CROWCOMBE HEATHFIELD SIGNAL BOX
When the West Somerset Railway was re-opened in stages, the old signal box at Crowcombe had long been demolished and with the planned re-instatement of the passing loop, a replacement needed to be found. Very fortunately, the old box at Ebbw Vale Sidings (South) that had been in use as an office, became available and was brought to Crowcombe on a low loader.
The old original site was excavated, a new concrete base and rear wall constructed and a new brick locking room professionally built. The wooden operating room from Ebbw Vale was craned on top and the lever frame which had been acquired from Frome (North) installed. The resulting signal box was commissioned in May, 1994, and after track re laying in the loop, trains again passed each other at Crowcombe
Preparing the box at Ebbw vale; removing the roof slates
Loading the box onto a low-loader
The box Operating room being craned onto a bogie flat wagon from its temporary resting place on the old loading bank.
Cl 14 about to couple up to the bogie flat wagon with the box loaded on.
Another view of the box now on the bogie flat wagon ready for moving to the up platform prior to lifting to its new home.
Cl 14 carefully bringing the flat wagon with box on top into the lift position in the up platform.
Meanwhile, work had been carrying on in building a new concrete base and brick locking room.
Almost the start of this part of the project; the site of the old box has been excavated and old bricks recovered.
The new box would require a new concrete base and rear retaining wall before the brick locking room could be professionaly built. This required lots of concrete!
View of the new concrete base and preparing for the retaining wall.
This picture shows the new locking room being professionally built.
The huge crane, (needed for the reach across the tracks and platform), lifting the Operating Room onto the newly built base, Autumn 1990.
Base construction is complete and the Operating Room has been craned into place. Things are beginning to take shape but there is a long way to go.
As well as the box itself, the signals had to be fabricated and installed before signal wires and point rodding could be connected. The Great Western Society (Taunton) Group were a tower of strength and took on the former task. Here, David Hartland is welding the bracket that will become the Down platform starting signal.
Having made a concrete post for the bracket signal, it had to be erected. Much engineering thought went into this and it was back to basic principles, ("give me a fulcrum and I can move the world"), and hard labour! Among those visible appear to be Stewart Trott and Derry Thompson doing a lot of pushing with David Hartland supervising.
Now the frame is in place and the levers and treadplates have been installed. Interior painting is also taking place.
The interior of the box showing the Operating Room; the box is 'switched out'.
The Track Diagram for Crowcombe Heathfield Signal Box.
Over the weekend of Aug. 5-6th., the method of single-line control known as staff-and-ticket working was changed to Electric Key Token working after a long period of cable laying. Here, Signalman Richard Derry and DMU driver Alan Meade exchange the last tickets for working the WN-CH and CH-BL sections on the evening of Friday 4/8/06.
After the previous picture, it only remained for the last train of the day which happened to be hauled by 25 173 "John F.Kennedy", to exchange the staffs for the last time. Signalman Richard Derry and Second Man Steven Taylor do the business.
The staffs for the WN-CH and CH-BL sections were taken out of use on 5-8-2006 and the Electric Key Token machines were installed and brought into use. Here, we see the new machines in CH signalbox with the WN-CH red tokens and the CH-BL yellow tokens.