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British signalling of the past (UK, excepting Northern Ireland)

Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby scarpa » Sat May 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Would anyone have box diagram of Canning Town to show on forum?
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Webb » Sat May 20, 2017 1:07 pm

There were North and South boxes until after WW2; it was the North box that was retained and renamed Canning Town after the South box closed. There is a 1914 map in "Branch Lines around North Woolwich" by the Middleton Press, published 2001, but no diagram.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun May 21, 2017 10:17 am

scarpa wrote:Would anyone have box diagram of Canning Town to show on forum?

Indeed!

Here we are: https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=1155

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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Webb » Sun May 21, 2017 1:10 pm

John Hinson wrote:
scarpa wrote:Would anyone have box diagram of Canning Town to show on forum?

Indeed!

Here we are: https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=1155

John

The large number of spare levers in 1956 probably results from the fact that at one time there were 6 lines open north of the station, presumably in connection with the bay platform on the down (East) side instituted in 1895 for the Victoria Park services (withdrawn 1942). Interestingly the goods depot at Canning Town was operated by the L&NWR rather than the GER.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby JRB » Sun May 21, 2017 9:20 pm

Any connection to the PLA railway?
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby lemmo » Mon May 22, 2017 12:37 am

Thanks for the diagram, fascinating part of London this.

Any connection to the PLA railway?

I believe the PLA connection was at the next box down, Thames Wharf Jn, although the junction itself was closer to Tidal Wharf station. Thames Wharf Jn must have been a fascinating box, controlling traffic from the PLA lines from Royal Victoria Dock, along with the GE and Midland depots at Thames Wharf and the GE depot at Blackwall, and the Silvertown Tramway. Would love to see a diagram of that.

I wonder why Canning Town was given such an elaborate track and signalling arrangement, given that the depot is quite small. The terminating platform for the Victoria Park services did not provide that much more complexity. But it appears from the 1890s OS maps that you could access the yard via double junctions in both directions, therefore I assume that most movements in the yard were signalled.

There were North and South boxes until after WW2; it was the North box that was retained and renamed Canning Town after the South box closed.

So did Thames Wharf Jn take over the domain of Canning Town South when it closed?
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Webb » Mon May 22, 2017 8:36 am

I confirm that it was Thames Wharf Junction that was the main connection to the PLA system. There were also connections further east where the original 1855 deviation running on the surface passed through the docks. (Replaced by the 1876 tunnel under the link between the Victoria and Royal Albert docks for the GER services.) Also a modest amount of connection on the Gallions branch, although this line seems to have served the dockers and occasional passenger liners rather than as a freight route.

Looking at the maps in the Middleton Press book, it seems that the main use of the South box at Canning Town was controlling the access to the GER coal/goods depot south of the Barking Road and the Blackwall Goods Depot on the west side of Barking Creek. The latter closed 1967 and the coal/goods depot 1968. It is likely that Thames Wharf Junction took these connections over, but I don't have positive proof from my sources.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby lemmo » Wed May 24, 2017 11:11 am

South box and Thames Wharf Jn were pretty close, so it seems likely that South controlled traffic to/from the yards, but hard to tell just looking at OS maps.

John's diagram for the North box is 1956, and indicates Thames Wharf Jn as the next box down. So had South box already closed by this point and, presumably, Thames Wharf Jn expanded?
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Webb » Wed May 24, 2017 12:09 pm

lemmo wrote:South box and Thames Wharf Jn were pretty close, so it seems likely that South controlled traffic to/from the yards, but hard to tell just looking at OS maps.

John's diagram for the North box is 1956, and indicates Thames Wharf Jn as the next box down. So had South box already closed by this point and, presumably, Thames Wharf Jn expanded?

The Middleton Press book does not give the date the South Box closed, other than "after WW2". I assume it's given by the SRS directory, but I don't yet have a copy of that.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby scarpa » Fri May 26, 2017 6:00 pm

Did the south box receive severe bomb damage? Many years ago talking to a Jack Reeves S&T staff King s Cross he said a signalman was killed in an air raid at Canning Town and his body was never found.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Webb » Fri May 26, 2017 7:40 pm

scarpa wrote:Did the south box receive severe bomb damage? Many years ago talking to a Jack Reeves S&T staff King s Cross he said a signalman was killed in an air raid at Canning Town and his body was never found.

Neither of my printed sources give more info than what I've already given above. Another potential source, the "Britain From Above" website is currently undergoing revamping and one cannot zoom into the photos to check when the box was visible and when it wasn't - the distant views suggest it had gone by 1951. There certainly was a lot of bomb damage in that area, as some of the post-war photos show.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat May 27, 2017 4:08 am

The South box closed in July 1939, two months before the first German air raid.

The North box suffered air raid damage in September 1940 but was repaired. The damage cannot have been severe as a wooden box on a gantry would be very vulnerable.

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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby scarpa » Tue May 30, 2017 9:02 am

Correction! It was not Canning Town but Custom House Station where tragically a signalman was blown to smithereens.
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby lemmo » Tue May 30, 2017 10:56 am

The South box closed in July 1939...


Thanks John. So was Thames Wharf Jn enlarged at this point, to take over the duties of Canning Town South?
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Re: Signalbox diagrams

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue May 30, 2017 5:34 pm

scarpa wrote:Correction! It was not Canning Town but Custom House Station where tragically a signalman was blown to smithereens.

That's interesting. I think he must have just been standing in the wrong place at the wrong timne - there was no evidence of significant damage or repairs to the 1894 signalbox rightb up to its unplanned flaming demise in 1982

lemmo wrote:So was Thames Wharf Jn enlarged at this point, to take over the duties of Canning Town South?

Indeed it was. The 66-lever frame was replaced by one of 90-levers and it was an impressive looking box.

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