Facebook Page
GWR Single Line Sections
GWR Crest Great Western Railway
Single-Line Sections
and their methods of working
GwR Crest
Key to Methods of Working Index to Lines List of Sections

This page gives details of single-line block sections on West Country lines of the former Great Western Railway and British Railways (Western Region). For details of other West Country railway lines please see the Register of Single-Line Sections page. For general information about the block working of single-line sections please read the Introduction to Single-Line Block Working page.

This page was updated last on 06 March 2014. Further information will be added as it becomes available. Lines are listed geographically from north-east to south-west, and their individual sections are listed in line order. There is an alphabetical Index to Lines for quick access.

Chris Osment 2002

Key to GWR Methods of Working

C2 Table C2 Working see Note OES One Engine in Steam (train staff)
EKT Electric Key Token OTW One Train Working (train staff) see Note
ETS Electric Train Staff TST Train Staff & Ticket
ETT Electric Train Tablet (Tyer's No 7?) USC Under Signalman's (or Shunter's) Control see Note
NS 'No Staff' Block YARD Yard Working
NSKT No Signalman Key Token


C2/USC. During the 1960s onwards a number of goods-only lines previously worked by OES were placed under the control of a nominated person (usually a signalman or shunter) and the train staff was abolished. Later these lines were listed in a new Table C2 in the Sectional Appendix and thereafter the method of working was described simply as "Table C2".

OTW. Originally this was simply OES described by another name after the demise of steam locomotion and the term is used on this page for any later sections specifically listed as OTW in BR records. More recently again it has been adopted to indicate one train working without a train staff, but it is not used in that context here.

Index to GWR  Lines

Abbotsbury Cheddar Valley Looe Portishead
Ashburton Clevedon Lyng Princetown
Barnstaple Drinnick Mill Kingsbridge Radstock
Blagdon Exe Valley Kingswear Royal Albert Bridge
Bodmin Falmouth Minehead St Ives
Bridport Fowey Moretonhampstead Teign Valley
Brixham Helston Newquay Tiverton
Camerton Hemyock Perranporth Yealmpton
Chard Launceston Portland Yeovil

Great Western Railway Sections
From To Method Config Notes

Portishead Branch

Ashton Junction Portishead OTW Sq Blue + B? key From 1965?
Clifton Bridge Pill ETS?   Until 1929
EKT   Long section 1929-32 Note 14
Oakwood EKT   Short section 1929-60
Portishead ETS   Long Section 1932-65 Note 14
Oakwood Pill EKT   Short section 1929-60
Pill Portbury Shipyard EKT C Short section 1918-64
Portishead ETS   Until 1918
  Long section 1918-?post-1924
EKT   Long section ?post-1924-32
Note 14
Portbury Shipyard Portishead EKT D Short section 1918-64

