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RailWest Picture
RailWest Picture
from the West Country Railway Archives

Wellow Signal Box

Interior of Wellow signal-box
Photo by Ian Scrimgeour, courtesy of Signalling Record Society

This photograph, taken in May 1957, shows the interior of the signal-box at Wellow on the former Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway. Wellow station was situated between Midford and Radstock on the northern end of the S&DJR main line from Bath to Evercreech Junction.

The signal-box contained a mechanical lever-frame with 18 levers, of which the first 15 are visible in the photograph. This frame was of the pattern of the signal contractors Stevens, with the levers positioned at 4.1/8" centres. Lever 10 was a 'push-pull' lever, so-called because it stood mid-way when normal and was either pushed or pulled to operate two separate signals. This was an economy method to reduce the number of levers and hence the cost of the frame. Each lever was fitted with a plate bearing the lever number and a description of its function. Originally these plates would have been rectangular and cast from brass, with raised numbers and letters, but those at Wellow have been replaced by a later oval pattern with painted inscriptions. The S&DJR was a 'Joint' line owned by both the Southern Railway (SR) and the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) and unusually at Wellow the signal nomenclatures were in the style of the LMS rather than the SR, who normally did the signalling work. This change in descriptions apparently took place on 23-Sep-1945 at the same time as other alterations, although the reason for the modification is unknown.

Above the lever-frame was the instrument shelf, which carried the instruments for block working and other equipment. Working from left to right, the instruments seen in the photograph are as follows:-

Higher up was a further board bearing a number of circular repeaters, which indicated whether various signals were 'on' or 'off'. Just visible above these is the bottom of the framed signal-box diagram. Click here to see a sketch (84KB) of the signal diagram for Wellow circa-1950.

Chris Osment 2002