Signalling Record Society - 50 Years
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
|Filmed by:||Derek Young|
|Filmed:||July 2016 - April 2017|
|Video Editor:||Derek Young|
|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.|
Can you help?
The project would love to hear from you, especially if you worked or still work in a signal box, and you are willing to provide reminiscences and / or pictures. Please contact the webmaster in the first instance.