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Electric/electronic boxes- When?


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The grey boxes outside signal boxes and scattered along the railway- when did they start to appear? Even the historic railways have them now, so it is hard to tell just when they came into use.

 

Thank you all.

 

Steve

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The grey boxes outside signal boxes and scattered along the railway- when did they start to appear? Even the historic railways have them now, so it is hard to tell just when they came into use.

 

Thank you all.

 

Steve

Location cabinets would probably have appeared with the first power-resignallings, so from the 1920s or 30s onwards. They house a multitude of things, from relays for local interlockings to point handles- there are smaller boxes to be seen on or near signal posts and ground frames housing telephones. Older ones were often thin sheet metal on a wood frame, later some were cast, but the majority are fabricated.

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  • RMweb Gold

Depending on the Company they were definitely about by 1911 - the GWR signal painting instructions for that year includes them. Basically they would have started to appear as lineside battery boxes as soon as track circuits and electric signal repeaters came into being and no doubt would also have been used with power signalling schemes in some way or another. So there would have been a few around prior to 1900.

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Pretty much all you would see pre-WW2 would have been the wooden boxes of various sizes for batteries and track relays, telephones etc.

The ubiquitous sheet metal 'location cases' really started with the 1955 modernisation plan resignalling schemes.

I'm not sure what was used for pre-war schemes such as York but I would suspect the older designs, in any case they were very limited in scope.

Regards

Keith

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  • RMweb Gold

One style which seems to have been fairly common in 1920s and 1930s schemes was cast metal 'boxes' although not too large of course and the detail varied according to the manufacturer, cabinets of this style were still being installed new on the Southern Region into the early 1960s alongside other, newer, patterns. Timber was definitely used for some of the earlier (pre WWI) designs and its use continued on some Companies and on into BR days - quite likely there might still be some about on the Eastern/North Eastern. Some timber cabinets were as high as the post WWII metal designs and photographic evidence shows that the 'large' (c.5ft high) GW timber built cabinet was in use as early as 1910/11 and and the design survived in use in a few locations into the late 1960s. The Reading sheet metal design seems to have emerged in the late 1940s - possibly a little later although some phoytos suggest it might have been around a bit earlier.

Large metal cabinets definitely appeared in some late 1940s schemes (which were generally to pre-war design) and possibly in some of the late late 1930s schemes.

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