Clevedon Branch

Yatton (West) Clevedon TST Sq Red Until 1904
ETS   1904-1917
OES Round
+ Key (no config nib) from 1917
Blagdon Branch
Congresbury Blagdon OES    
Cheddar Valley line (including East Somerset line)
Yatton West Sandford & Banwell ETS   1896-1901
Congresbury ETS   1901-?
EKT A by 1948-64
Congresbury Sandford & Banwell ETS   1901-?
EKT D? by 1950-64
Sandford & Banwell Axbridge ETS   1896-?
EKT   by 1948-64
Axbridge Cheddar ETS   1896-?
EKT   by 1950-64
Cheddar Lodge Hill ETS   1896-1952
Wookey ETS   1952-54
Wells Tucker Street EKT A 1954-65
Cranmore OTW?   1965-68?
Whitham OTW?   1968-69?
Lodge Hill Wookey ETS   1896-1952
Wookey Wells Tucker Street ETS   1896-1954
Wells Tucker Street Wells 'A' NS - ?1896-1955
Wells East Somerset EKT   1955-65?
Wells 'A' Wells East Somerset NS - ?1896-1955
Wells East Somerset Shepton Mallet ETS   1896-?
EKT D by 1948-1965?
Shepton Mallet Cranmore ETS   1896-?
EKT   ?-1965?
Cranmore Witham ETS   1896-?
EKT B ?-1968?
OTW?   ?1968-?
Camerton Branch
Limpley Stoke (North)
Note 6
Dunkerton ETT   1910-25 Note 7
Camerton ETT?   1925-27
TST   1927-31?
OES Square ?1931-51 Note 5
Dunkerton Dunkerton Colliery ETT   Note 7
Dunkerton Colliery Camerton ETT   Note 7
Camerton Hallatrow OES Sq Red 1882-?
TST   ?1909-10
ETT   1910-32
Radstock Branch (North Somerset line)
North Somerset Jcn Pensford TST Sq Red by 1882-89
Contractor's Siding TST Rnd Blue 1889-92
Contractor's Siding Pensford TST Sq Red 1889-92
Marsh Junction Pensford TST Sq Red 1892-?
ETS   by 1898
Radstock West OES Sq Blue +'B' EKT key, from 1964? Note 40
Pensford Radstock TST Triangular Blue  
Hallatrow TST Rnd White ?1882-?
Clutton TST Rnd White ?1890-1911
ETS   ?-1911
Pensford & Bromley Colliery Sidings ETS   Short section 1911-60
Clutton ETT   Long section 1911-circa-1932
EKT C (Long section) circa-1932-1964
Pensford & Bromley Colliery Sidings Clutton ETS   Short section 1911-60
Clutton Hallatrow TST Sq Green ?1890-?
ETS   ?-1955
EKT   1955-64?
Hallatrow Radstock TST Triangular Blue ?1882-?
Old Mills ETS   Short section ?-1931?
Radstock North ETS   Long section ?-1931?
EKT B circa-1932-64?
Old Mills Radstock North ETS   Short section ?-1931?
Radstock Mells Road TST Square  doubled 1880
Mells Road  Note 13 Frome Mineral Jcn TST Rnd White  
Frome West ETS   Note 12
Frome South EKT D? Note 12
Frome North EKT D Until 1966
OES Rnd Red +'D' EKT key, 1966-68?
NSKT D? ?1968 onwards
Yeovil Branch
 Yeovil Pen Mill Yeovil Town EKT D 1937-67?
Hendford  Worked as Siding? 1967-68?
Yeovil Pen Mill South Yeovil Town East  ETS   ?-1916
Yeovil Town ETS   1916-?
EKT   ?-1937
Yeovil Town East Yeovil Town West  NS   ?-1916
Yeovil Town Hendford  ETS   1916-65?
Worked as Siding? 1965-67?
Yeovil Town West Hendford  ETS?   ?-1916
Hendford Montacute  ETS?   1908-64 Short section
Martock ETS   ?-1964 Long section
Montacute Martock ETS?   1908-64 Short section
Martock Langport West ETS    
EKT   ?-1964
Bridport Branch
Maiden Newton Bridport ETS   1894?-1965
OES Rnd Red 1965-75
Bridport West Bay ETS   1894?-1927
OES Rnd Green 1927-?
Abbotsbury Branch
Upwey Junction Abbotsbury OES Sq Red 1885-1952
Upwey Goods OES   1952-61 Note 39
Portland Branch       Note 26
Weymouth Portland EKT   1957-65
Weymouth Junction Note 24 Portland OES   Until 1878
TST  Sq Red 1878-1901
Rodwell ETS   1901-circa 1919
EKT   c.1919-54 Short section Note 25
Portland Goods Jcn EKT   1931-35 Long section Note 25
Portland EKT   1935-57 Long section Note 25
Rodwell  Note 27 Portland ETS   1901-1905
Portland Goods Jcn ETS   1905-16
Portland Siding     1916-19
Portland Goods Jcn     1919-by 1931
EKT   by 1931-35 Short section  Note 25
Portland EKT   1935-54 Short section Note 25
Portland Siding Portland Goods Jcn     1916-19
Portland Goods Jcn Portland Station Double track 1905-1935
Portland Easton OES   1900-02
Portland Temporary Siding   1902-05
Portland Temporary Easton ETS   1902-05
Portland Station ETS   1905-35
Portland EKT   1935-55
OES  Round + EKT key 1955-65 Note 35
Lyng line
Athelney Durston Junction ETS    
Chard Branch
Creech Junction Chard TST Round red 1866-87/90
Ilminster TST Round red 1887/90-circa 1908
Hatch  Note 43 TST Triangular blue Short section circa 1908-12?
ETS   Short section 1912?-1956
Ilminster TST Round red Long section circa 1908-12?
ETT A Long section 1912?-28? Picture


