Restoration - page 3 Princes Risborough North Signal Box
2017 Our volunteers continued working inside the box until C&PRRA signed the 99 year lease on the box and surrounding land with Network Rail in the spring of 2017. The big drawback of having the largest remaining Great Western signal box in the UK also means having the largest amount of signal box painting to do in the UK! Washing down countless years of railway grime, rubbing it all down, undercoating it and then finally top coating it was a daunting task. We made a good start in spring but after that the Signals & Telegraph (S&T) team spent most of the summer and autumn in 2017 working alongside other teams within C&PRRA, finding Platform 4 buried in the undergrowth and then rebuilding it. With the platform built we handed over the next step - track laying - to our Permanent Way team. S&T were then back working in the box over the winter months and with the benefit of all the bushes we’d cut down providing for roaring fires, we set about completing the urgent tasks needed to qualify for a very welcome Railway Heritage Trust grant towards some of the renovation costs; extending the lever frame back to its 1960’s length, reinstating the partition on the operating floor and of course the never ending replacement of rotten timber and then painting anything that didn’t move. 2018 Work started to reinstate the levers in the box. Now the Princes Risborough end of the heritage line was to have a platform (opened in August) and run-round loop, it again needed points and signals to control train paths. By also reinstating the operating floor partition it will be possible to keep the ‘live’ operating area and signalman separate from the other (North) end of the box which we hope to open to the public in future. The operating floor partition was first installed when the signalling arrangement at Princes Risborough was simplified and the lever frame shortened, back in the sixties. It allowed part of the box to be an office and latterly a mess room for train crews. All the extra levers in the North end of the operating floor (see photo left) were installed during 2018. Enough of the necessary rodding was temporarily put back in place, connected up, interlocked and tested to allow the signal box to once more control the points that change tracks for the run-round loop. We had yet to connect up the disc signals that permitted a train to move over the points and so for a while train drivers were instructed by the signalman when to move using red and green flags.
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The future