The 8D Association



A study of the signal boxes from Warrington to Mickle Trafford.

A look at the varied boxes along the line with many differing designs from the early LNWR & GWR Joint boxes to the Air Raid Precaution boxes of the Second World War to the BR era.

Warrington No2.

The first box located here at the north end of the platform in between the up fast and slow lines was opened by August 1879 but was short lived being abolished in 1882. This coincided with the opening of a second box which was an LNWR type 4 initially equipped with an LNWR 31 lever tumbler frame this frame was replaced in 1894 with a 37 lever frame which in turn was replaces in 1912 with an LNWR 52 lever tappet frame. In 1925 the type 4 was abolished and replaced with an LNWR type 5 wooden top on a brick base the box was equipped with an LNWR 82 lever tappet frame. The type 5 was abolished on 17th September 1972 with the opening of Warrington PSB.


The LNWR type 5 box at the north end of Warrington Bank Quay station.
21st June 1966.
H C Casserley.


Warington Power Signal Box.

Officially opened on 3rd September 1972 this BR LMR PSB was responsible for the closure of many mechanical signal boxes ranging from Parkside and boxes at Winwick in the north through to Acton Grange box to the south. The box has 4 NX panels with 3 in use at any one time and one spare. The box is a wooden top on a brick built relay room originally with a flat roof but this was altered in the 1980's to a hipped roof. The box remains open today.


The power signal box viewed from the road entrance during 1977.
Photo by Dave Hughes


The power signal box, in its original form, seen from Bank Quay station during 1977.
Photo by Dave Hughes


The power signal box in its re-built form, with hipped roofs, from Bank Quay station on 
12 January 2014.
Photo by Robert Callaghan


Warrington No1.

As with No2 box the first at this location was opened in August 1879 but would be abolished in January 1882. The second box to open here in 1882 was an LNWR type 4 initially equipped with an LNWR 34 lever frame until 1892 when it was extended to 52 levers. The box was abolished in 1912 with the opening of an LNWR type 5 wooden top on a brick base equipped with an LNWR 105 lever tappet frame. This box too was abolished on 17th September 1972 with the opening of the nearby PSB.


With the driver posing for the camera Black 5 4-6-0 No 44686 is admired by a spotter at Warrington Bank Quay station. Warrington No1 signal box can be seen in the background.
28th August 1961.
Photo by Harry Arnold MBE/Waterway Images.
 


The impressive No1 box at the south end of the station. To the right of the signal gantry in the background the construction of the new PSB is almost complete. Along with this and the arrival of the stanchions No1's days are numbered.
Around 1972.
Photographer unknown.
From the David Ingham collection.
To view more of David's interesting and extensive Flickr photostream click here

Walton New Junction.

The first box to open here did so in March 1893 and was an LNWR type 4 equipped with an LNWR 20 lever tumbler frame. This box was moved during 1894 inconjunction with the opening of the Ship Canal and the realignment of the main line which took place. The box survived until 16th September 1951 when an LM & SR type 11 box opened. The new box was of all wood construction and was equipped with an BR LMR 30 lever frame. This box was abolished on 2nd June 1968.


The London Midland and Scottish region type 11 box viewed from a passing train.
2nd May 1967. 
Photographer unknown.
From the Tony Graham collection.

Acton Grange Viaduct.

The viaduct at Acton Grange was constructed with the building of the Manchester Ship Canal which involved the building of two large embankments so there was sufficient clearance for ships on the canal. The box opened in July 1893 and was an LNWR type 4 wooden top mounted on steel stanchions. The box was abolished on 5th April 1940 as its position on the viaduct made it vulnerable to enemy action during the Second World War.


The LNWR type 4 box located high above the Manchester Ship Canal. 
Image from a London and North Western Railway official postcard.
 From the John Ryan collection.


A great picture showing the Viaduct box perched high above the Ship Canal taken shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.
August 1939.
Photographer unknown.
From the David Ingham collection.
To view more of David's interesting and extensive Flickr photostream click here

Acton Grange Junction.

The box at this location was opened on 5th April 1940 and was the direct replacement for the Viaduct box it was an LM & SR ARP type 13 solid brick built with a thick concrete flat roof. The box was equipped  with an REC 40 lever frame. This box too closed on 17th September 1972 with the opening of Warrington PSB.

