to top. The other 2 disc indicators show points N or R for normal or reverse, on Shunt Signals ON or OFF.
Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo signal box. An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing lever frame 1. Vauhall side of the signal box

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing lever frame 1 with 75 levers. This frame is situated on the Vauhall side of the signal box. Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo signal box. An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing lever frame 3 - Waterloo station side of the signal box .

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing lever frame 3 with 75 levers - This section was located on the Waterloo station side of the signal box . Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo signal box. An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing a closeup of lever frame 3

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing a close up of 75 lever frame 3
Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo 1st signal frame from the Times newspaper collection

From The Times newspaper 'Archive' dated October 20th 2009, Caption reads, High Tech signalling comes to Waterloo. The interior of the new all-electric signal box at Waterloo statio in 1936. Its creation marked the last stage of the southern Railway's track and signalling improvement scheme between Waterloo and Surbiton in Surrey

Waterloo signal box SGE Train describer and lever frame closeup 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing a close up of the SGE train describer sending units, the white label is the train description, the last train sent 'Red' light is on the left of the train description label, and the silver coloured transmitting button is on the right of the white label. I think this is a publicity picture before complete commissioning as most of the glass indicators behind the levers are not lit. Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo signal box lever frame closeup 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 As the lever description plate says, this is the Advance starter signal levers for platform No.10 & 11. LEvers 173, 174, 175 for Platform 10. Levers 176, 177, 178 for platform 11. 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.
I think this is a publicity picture before commissioning as most of the glass indicators behind the levers are not lit.
Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection.

Waterloo signal box Telephone concentrator closeup 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing the telephone concentrator which contained the individual signal and point telephones for the signalman. Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection

Waterloo signal box track diagram LH end closeup 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing the left hand side of the track diagram above shows the approach through Vauhall station. The track emerging at the bottom was tracks to Waterloo Necropolis station where all the funeral trains departed from to Brookwood cemetery. Top right of the diagram above one can see the 'ladder' crossover on the station approach which was famous for its multiple double slip points. The right hand side of the track diagram connects to the left of the track diagram below. Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection.

Waterloo signal box track diagram RH end closeup no.1 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

An official opening publicity photograph dated 19th October 1936 showing the Platforms at the right hand side of the track diagram, platform 1 is on the bottom right with the platform numbers rising to platform 21 on the top right. The signal box is located in the middle at the top of the picture. The track emerging at the bottom left was the tracks to Waterloo Necropolis station where all the funeral trains departed from to Brookwood cemetery. Above Waterloo Necropolis is the two refuse sidings used by electric suburban trains. Picture is from Mark Adlington's collection.

Waterloo signal box track diagram RH end closeup no.2 19th October 1936 publicity photograph

Diagrams

Attached is Southern Railway signal instruction 36 notice and signal instruction 36 track diagram this can be downloaded in PDF format, this covers the opening of Waterloo signal box. These diagram(s) are taken from the web site of the Signalling Record Society Research Note37. These images are copyright of the Signalling Record Society, and reproduced by permission.

Adjacent boxes

When Waterloo box opened Loco Junction box (1m 1689yds away) was the adjacent box.
Loco Junction box closed on 16 June 1974
then
Queens Road (2m 988yds away) became the adjacent box.
Queens Road box was closed on 25th May 1990 and Waterloo Signalling Centre (located at Wimbledon) became the adjacent box. This lasted until Waterloo panel box was closed on 21st April 1991.