The Branch Line Society

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Calder Valley Signal Box Visits
Thursday 3rd May 2018

Report by Ken Lowe


Seven Society signalling specialists assembled at Britannia St Car Park, Bradford at 10.00. Local Operations Manager Derek King took us to Mill Lane Junction Signal Box, originally opened Fri 7 Nov 1884. It is a Railway Signal Company (RSCo) build for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) and originally had a 56-lever RSCo frame. This was removed and replaced with a BR NER (British Railways North Eastern Region) Individual Function Switch (IFS) panel to control the area on Sun 30 Mar 1969. There was a temporary line closure from Sat 25 Oct to Sun 2 Nov 2008 for resignalling and track remodelling. The box has a wooden top on a brick base. Derek and the duty signaller provided much interesting information about the signalling.


Bradford Mill Lane Jn (near Bradford Exchange showing the rather complex station pointwork) with a keen signal box fan bottom left.
[© Nick Jones 2018]


Leaving 11.00 the former Halifax East box was reached at 11.30. Opened in 1884 it was renamed just 'Halifax' on Sun 10 Mar 1969. This was also a RSCo build for the L&YR, again a wooden top on a brick base on the Down side. The original 54-lever RSCo frame was extended to 56 levers in 1888 and then replaced by a new L&YR 70-lever frame in 1892. This in turn was superseded by a BR ER (Eastern Region) IFS panel commissioned Sun 30 Mar 1969. After another good visit the party left at midday.


Halifax (was Halifax east) box looking north towards Bradford with some of the replacement new signalling in place. The remaining island platform is right.
[© Nick Jones 2018]




Interior.
[© Nick Jones 2018]


Next at 12.30 was Milner Royd Junction; one of the earliest built (1874) surviving operational boxes on NR. It is a Yardley & Smith Type 2 brick built box, on the Down side, originally with a 20-lever Yardley & Smith frame. In 1903 this was replaced by a second hand RSCo Liverpool built, 20-lever tappet frame with 18 RSCo and two L&YR levers. All were replaced, at an unknown date, during the late LMS or early BR days, with L&Y RSCo pattern levers. There are nine working levers, seven spare and four spaces.


Milner Royd Junction
[© Nick Jones 2018]




More signal box fans. What can we say? Well it's certainly a nice picture of the signal box!
[© Nick Jones 2018]


The fourth box, the Grade 2 listed Hebden Bridge (originally 'East') with a wooden top on a brick base on the Up side was reached at 13.00. Opened in 1891 it was built by the L&YR as was its original 36-lever frame (later extended to 38). When visited there were 13 working levers, 15 spare with 10 spaces. Thanks to LOM Derek King, Bethanie Hayton, Chris Gee for the arrangements, our member Barney Clark and to all the signallers. A £150 donation was made to Barnardo's as a 'thank you'. All four boxes are scheduled to close in Oct 2018 as part of the Calder Valley resignalling.


Hebden Bridge interior.
[© Nick Jones 2018]




Hebden Bridge
[© Nick Jones 2018]




Hebden Bridge.
[© Nick Jones 2018]

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