Webpage created: May 02, 2017
Webpage updated: May 31, 2018
FORD SIGNAL BOX
Ford Signal Box was provided on the Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway at Ford Station and was apparently brought into use on May 12th 1890, when goods traffic over the line was authorised. The Signal Box then had 11 levers controlling Distant, Home and Starter signals in each direction. Five levers were unused.
In 1900 a siding was installed on the Up side adjacent to the Signal Box apparently for the unloading of bricks for the new housing development on the Keyham Barton Estate. A crossover was also installed along with ground-level signals to control movements into and out of the siding. This resulted in the number of levers being increased to 14, of which only one was now unused. An Advanced Starter was added to the Up direction.
The Signal Box was open only between 9.15am and 7.25pm. Outside of those times the signalling block section was from Saint Budeaux to Devonport.
Once the building work had been completed the use of the siding declined. The connection from the Down main line to the siding and all associated ground signals were removed on Sunday March 5th 1916. In 1932 only one freight train was booked to call at Ford Station, the 8.12am from Friary to Exmouth Junction Goods Yard, which was due to call between 8.50 and 9.05am. As the crossover between the Up and Down main lines had been removed by 1932 no Down freight trains were able to call.
There were no special instructions for working the siding in the Southern Railway Company's Rule Book in 1934 and the Signal Box was only opened when required for traffic purposes.
Ford Signal Box survived the Second World War, when it may have come in useful to permit extra trains over the Southern line, but was closed on or as from March 2nd 1947, the signals removed and the Box demolished immediately so that it did not fall into the hands of British Railways.
With grateful acknowledgement to the late Mr
Laurence 'Larry' William Crosier (1929-2010) of the Great Western Railway Company
British Railways (1948-c1994); the Plymouth Railway Circle, the Lee Moor Tramway Preservation Society, and the Signalling Record Society.