Long section 1928?-56
1956-64 Note 45
Hatch Ilminster TST Hexagonal green Short section circa 1908-12?
ETS   Short section 1912?-56
Ilminster Chard  Note 44 TST Square white 1887/90-1912?
ETS A 1912?-64 Note 45
Chard  Note 44 Chard Junction see L&SWR Single-Line Sections
Minehead Branch
Silk Mill Crossing Note 11 Williton EKT D 1970-71
Norton Fitzwarren Junction Crowcombe ETS   1898-1906
Bishops Lydeard ETS   1906-32
EKT D 1932-36 (doubled)
Bishops Lydeard Crowcombe ETS   1906-34
EKT B 1934-67
Williton EKT D 1967-70
Crowcombe Williton ETS   1898-1933
EKT D 1933-67 Long section
Leigh Bridge EKT A 1933-64 Short section
Leigh Bridge Williton EKT B 1933-64 Short section
Williton Watchet ETS   1896-1926
Washford EKT C 1926-52 Long section
Kentsford EKT A 1933-64 Short section Note 10
Blue Anchor EKT A 1964-71
Watchet Washford ETS   1898-1926
Kentsford Washford EKT D 1933-52 Short section Note 10
Blue Anchor EKT   1952-64
Washford Dunster ETS   1898-1904
Blue Anchor ETS   1904-34
EKT A 1934-52
Blue Anchor Dunster ETS   1904-26
Minehead EKT A 1926-34 Note 8
Dunster EKT B? 1934-71
Dunster Minehead ETS   1898-1926 Note 8
Minehead (Main Line) Note 9 OES Sq Blue  + 'B' key 1966-71
Minhead (Bay Line) Note 9 OES Rnd Red + 'A' key 1966-71
Barnstaple Branch
Norton Fitzwarren Junction Milverton EKT A Doubled 1936
Milverton Wiveliscombe EKT C  
Wiveliscombe Venn Cross EKT A  
Venn Cross Morebath EKT D? Until 1963
Morebath Junction EKT D? 1963-64
Dulverton EKT D 1964-66
East Anstey EKT B From July 1966
Morebath Morebath Junction EKT B? Until 1963
Morebath Junction Dulverton EKT A Until 1964
Dulverton East Anstey EKT B Until July 1966
East Anstey Bishops Nympton & Molland EKT C Note 42
Bishops Nympton & Molland South Molton EKT D Note 42
South Molton Filleigh EKT A Until 1964
Swimbridge EKT?   From 1964
Filleigh Swimbridge EKT B Until 1964
Swimbridge Barnstaple East Loop EKT C Note 1
Barnstaple (Victoria Road) EKT C Note 2
Barnstaple Junction 'A' EKT   From 1960
Barnstaple East Loop Barnstaple (Victoria Road) TST Red Note 1
Barnstaple South Loop TST White Note 1
Barnstaple (Victoria Road) Barnstaple South Loop TST Yellow Note 3
Barnstaple Junction 'A' TST Red Note 2
Barnstaple South Loop Barnstaple Junction 'A' TST Blue Note 1
Exe Valley Branch
Morebath Junction Bampton TST Triangular Green 1884-1907
ETS   1907-57
EKT C 1957-63
Bampton Tiverton North TST Sq Red 1884-1907
ETS   1907-12
Tiverton ETS   1912-53
EKT D 1953-63
Tiverton South Cadeleigh TST Oblong Blue 1885-1907
ETS   1907-12
Tiverton ETS A 1912-56
EKT A? 1956-63
Cadeleigh Thorverton TST Rnd Yellow 1885-1907
ETS   1907-48?
EKT B 1948?-63
