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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Queens Head Yard: gwrqhy1966

Another view showing the spartan interior of Queens Head Signal Box, with the telephone equipment on the back wall

Another view showing the spartan interior of Queens Head Signal Box, with the telephone equipment on the back wall above the Signalman’s cupboard. Queens Head Signal Box opened on 19th December 1909. The Signal Box utilised a spare secondhand timber cabin from Burrows Siding in South Wales. The Burrows Siding Signal Box was a Great Western Railway standard type 27c Signal Box, which had been built in 1905 to house a forty-one lever frame, but by 1909 the trackwork layout there demanded a ninety lever frame and it was decided to build a new larger signal box. The cast nameplate for Queens Head Signal Box was ordered on 26th October 1909 (Order No264).

Queens Head Signal Box saw almost sixty years of service being manned until March 1967. It was officially closed on 17th September 1972, but the Signal Box had actually been dismantled before it was officially closed with the structure being completely removed from site in the early Summer of 1972.

In the Appendix to the relevant Service Time Tables (STT) dated March 1921 and March 1929 were the following instructions relating to Queens Head Signal Box:

Local Engine Whistles for Queens Head Box:
Up loop to Main or Relief - Two crows
Up Sidings to Main or Relief - Two crows, one long
Down Sidings to Down Relief - One long, two crows
Up Goods having traffic off at Hockley Yard - One crow
Birmingham Corporation Siding at Queens Head:
This Siding is connected with the Up Shunting Spur at the South end of Queens Head Yard by means of Hand Points, and must be worked under the following regulations:
The points are secured by a padlock, and, when not in use, must be kept padlocked in their normal position for the straight road. The key to the padlock must be kept in Queens Head Signal Box, and when it is necessary to shunt wagons into or out of the siding the shunter must obtain the key from the Signal Box, and when the work is completed secure the points in their normal position and return the key to the Signal Box. Wagons left in the siding must be secured inside the swing block, and the latter must be locked across the rail and the key kept with the key of the points.
During the time the keys are out of the Signal Box the Signalman must not lower the signal for any shunting to be done between Queens Head Yard and the Shunting Spur.
The times at which the keys are taken from and returned to the Signal Box must be entered in the Train Register, and the entries initialled by the Signalman and Shunter.
The Siding must only be shunted during daylight (P6174).
Up Goods Loop Handsworth Station to Queens Head:
All trains must be stopped dead before entering this loop.

With the Birmingham Corporation ‘Destructor’ Siding removed in March 1934 and the other trackwork at Queens Head rationalised, the next STT appendix issued (dated April 1953) contained no specific local instructions for Queens Head.

Robert Ferris