Daresbury.

The first box at this location was open by 1880 and was abolished in 1893 with the opening of a new one. The second was an LNWR type 4 equipped with an LNWR 20 lever tumbler frame. This box was abolished on 9th December 1956 with the opening of a BR LMR type 15 box wooden top on a brick base equipped with a BR LMR 25 lever frame. This box was abolished in conjunction with the Warrington PSB opening on 3rd September 1972. Interestingly Daresbury with the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal Daresbury became a junction. The original course of the line would have been the right hand line seen in the photograph below but with the construction of the Acton Grange high level crossing the original line was severed where it met the new canal. For many years these two long sidings were used as refuge sidings and were marked so on the box diagram. By the 1970's they had fallen out of use and been lifted but one set of points still remained in 1972 although out of use by this time.


The LM15 box during demolition. The original course of the line can still be seen diverging off to the right.
Date unknown.
Photo by David Lennon.
To view more of David's interesting and extensive photostream click here

Norton.

The first box to open here was opened in 1870 and was an LNWR and GWR Joint type 1 box of all brick construction. The initial frame size and type is not known but from 1920 it was reequipped with an LNWR 10 lever tumbler frame. The box was abolished on 3rd September 1972 with the opening of a BR LMR type 15 all wooden construction box. This new box which was the fringe box from the Warrington PSB was equipped with a BR LMR 10 lever frame. It was refurbished in July 2005 with u-pvc windows and had the overhang of the roof at the front of the box cut back flush with the windows. The box remains open today.


The LNWR & GWR Joint type 1 box with a healthy stock of coal available.
Date unknown.
Photo by David Lennon.



Old and new boxes side by side.
Date unknown.
Photo by David Lennon.
To view more of David's interesting and extensive Flickr photostream click here




The box at Norton seen before refurbishment some remedial work has been carried out with the box losing one of the locking room windows.
5th July 1989.
Both photo's by David Ingham.
To view more of David's excellent and extensive Flickr photostream click here


The refurbished box with its cut back roof viewed from the platform of Runcorn East station.
22nd June 2013.
Photo by Robert Callaghan.

Halton.

The first box here was open by 1880 and was an LNWR type 4 no details of the frame size or type are available. This box was abolished during July 1898 with the opening of a second LNWR type 4 box. The second box was equipped with an LNWR 40 lever tumbler frame and would be abolished on 2nd July 1967.


Frodsham Junction.

The first box located here was opened on 25th November 1872 the type of box is unknown but it was equipped with a 20 lever frame. This box would be abolished during June 1893 with the opening of an LNWR type 4 all brick construction box which was equipped with an LNWR  32 lever tumbler frame. The box was abolished during June 1913 with the opening of the present LNWR type 5 wooden top on a brick base. This new box was equipped with the 32 lever tumbler frame from the type 4 which it replaced. The box was refurbished in March 2006 and remains open today.


Frodsham Junction box viewed from the west the line in the foreground is the ex Birkenhead Joint with the lines to the rear forming the Halton curve through to Runcorn.
Date unknown.
Photo by David Lennon.
To view more of David's interesting and extensive Flickr photostream click here


The box viewed from the east side the box has since undergone a refurbishment.
10th August 1987.
Photo by Harry Gardner.
To view more of Harry's interesting Flickr photostream click here


A shot of the rear of the box which also shows due to its elevated position the excellent views afforded to the signalmen who work here.
5th July 1989.
Photo by David Ingham.


The box viewed from the main line with the Halton branch running to the rear.
5th July 1989.
Photo by David Ingham.
To view more of David's excellent and interesting Flickr photosteam click here

Frodsham Bridge.

No details are available for this box.

Frodsham Station.

The first box at this location was open by 1880 and was a Saxby and Farmer brick built box. It was abolished during January 1893 with the opening of an LNWR type 4 wooden top an a brick base box it was equipped with an LNWR 25 lever tumbler frame. The box would be abolished on 28th July 1968.


The LNWR 1893 type 4 at the end of the station platform.
1960.
Photographer unknown.
From the Tony Graham collection.

