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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Solihull Station: gwrs2622

A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Solihull Signal Box thought to date from early 1952

A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Solihull Signal Box thought to date from early 1952 produced courtesy of the Signalling Record Society (S.R.S.). Details of how to purchase their full resolution content is available here. Solihull Signal Box opened on 9th July 1933. The Signal Box was a standard Great Western Railway brick built design with a slate hipped roof and stovepipe chimney (type 10). An additional basement floor was required to bring the locking room floor up to the level of the track. The operating floor (2nd floor) was forty feet, nine inches long and thirteen feet wide with the characteristic three up two down window panes. It housed seventy-four levers in a vertical tappet locking frame at four inch centres. When built there were eight spare levers, but in May 1947, the single compound was removed from the up main crossover resulting in levers 19, 20, 22 and 23 becoming spare (These levers controlled both the switch and associated signalling). In May 1948, the Facing point locking bar from switch 25 was removed and replacement track circuit locking added (This resulted in lever 24 becoming spare). Lever 36 also became spare and it is thought that this was associated with the Facing point locking bar for switch 35 and that track circuit locking was added to replace this about the same time. In February 1951 the moveable elbows in the down main were taken out of use. Facing point locking bars from switches 43 and 56 were replaced by track circuit locking resulting in levers 44, 47 and 51 becoming spare.

Solihull Signal Box opening hours for a selection of years were:

Service Time Table Monday Opened Sunday Opened Sunday Closed
Summer 1938 5:00 a.m.   11:00 p.m.
Summer 1939 5:00 a.m.
8:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m.
Winter 1945 5:00 a.m.   10:00 p.m.

As part of the quadrupling the signal boxes at Solihull and Acocks Green controlled the entire section between these two signal boxes with semi-automatic signalling, which allowed the Olton signal box to be completely removed. Extensive track circuit indication was provided using trickle-charged D.C. resistance-fed track circuits and these controlled motor driven semaphore signals of the two aspect conventional type through lever locks and circuit controllers attached to the levers in the mechanical locking frames.

The two signal boxes were been provided with illuminated diagrams of the spot-light type with two small red lights for each track circuit indicating its occupation. The signal aspects are repeated in the signal box, and in accordance with the practice first introduced on the Great Western Railway, were interlinked with the block instruments so that the ‘line clear’ indication cannot be displayed unless the distant and home signals exhibit their normal aspect, the starting signals cannot be moved to indicate ‘clear’ until ‘line clear’ has been indicated for the train concerned. Additionally should a signal be replaced automatically through the track circuit, it cannot be put to ‘clear’ until its lever in the locking frame has been put to normal and again reversed.

Robert Ferris