Thorverton Stoke Canon Junction TST Triangular White 1885-1907
ETS C 1907-? Note 15
EKT C ? Note 15
USC ?-1966 Note 15
Tiverton Branch
Tiverton Junction Tiverton North TST Rnd Blue 1884?-1912
Tiverton TST Rnd Blue 1912-32
EKT C 1932-65?
USC 1965?-67 Note 16
Hemyock Branch
Tiverton Junction Hemyock OES Sq Grn Note 36
Note 23  
Teign Valley line
City Basin Junction Christow ETS   1903-16
Longdown ETS A 1916-58
Longdown Christow ETS B 1916-58
Christow Heathfield ETS   1903-11
Trusham ETS C 1911-58
Heathfield OES   1958-61
Teign House Heathfield OES Rnd Green 1882-1903 Note 17
Trusham Heathfield ETS   1911-43
EKT   1943-58
OES   1961-65 Note 18
Moretonhampstead Branch
Newton Abbot East Bovey TST Sq Red 1889-92
Heathfield TST Sq Red 1892-1901
ETS   1901-11
ETT   1911-26 Long section
ETS   1926-43
EKT   1943-65
USC   1965 onwards
Newton Abbot Goods Yard ETS   1911-26 Short section
Newton Abbot Goods Yard Heathfield ETS   1911-26
Short section
Heathfield Bovey TST Note 19 1892-1901
ETS   1901-52
EKT   1952-59
Moretonhampstead OES   1959-65
Bovey OES   1965-66
USC   1966-70
Bovey Moretonhampstead TST Rnd Blue 1889-1892
Rnd Green 1892-1901
ETS   1901-45
EKT   1945-59
Kingswear line
Paignton South Churston     Until 1928
Goodrington Churston EKT B ?1928-1968
Kingswear OTW   1968-72
Churston Kingswear      
EKT A ?-1968
Brixham Branch
Churston Brixham OES   by 1884-99
ETS   1899-1923
EKT   1923-58
OES Note 38 1958-63
Ashburton Branch
Totnes Buckfastleigh TST Sq Red Note 37
OES Sq Red  
Buckfastleigh Ashburton TST Rnd Blue  
OES Rnd Blue  
Kingsbridge Branch
Brent Gara Bridge ETS    
Gara Bridge Kingsbridge ETS    
Launceston Branch
Marsh Mills Bickleigh ETS   Until 1955
EKT C 1955 onwards
Bickleigh Yelverton ETS    
Yelverton Horrabridge      
Horrabridge Tavistock      
Tavistock Lydford ETS C Note 4
Lydford Lifton ETS B Note 4
Lifton Launceston EKT A  
Princetown Branch
Yelverton Dousland Barn ETS    
Dousland Barn Princetown ETS D  
Yealmpton Branch
Plymstock Brixton Road ETS?   Until 1918
Yealmpton ETS   1918-31
OES Sq Black 1931-41
EKT   1941-7
OES   1947-60?
Brixton Road Yealmpton ETS?   Until 1918
Royal Albert Bridge
Royal Albert Bridge Saltash     Until 1902
ETS   1902-?
ETT   ?1907-?
EKT A by 1919-1961
Note 41   1961 onwards
Looe Branch
Liskeard Branch Coombe Junction ETT   1901 - ?
EKT   ? - 1964
Liskeard (main line box) EKT D? 1964-81
NSKT B 1981 onwards
Coombe Junction Looe ETT   1901 - ?
EKT C ? - 1964
OES Rnd Red + 'A' key 1964 onwards
Moorswater OES   1901 - 1921
YARD   1921 onwards
Bodmin Branch
Bodmin Road Bodmin General ETS   ?-1950
EKT A 1950-67 Note 29
Worked as Siding 1967-?
