Webpage created: May 27, 2018
Webpage updated: May 28, 2018
DEVONPORT JUNCTION SIGNAL BOX
Devonport Junction Signal Box, at 247 miles 51 chains mile post mileage from London Paddington Station via Bristol Temple Meads Station and Plymouth Station (Millbay), was the first signal box within the Borough of Devonport on the former Great Western Railway Company's main line from Plymouth to Penzance and the last Box within Devonport on the Southern Railway Company's main line from Lydford Station to Friary Station. The Borough boundary was at Pennycomequick.
In 1876 the London and South Western Railway Company started to exercise its running rights over the Great Western Railway Company's Launceston Branch, where a third, standard-gauge rail, had been added to the GWRC's broad-gauge tracks. The trains were to run from Lydford Station via Tavistock Station, Bickleigh Station and Marsh Mills Station, to join the Great Western Railway Company's main line at Tavistock Junction. The trains would then diverge from that line at North Road West Signal Box and cross the Cornwall Loop Viaduct to get to Devonport Junction Signal Box, where they would again diverge in to their brand new Devonport for Stonehouse Station. Devonport Junction Signal Box was opened on April 19th 1876 and the passenger train service started the following month. The Box was constructed and equipped by Messrs Saxby and Farmer Limited and had a 31-lever frame. Larry Crosier states that the Board of Trade Inspector refused to allow the original layout and signalling at the Junction and it had to be rebuilt.
Following the opening of the Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway Company's line from Lydford Station via Tavistock, Bere Alston and Ford, in 1890, which made Devonport for Stonehouse Station a through Station from west to east, the Great Western Railway Company evidently decided to realign the Junction and rebuild Devonport Junction Signal Box some 60 yards south of the existing one. The new Box, which measured 18 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 6 inches and also had a 31-lever frame, was inspected by the Board of Trade on March 29th 1902. Much of the materials used came from a Signal Box that had formerly stood at Teignmouth.
The Signalling Regulations for the Box required that the "Is Line Clear?" requests for both Down and Up trains should be sent as soon as the same request was received from either North Road West Signal Box or Devonport Station Signal Box. When working with Royal Albert Bridge Signal Box, the same Regulation applied to Down trains while the "Is Line Clear?" request for trains in the Up direction had to be sent eight minutes after the "Train Entering Section" was received for passenger trains stopping at Saint Budeaux, Keyham, Dockyard and Devonport, or five minutes after "Train Entering Section" for passenger and freight trains not stopping in the section.
Devonport Junction Signal Box was closed on November 26th 1960, when the new Plymouth Panel Box took over responsibility for signalling on the main line to Keyham Signal Box.