THE SIGNAL BOX
This near-perfect example of a wooden-post North Eastern Railway signal clearly shows the origins of signals where the arm slotted completely within the post when in the "off" position - the timber post is broader at that point so as to fully encompass the arm.
The arm itself is pivoted in the slot inside the post, but the spectacle is mounted outside.
In later years, the arm would have worked like any other lower quadrant, but originally it would have been completely concealed within the post when showing "clear". Place your mouse near the signal arm in this picture to see how this would have looked.
More information about Burton
Lane will be found in the Photo Gallery.
Photograph by John Hinson
Many later North Eastern signals were mounted on lattice posts, and naturally more of these have survived into recent years.
As with the wooden-post signal above, the arm is pivoted within the post.
This signal, at Leyburn, is one of a number of lower quadrants that
remained in use on the branch from Northallerton to Redmire which survived for
freight use. More details about this location will be found in the
Photo Gallery pages.
Photograph by John H Lillford, 2003
Although at first glance, this appears to be a signal, it is not provided to give information to drivers. This "signal" is for the benefit of signalmen. Positioned around 200 yards from the box, it acts as a guide to the density of fog - if it becomes invisible, then fog workling must be introduced.
Most signal boxes will have a specific signal defined as their "Fog Marking Point" or, more frequently, the assessment of the visibility is left to the judgement of the signalman.
This example, at Barton Hill, is
one of a couple of survivors that are thought to date back to the days of the
North Eastern Railway.
Additional notes by Mike Elliot
About the photographs
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Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson