Signals at Aberthaw

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last updated 7 January 2009

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25/2/06

Aberthaw, on the Vale of Glamorgan line between Barry and Brigend, still has a wonderful collection of lower-quadrant semaphores. Now an hourly passenger service passes through - heading, here, towards Cardiff - and there are regular coal trains to the nearby power station.
The former down station platform, and its loop, still exists, but the up platform has been built on and the former up loop is long gone.
Vale of Glamorgan train towards Cardiff passes
Down distant (AW1) Aberthaw also still has semaphore distants in both directions. This is the down distant (AW1)...
... which is operated by this motor fixed to the post. Up distant motor
Up advanced starter (AW47) The next signal towards the signalbox is the up advanced starter (AW47).
This lovely three-way splitting signal forms the Aberthaw down homes. From left to right, the arms read to the goods lines (AW13), the platform loop (AW4) and the main line (AW2). Down homes
The approach from Barry The junction at the London end of the goods lines. The signal above can be glimpsed in the distance, while in the foreground is the up goods starter (AW16).
A closer shot of the crossover and the rear of the down homes. Eastern approach and crossover
Aberthaw from the east This is the view from the opposite side of the same overbridge. On the left are the goods lines used by the power station traffic, while the main lines are on the very right. In between are another pair of sidings where a solitary wagon stands.
A closer shot of the London end to the former station. In the distance, the down starters can be glimpsed. The former station approaches
Up main starter A face-on shot of the up main starter (AW50).
The down starters for the platform (AW5) and main (AW3) lines. This bracket has been substantially reinforced to make it as safe as possible for staff needing to work on it. Down starters
The signalbox The signalbox, with a rather splendid archway beneath the platform from which the signal wires and point rodding emerge.
The approach to the station from the west, with the up innerhome (AW51) in the foreground. The bracket would originally have had a second post on its left for the signal into the former up platform. The rear of the down starters can be seen in the background. The western approaches
The goods line junction The goods junction at the country end of the station. The lines on the far right head to Aberthaw power station, while the line in the centre...
...rejoins the main lines towards Bridgend here. The line towards Bridgend
Down 1st advanced starter A closer shot of the down goods starter (AW36) and first down main advanced starter (AW6). Note the TPWS loops and trap points in the goods line.
Beyond the above signals and the facing crossover there is also a connection into a cement works, though it currently looks disused. Cement works
Up distant Finally, the up distant. The missing finial may not be a huge surprise in this day and age, but the lack of a numberplate is a bigger one. In the distance, the down outer advanced starter can also be glimpsed.

Thanks to relief signaller Rod Mackay for sending me the following additional photos:

This ground frame, Aberthaw West, controls the connection to the cement works. Aberthaw West Ground Frame
Yellow disc at cement works exit Because there is a headshunt, the exit from the cement works is controlled by a yellow disc.
The up homes bracket is immediately in rear of the cement works connection. Up outerhomes

May 1983

Signalbox The signalbox in 1983, when there wasn't so much in the way of equipment enclosures surrounding it.
The down starter bracket before its more recent changes. Down starters

More information about Aberthaw signalbox can be found on the Signalling Notices and Signal Box sites.


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