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Author Topic: Railway Signal Box Air Raid Precautions  (Read 406 times)

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Offline CommanderChuff

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Railway Signal Box Air Raid Precautions
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 21:29:03 »
It is very annoying to think that one has an inkling of everything which is important and to find something completely new. And so it was that I found out a new bit of railway lineside structure which was demanded by the looming war.  This text is from the pill-boxes website.

Were there any ARP signal boxes on Kent? and if so are there any left?

ARP Signal Box by David Ingham
In the late 1930s as threat of war with Germany grew so did the general anticipation that if war came it would involve an aerial bombing campaign. The railway companies were faced with the prospect of keeping vital buildings, such as signal boxes, operational, despite the threat of damage from such bombing.
The traditional signal box design evolved in the latter half of the 19th century. Generally they comprised of two sections, the operating floor and the locking room. The operating floor is where the signalman works controlling the levers that operate the points and signals, and is located above the locking room in order to give the signalman a good view of the area he controls. The locking room is where the equipment to prevent the signalman operating the points and levers in an incorrect or conflicting sequence is located. Signal boxes control the operation of points and signals at various locations where different routes converge and divide, where sidings join the main line, or to break lines into signalled sections to enable a higher frequency of train movements. Although some companies built signal boxes of all brick the majority of signal boxes in use in the 1930s were of wooden construction, either totally or with a wooden superstructure on a brick base. This meant a huge number of signal boxes were susceptible to damage from an aerial bombing campaign, either from a direct hit or more likely from blast damage.

The Southern Railway ARP signal box design was similar to a new signal box design they had introduced in the latter half of the 1930s but featured square, instead of rounded, corners to the structure, and a more substantial roof but with no overhang. Some were fitted with wooden window frames, but others were fitted with a mix of metal and wooden frames. Around 30 ARP design signal boxes were built between 1940 and 1949. Of these Chiswick, built in 1944, was derelict built still standing in 1997, and Gomshall, built in 1941, was derelict built still standing in 1998. The last operational example was closed in September 1990 at Point Pleasant Junction (at Wandsworth), where it had been built around the original structure in 1940 which was then removed.
ARP Signal Box Point Pleasant Junction Wandsworth
Royal Navy, Aircraft Engineer, Project Manager, Yachtsman, Eroica Cyclist,  Railway Modeller


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