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GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Soho and Winson Green: gwrswg751

View of Soho & Winson Green Station with its three platforms looking towards Wolverhampton in 1956

View of Soho & Winson Green Station with its three platforms looking towards Wolverhampton in 1956. The main lines are on the right, relief lines in the centre and the lines on the left are the down goods line and on the far left the pilot line. The station was originally opened in May 1893 as just Soho Station. In December 1909 the lines between the west end of Soho Station and Handsworth Junction were quadrupelled and a temporary signal box was built at the west end of Soho station. The lines between Snow Hill and Hockley had already been quadrupelled in 1902, but the section through Soho Station to Hockley was only a double line.

It finally opened as a five track section on 9th June 1912 (Main lines, Relief lines plus a Down Goods line). By this time the station and signal box had been rebuilt and was renamed Soho & Winson Green Station. The passenger entrance to the station was from the overbridge (Benson Road) which can be seen in the distance. The entrance lead on to a footbridge which gave access down to all three platforms.

On the Up Relief line between the tracks in the forground can be seen a Automatic Train Control (ATC) ramp. This will be associated with the Distance semaphfore signal adjacent to the ramp. The stop signal on the bracket controls the movement to the Up Goods line which joins the Up Relief Line at a set of points roughly where the photographer is standing. The structure in the forground is probably the rear of a speed restiction indicator, as there was a 20mph speed restriction associated with movements from the Up Main to Up Relief lines at this location.

The goods yard at the west end of the station was radically altered in 1933 into a major goods depot with the addition af a four storey warehouse and at the same time a pilot line was built adjacent to the Down goods line. Special Instructions were issued rergarding this pilot line in the Sectional Appendix:

1. The pilot line runs alongside the Down Goods Line and connects Hockley Goods Yard and Soho & Winson Green Goods Yard.

2. The line is for use of the Shunters with the Shunting engine to make trips as required between the two yards.

3. At the Hockley end the line is controlled by points and signals worked from hockley north Box and nothing must be placed on it without permission from the Yard Shunters.

4. At the Soho end the line enters Soho & Winson Green Goods Yard through hand points and AN ILLUMINATEED STOP LAMP is fixed on the Hockley side of the overbridge and protecting these hand points. No movement must be made beyond this lamp without permission of the shunter or person in charge of the shunting operations in Soho & Winson Green Goods Yard.

5. The Pilot Line must not be fouled beyond the overbridge near to the Stop Lamp referred to in Clause 4 during shunting operations at Soho Yard.

6. The Shunters are responsible for working over the Pilot Line, and all movements along this line must be made at reduced speed and with complete understanding of what is required between all parties concerned.

7. An Up Siding runs alongside the Pilot Line between Soho & Winson Green Goods Yard and Soho & Winson Green Signal Box with connections worked from the Box, leading to the Up Goods Line at the latter place. This line is for convenience of Up Trains proceeding from Soho Goods Yard to the Up Goods Line without fouling the Main Line.

To facilitate shunting operations between the Pilot Line and Soho Goods Yard an Electric Horn is provided situated alongside Pilot Line and worked by press button fixed on a post near Goods Yard Sidings. This Klaxon Horn must be worked in accordance with the Standard Code of Signals for controlling shunting operations (Rule 117):
One - Go ahead
Two - Set back
Three - Stop
Four - Ease couplings

Robert Ferris