View of Rugby Loco Cabin which controlled access to the shed from the spur off the line to Market Harborough. The brickwork looks clean although as Robert Hendry noted. 'the brick looks quite recent but the wood already looks poor.'
Robert Hendry, noted railway author and historian, writes, 'Rugby Loco Cabin was probably at least 18 levers given the point rodding. I understand its purpose was to provide connections from the Stamford to the loco yard line, but if you look on a scale plan these would be outside the permitted distance to work points manually from Rugby No 1 Signal Cabin, so a box would be needed. I would imagine that once the points could be worked electrically it became redundant. I do not have access to my files at present but I have an idea that to begin with bidirectional running lines were retained, and that what later became the outbound Stamford (up and down are confusing at this end of Rugby) had been the inbound Stamford at first, and the outbound Stamford became the loco road, which eventually fed into the Stamford line just short of the platform at Clifton Mill station.
In 1964 we had the odd situation that the Stamford line was electrified as far as Clifton Mill, so locos could run from the up side to Clifton Mill and then via the flyover to the downside to avoid conflicts on the level. If they thought it was worth doing that my guess is that steam age loco moves were made that way, and if you could get to the shed from Rugby No 1 Signal Cabin, and from Clifton Mill too, when on earth did you need Rugby Loco Cabin for? As I say, I am going here on memory of what dad said, which it turn was probably based on what Frank Renshaw told him, and I do not have most of my files available. I therefore cannot guarantee it, but it fits with fragments that I think I recall hearing. I would imagine that the tiny Rugby No 6 Signal Cabin, which went in the 1930s, was also because of the distance rules for working points..'
Stephen Weston, of the LNWR Society & Parliamentary Trains, adds, 'From around early 1890, a number of signal cabins came from Crewe Works, not painted, but treated with Carbinoleum, a term covering a number of oils distilled from Coal Tar between 230 and 400 degrees Celsius, a principle constituent being Anthracene Oil. It was applied hot at between 65 to 94 degrees Celsius. As with everything new, no one was quite sure what to do with these cabins once they had got them. The carbinoleumed cabins began to look a bit 'tatty' after 18 months to 2 years (the normal period for repainting ordinary cabins was 3 years) Memos of April 1896 and April 1897 stated that they should be re-varnished. A memo of June 1898 reckoned that painting rather than re-varnishing, would be the way to go. It was found, however, that paint would not grip onto the carbinoleumed woodwork, so painting over a layer of varnish was tried. Thus cabinoleumed cabins were ultimately painted standard cabin colours. (abridged from Richard Foster's LNWR Signalling)'