Signals at Shrewsbury

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last updated 7 April 2013

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Shrewsbury index | Station area diagram | Severn Bridge Junction | Abbey Foregate | Crewe Junction | Sutton Bridge Junction | Crewe Bank | Harlescott Crossing


There is simply no better place than Shrewsbury on the Network Rail network if you're a fan of mechanical signalling, especially for GWR or LNWR devotees. I never pass up a chance to visit here, there is always more to see and photograph. My thanks to Shrewsbury Museums Service for letting me take photos from the top of Shrewsbury Castle. Because there is so much of interest here I have included a hyperlinked diagram of the station area layout below and have built separate pages for each of the six signalboxes:

The rail video One Day In Severn has now been reissued on DVD by Video 125. Filmed in Severn Bridge Junction on a summer Saturday in 1990 when there were still through loco-hauled Euston - Shrewsbury and Cambrian Coast trains, this gives a wonderful view of how mechanical signalling works during a busy day's operations, including a steam special. The DVD edition includes a bonus feature showing the level plate designations of every lever in the signalbox. A must for all signalling enthusiasts.


Severn Bridge Junction At the London end of Shrewsbury station there is a triangular junction where the lines from Wellington (Madeley Junction signalbox) and Hereford/Machynlleth converge. Two corners of this triangle are controlled by Severn Bridge Junction. Built by the LNWR, this is the largest surviving mechanical signalbox in the UK, and a listed building. It also still has a pair of unique centre-pivoted lower-quadrant signals which can be seen in the middle of this photo.
When you're on the platforms it isn't particularly obvious that this end of the station is built right over the river Severn, but the iron parapet of the river bridge can be seen clearly here.
Shrewsbury is also a lovely town to visit, with plenty of historic sights and fine architecture, including the railway station itself.
The third corner of the triangle, towards Wellington, is controlled by Abbey Foregate. The gantry shown here no longer exists, but used to control movements through the junction. Junction gantry from rear
Crewe Junction At the country end of the station is Crewe Junction, where the former GWR line to Wrexham and Chester continues straight ahead while the ex-LNWR line to Crewe diverges to the right.
A short way along the Hereford line is Sutton Bridge Junction, where the line to Welshpool and Machynlleth diverges (right) from the Shrewsbury-Hereford line (left). This also used to be the junction for the Severn Valley line to Hartlebury and Worcester. Sutton Bridge junction, looking south
Towards Harlescott Crossing A few hundred yards down the Crewe line is Crewe Bank, a wartime LMS box that survives despite previous closure proposals.
About a mile and a half further towards Crewe, Harlescott Crossing controls a level crossing in a northern district of the city. Harlescott Crossing
Coton Hill North Though long closed, Coton Hill North signalbox still survives and now appears properly cared for.

Because the layout at Shewsbury is complex, here is a diagram of the station area, which I hope will help put the photos into some context. Just click on a signal, signalbox or other item to jump to the corresponding photo...

CJ62 Junction with Hereford line Up Down Platform to Down Hereford Home Discs on through siding Stop board on through siding Discs on through siding Discs and line towards Gobowen Discs from down Crewe line and siding Discs from down Crewe line Disc for setting back from up main Crewe Junction signalbox Up Chester innerhomes Down Crewe starter/Crewe Bank home Up Chester starters Point with FPL and detector Up platform to down Crewe home Up Crewe to up main starter Up Crewe to up platform starter Up Crewe homes Down homes gantry and banner repeater Up up-and-down platform starter Up Chester outerhome Down Chester starter Up homes Abbey Foregate junction Down home Up starter Up up-and-down platform homes Down Hereford advanced starter/Sutton Bridge Junction distant Up Hereford home Down Hereford starter Down Wolverhampton homes Discs on down lines Up bay homes Up main home Up platform homes Severn Bridge Junction signalbox

I have deliberately excluded some technical details to prevent the diagram getting overcomplicated, but have included line designations (from Quail 4, 2005 - see www.trackmaps.co.uk) and signal numbers - these are the codes in white on small black plates you can see in some of the photos.


My thanks to the hard-working NR staff who maintain and work these boxes and signals, and clearly care a great deal for their magnificent equipment.


Shrewsbury index | Station area diagram | Severn Bridge Junction | Abbey Foregate | Crewe Junction | Sutton Bridge Junction | Crewe Bank | Harlescott Crossing


Signals | Abergavenny | Abergele | Banbury | Birmingham NS | Bognor | Brereton Sdgs | Cambrian | Craven Arms | Droitwich Spa | Exeter | Gobowen | GW(S)R | Helsby | High Wycombe | Kidderminster | Ledbury | Lincoln | Llandudno | London | Malvern Wells | Moreton-in-Marsh | New Cumnock | Newton Abbot | Pontrilas | Rhyl | Shrewsbury | S Wales | St Albans S | Taunton | Warrington | Woofferton Jct | Worcester | Wrexham | Yeovil | West Midlands | Home Signal page | SRS | Exeter West Group


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