Godscroft.

Opened in July 1891 the box is described as an LNWR Hut it was equipped with an LNWR 4 lever tumbler frame. This box was only open on Saturdays during the summer timetable only due to the increase in traffic bound for the North Wales coast. The signal arms which the box controlled were removed during the winter months. The box is listed as being out of use by 27th September 1964 and formally abolished on 13th July 1965.

Helsby / Helsby Station / Helsby Junction.

The first box to open here was open by 1879 and was abolished with the opening of a new box in December 1900. The station box was an LNWR type 4 wooden top on a brick base mounted on the station platform. The box was equipped with an LNWR 45 lever tumbler frame with 38 working levers and 7 spares. The box was renamed Helsby Junction in 1970 and remains open today.


The box at Helby when it was known as Helsby station. Note the three different types of lamps on the box and the poster for the Liverpool Echo.
1960's.
Photographer unknown.
From the David Ingham collection.


The box viewed shortly after being renamed Helsby Junction. The gas lamp on the front of the box and the one which hung from the right hand side have been removed. The right hand one being replaced with a GEC fitting designed for British Railways.
1970's.
Photographer unknown.
From the David Ingham collection.


Apart from the construction of a new coal bunker and a fresh coat of paint the box remains pretty much unchanged from the 1970's view.
10th June 1985.
Photo by David Ingham.


Helsby Junction box diagram not only showing the main line and the branch to Hooton but the exchange siding which ran from the up Hooton line to the yard to the west of the station.
9th February 1988.
Photo by David Ingham.


An excellent shot of the box at night with a DMU on the branch to Hooton standing behind the box.
21st February 1989.
Photo by David Ingham.
To view more of David's excellent and extensive Flickr photostream click here


The box viewed looking east with Super Sprinter 158 755 passing through with a north wales coast service.
1993.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


The box at Helsby viewed from platform 1 probably one of the most well kept boxes on the network.
25th August 2012.
Photo by Les Fifoot.



Helsby station box since refurbishment viewed from the station footbridge.
25th August 2012.
Photo by Les Fifoot.

Dunham Hill No2.

The box at this location opened on 20th September 1942 and was an LM & SR ARP type 13 it was of all brick construction with a thick flat concrete roof. It was equipped with an Railway Executive Committee & Railway Signalling Company built 20 lever frame. The box was constructed along with No1 to serve a Royal Ordnance Factory at Dunham on the Hill. The box was abolished on 25th November 1951and was finally demolished on 9th November 2008 after standing out of use for over 50 years.


Dunham on the Hill box viewed from across the main line.
25th June 1990.
Photo by David Ingham.


The box viewed from the opposite side it does not look to have been out of use for nearly 50 years.
25th June 1990.
Photo by David Ingham.


Viewed from the same angle as the first shot after the trees had been cut back to enable the box to be demolished.
6th August 2008.
Photo by David Ingham.



The interior of the box was also of a solid construction the hole in the floor is where the lever frame would have been positioned.
6th September 2008.
Photo by David Ingham.
To view more of David's excellent and extensive Flickr photostream click here

Dunham Hill/Dunham Hill No1.

The first box to open here did so during 1873 and was an LNWR & GWR Joint type 1. From 1901 it was equipped with an LNWR tumbler frame it was abolished on 17th September 1942. The No1 box was the direct replacement and opened on 19th September 1942. It was a LM & SR ARP type 13 of all brick construction with a thick flat concrete roof equipped with an REC & RSCo built 40 lever frame. The box was abolished on 2nd September 1969.

Mickle Trafford West/Mickle Trafford.

The West box was opened during 1874 it was an LNWR & GWR Joint type 1 of all brick construction. It was equipped with a RSCo 18 lever tappet frame and was only abolished after 95 years service ion 7th September 1969. The new box named simply Mickle Trafford is a BR LMR type 15 of all wood construction with a flat roof equipped with a BR LMR standard 35 lever frame. The box has been refurbished and remains open today.


The refurbished box at Mickle Trafford the disused line in the foreground is the Birmingham Joint connection with the Cheshire Line Committee to Chester. 
14th October 2005.
Photo by Paul Wright.






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