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Banbury North

Banbury North Signal Box was a Great Western type 7 building constructed in 1899 to house an 88 lever frame. As an indication of expansion of facilities at Banbury at that time, its predecessor had just 17 levers! The lever frame seen in the videos, however, is a Great Western VT5 example with 95 levers that was commissioned on 12 October 1956. The signal box was decommissioned on 30 July 2016 and demolished on 26 March 2017 after a series of public visits had taken place.

Two films have been made available courtesy of both Derek Young (who produced them) and Network Rail who facilitated the making of the videos and granted access for the visits.

The first video records the normal working of the signal box just three days before it closed as an operational signal box and the second was recorded during one of the public visits. If no signaller or retiring signaller was available for one of the public visits, this second video was shown instead.

Scroll down as necessary to view both videos.

The geographic location of the signal box can be seen on a current OS Map. The map will place this location at the centre of the map panel, roll the mouse over the icon(s) to reveal what they represent. Increase the scale using the scale selector on the left to separate closely positioned icons.

These videos are intended for viewing at a maximum screen resolution of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high. Please be aware that viewing at a larger size may result in a loss of clarity and a 'grainy' appearance.

1. Normal Operation Before Closure

2. Learning How It Worked

Video Credits (Part 1)

Filmed by: Video 1: Martin Creese, Nathan Bignell, Derek Young
Video 2: Derek Young
Filmed on: Wednesday 27 July 2016
Signaller: Video 1: Guy Tucker
Video 2: Mark Bennett
Post Production: Derek Young

2. Public Visits After Closure

Video Credits

Filmed by: Derek Young
Filmed: July 2016 - April 2017
Presenter: Mark Bennett
Video Editor: Derek Young

Key Chronology

1850 Great Western Railway opened a broad gauge line from Oxford including Banbury station.
1850 Buckinghamshire Railway opened a standard gauge line from Bletchley to Oxford Road (just north of Oxford) with a branch to Banbury. The line was worked by the London & North Western Railway.
1852 Great Western Railway extended northwards to Birmingham.
1864 Jointly owned connection between the two lines opened for goods traffic transfer.
1869 Great Western line converted from broad to standard gauge.
1879 Buckinghamshire Railway absorbed by the London & North Western Railway.
1880 First Banbury 'A' (at north end of station) and 'B' (at south end) signal boxes opened.
1886/1887 Station renamed Banbury Bridge Street.
1899 Second set of Banbury signal boxes opened as replacements to handle the much expanding facilities.
1900 Great Central Railway opened a branch to Banbury from their London extension line.
1908 Banbury South signal box replaced.
1923 Banbury remained a frontier town, now between the Great Western, London & North Eastern and London Midland & Scottish Railway companies.
1950 Station renamed Banbury General.
1961 Station renamed Banbury.
1963 London & North Western route to Banbury closed but Merton Street remained in use for goods traffic.
1966 Merton Street and connecting line closed.
1966 Great Central route to Banbury closed.
2016 Banbury North & South signal boxes closed. New signalling provided, controlled from West Midlands Signalling Control Centre in Birmingham.
2017 Banbury North signal box demolished.


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Page last modified Tuesday, 1st June, 2021, 16:52 hours.
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