THE SIGNAL BOX

PHOTO GALLERY

Portpatrick & Wigtownshire Joint Railway

STRANRAER STATION

Opened: -?-

Closed: 1969

Location code: Sc66/16

Stranraer Station box
Photograph 22/7/38, by Dr J W F Scrimgeour

The area around Stranraer was once quite complex - the main station of Stranraer was not the Harbour station as it is now, but the Town station on the main line on towards Portpatrick. But the use of the term "main line" does not imply large facilities, for things here here were fairly modest.

The opening date for this box has not been established, but it probably dates from the 1870s. As with Challoch Junction, the architectural design has not been positively identified but it may represent early work by McKenzie & Holland. The brick base is whitewashed.

Interior of Stranraer Station
Photograph 5/58, from collection of Dr J W F Scrimgeour

A more general view taken some twenty years later shows the box to look a little less unloved. Looking east towards Stranraer Harbour Junction, the double line worked by Tyers' two-position block can be seen.

Behind the photographer, the line to Portpatrick was single and had been worked by wooden train staff but was closed in February 1950.

The signal dominating the photograph is a fine example of Scottish signalling excess - there was never any real reason for a signal of this size to be provided for set-back movements from the Down platform. The top arm reads through the crossover to the Up line whilst the lower arm takes you wrong direction along the Down line into the carriage sidings. Both arms were worked by lever 10 and selected by the point detection; in addition the lower arm was slotted by the ground frame at the carriage sidings.

The station remained in use as a terminus until 1966, and the box survived a little longer managing the remaining freight traffic, finally closing on 9th November 1969.

All photographs copyright © John Hinson unless otherwise stated