Bodmin General Boscarne Junction ETS B ?-1964 Note 28
EKT B 1964-67 Note 29
Worked as Siding 1967-?
Fowey Branch
Lostwithiel Carne Point     Until 1954?
Fowey EKT   ?1954-68
Carne Point NSKT?   post-1968?
Carne Point Fowey     Until 1954?
Fowey Pinnock Tunnel     Until 1958
Par Bridge Crossing EKT D From 1958
Pinnock Tunnel Par Bridge Crossing     Until 1958
Par Bridge Crossing St Blazey   C  
Newquay Branch
St Blazey St Blazey Bridge Crossing EKT B  
Goonbarrow Junction EKT A From 1973
St Blazey Bridge Crossing Luxulyan ETS   Until 1914
EKT A 1914-64
Goonbarrow Junction EKT A 1964-73
Luxulyan Goonbarrow Junction EKT D Until 1964
Bugle Roche EKT C  
Roche Tregoss EKT A  
Goonbarrow Junction St Dennis Junction EKT C  
St Dennis Junction St Columb Road EKT D Until 1965
Newquay EKT D 1965-87
NSKT D? 1987 onwards
St Columb Road Tolcarn Junction EKT C Until 1964
Newquay EKT C 1964-65
Tolcarn Junction Newquay ? ? Until 1946 Note 30
Drinnick Mill line   (Cornwall Junction line)   Note 32   Note 33
Burngullow (West) Drinnick Mill TST   by 1883-1903/5
ETS   by 1905-1909
High Street ETS   1909-1917/18
OES   by 1918-21
New Carpella Siding OES   1921-22
Drinnick Mill ETS   1922-53
EKT A 1953-66
Parkandillack Siding   1966 onwards
Carpella Drinnick Mill     1909-10
Parkandillack     1910-12
Drinnick Mill     1914-?
Pilotman   by 1919-22
Drinnick Mill Little Treviscoe TST   by 1883-1887/97
St Dennis Junction TST   by 1897-1903/5
ETS   by 1905-1910/11
Drinnick Mill ceased to be a block post during the period 1910/11-13
Kernick  ETS   1913-50
St Dennis Junction ETS   1950-61
EKT B 1961-65 Note 34
Parkandillack OES   1965-66 Note 34
Little Treviscoe St Dennis Junction TST   by 1883-1887/97
Kernick Parkandillack  ETS   1913-22
St Dennis Junction     1922-50
Parkandillack St Dennis Junction  ETS   1910-22
Perranporth Branch
Chacewater Note 31 St Agnes ETS C 1924-63
Blackwater Jcn North Perranporth ETS   1903-09
St Agnes ETS   1909-24 Note 22
St Agnes Perranporth ETS A 1909-63 Note 22
Perranporth Tolcarn Junction ETS   1903-05 Note 20
Shepherds ETS   1905-?
EKT C ?-1963
Shepherds Tolcarn Jcn ETS   1905-?
EKT D ?-1963 Note 21
Falmouth Branch
Penwithers Junction Perranwell ETS   Until 1955?
EKT B ?1955-66
Penryn EKT C 1966-71
Perranwell Penryn ETS   Until 1962
EKT C 1962-66
Penryn Falmouth ETS    
EKT D ? - 1966
NSKT D? 1966-71
Truro Falmouth NSKT C From 1971
Helston Branch
Gwinear Road West Helston OES Rnd Black 1887-1908?
Nancegollan Loop ETS   1908-37
Nancegollan ETS   1937-64
Nancegollan Loop Helston ETS   1908-37
Nancegollan ETS D 1937-64
St Ives Branch
St Erth St Ives ETS?    
OES Rnd Red  


