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Barnham Parish Council

The 1911 Signal Box

The 1911 Signal Box


In 2009, sufficient funds had been raised to move the obsolete signal box 1.8miles to its new home at Aldingbourne playing fields where it would be restored by volunteers for community use.  The move involved lifting the five tonne structure by crane and taking it by road on a large lorry.  The journey took 3 hours with approximately 100 telephone lines crossing the road being moved one at a time.


The following information is taken from the Network Rail Media Centre website:


  • It was built in 1911 by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR).
  • It had 75 levers to control points and signals.
  • The signal levers formed part of a fully mechanical signalling system which were linked via pulleys, wheels and long lengths of steel wires to signals along the track.
  • The signallers had to compensate for variations in temperature, especially in the summer, by turning large steel wheels which took up or let out the slack in the steel signal wires as they expanded or contracted.
  • Points were connected to steel tubular rods which were controlled via levers in the signal box.
  • An ingenious system developed in Victorian times used a series of metal bars to make sure levers could only be pulled in a certain sequence.  This was one of the first reliable methods of preventing train accidents.
  • Barnham signal box used to be manned by one signaller who worked a 24 hour shift.
  • The old Barnham signal box closed at the end of 2008.”

For photographs – follow this link to Flickr  where you will find many images of the Barnham Station through the ages. (Flickr is an external site where images are hosted).


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