Summer section only, abolished 12-June-1960
2 Winter section only, abolished 12-June-1960
3 Summer section only, abolished 12-June-1960 and line converted to siding
4 Lydford was spelt Lidford on the staffs
5 Staff was varnished wood (no trace of colour) with Annetts key (no configuration nib) in BR(WR) days - see picture. The line closed on 15-Feb-1951, but there was very occasional use for some while afterwards and it is not known if the staff remained in use during that time.
6 Limpley Stoke North SB reduced to GF in 1927 and block section control passed to former South box
7 Dunkerton and Dunkerton Colliery SBs closed during the Great War and it is unclear if one or both re-opened afterwards for a short period, so the status of the sections is not known.
8 Dunster SB closed 1926. New SB opened 1934 and line from Dunster to Minehead doubled.
9 Minehead SB closed 1966 and double-track to Dunster converted to two independent single lines.
10 'Switching-out' facility removed from Kentsford SB in 1952 upon closure of Washford SB.


In 1970 the line between Norton Fitzwarren Junction and Bishops Lydeard was singled, both SBs were closed and thereafter the junction for the branch was further east at Silk Mill Crossing.
12 It is believed that the change from ETS to EKT may have taken place when Frome West ceased to be a block-post in 1933.
13 Mells Road SB opened 1910 to replace separate North and South boxes
14 From 1932 onwards Oakwood, Pill and Portbury Shipyard all closed together for long section working from Clifton Bridge to Portishead only.
15 One source suggests that ETS was replaced by EKT in 1954, but another source records the section as still ETS in 1961, and it is rumoured to have remained as ETS until closure of Thorverton signal-box in 1964. It was recorded as USC by June 1966.
16 USC by June 1966
17 Supplemented by Block Telegraph 1882-1893, staff configuration details uncertain pre-1893
18 In 1965 line cut back to Crockham Siding and worked OES initially, then (by June 1966) as 'Table C2' working by person-in-charge at Heathfield until final closure in 1968
19 1894 Working Time Table says semi-circular blue staff, but 1898 WTT says hexagonal blue staff
20 The Tolcarn Junction to Shepherds section of the line used part of the route of the earlier Treamble Branch, which subsequently diverged at Shepherds
21 The Perranporth line closed 4-Feb-1963, but a short section from Tolcarn Jcn to Trevemper Siding remained in use until 28-Oct-1963
22 St Agnes was probably upgraded to a block post in 1909, but certainly by 1914
23 USC by June 1966, C2 by Sep 1969
24 Named Portland Junction until 1899
25 Short/Long section working after switching-out facilities added at Rodwell in 1931, until Rodwell closed in 1954.
26 References to 'Portland' signal-box pre-1905 are for the old station, those for 1935 onwards are for the new station.
27 When the first signal-box opened at Rodwell in 1892 it was an intermediate block post, but not a staff station.
28 Bodmin General was marked as Bodmin Town on the staffs
29 Bodmin Road - Bodmin General converted to EKT on 28 Dec 1950. Bodmin General - Boscarne Junction converted to EKT 4 Nov 1964.
30 Line from Tolcarn Junction to Newquay doubled in 1946
31 In 1924 Blackwater Junction North and East signal-boxes were closed and the branch from St Agnes continued eastwards as an independent single line to Chacewater
32 Details for this line are complicated by the break at Carpella during 1909-22. Some block posts existed at places without signal-boxes at some times. 'Best efforts' have been made to provide a comprehensive record, but only the post-1950 details are known with some certainty.
33 From 26 Aug 1912 onwards the block section south of St Dennis Junction started at St Dennis Junction GF
34 By Apr 1965 St Dennis Junction GF to Parkandillack was closed temporarily until further notice and EKT working suspended
35 Staff was round, metal with key-token end. Key had both 'A' and 'D' configuration notches (reason unknown).
36 At some stage the staff seems to have been a metal Annetts key with 'T' handle (based on surviving relic).
37 There was an intermediate block post at Staverton, but it was not a staff station.
38 Photographic evidence (surviving relic) shows a red, wooden staff (apparently octagonal) with a 'C' Annetts key at one end and a 'C' EKT key at the other end. 
39 The branch closed to all traffic beyond Upwey on 1-Dec-1952. Upwey Jcn was renamed Upwey & Broadwey, whilst Upwey became Upwey Goods. Although OES working was retained, it is possible that it was downgraded to 'siding' status prior to final closure on 31-Dec-1961.
40 This staff was a rather crude item made from an old Hallatrow - Radstock West key token sandwiched between two pieces of wood - see picture.
41 Listed as "Track Circuit and Interlocking Lever", believed to be a form of "Direction Lever" system. Normal BR(WR) double-line block instruments were provided also.
42 Although a 'D' configuration token 'East Anstey - South Molton' has been sighted at auction, it is believed never to have been implemented as Bishop's Nympton & Molland signal-box remained in use until the line closed in 1966.
43 The intermediate SB at Thornfalcon (opened as Thorne 1892, renamed 1902, closed 1912) was not a staff post, so has not been listed. Hatch SB opened 1892, but did not become a staff post until circa-1908.
44 Chard SB opened 1892, renamed Chard North 1896, renamed Chard circa-1917/23, renamed Chard Central 1950.
45 Passenger services ceased in 1962. It is believed that block working methods remained unchanged until Ilminster and Chard SBs closed in 1964.

Signal Arm Interested in Railway Signalling?
Then why not join the Signalling Record Society?
Key to Methods of Working Index to Lines List of Sections Facebook Page