Signalling Department

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North Weald Signalbox

North Weald Signalbox in the Snow

The establishment of the passing loop and signals at North Weald was an essential element to enable the reintroduction of steam and diesel locomotive hauled trains between North Weald and Ongar, and for the first time since 1976 enabled more than one train to operate on the branch.

Between 2007 and 2012 the team restored the fabric and fittings of the original 1888 GER signalbox, which is now back to its former glory, resplendent in 1940-1960's LNER / BR (Eastern Region) colours, complete with its original Saxby & Farmer 1880 pattern 21 lever frame to control the layout. Many of the signals are in similar locations to the original 1949-1976 layout, with a few additions to assist with the running of both heritage and local community services.

It is anticipated that North Weald bay platform will be re-instated for passenger use, to enable additional operational flexibility and accommodate a Diesel Multiple Unit shuttle running from North Weald through the picturesque forest towards Epping. While the platform is awaiting completion, the signalling system has already incorporated this requirement!

North Weald Signalling Plan - PDF

We hope that putting back mechanical and heritage colour light signals around the station and the view from the platform of the signalman "doing his stuff" with the clank of the levers and bells adds to the authentic atmosphere of this period station, as well as preserving a range of signalling equipment from the local area, so the system reflects signalling in East Anglia though the ages in order to be both an educational and preservation benefit to future generations.

Please visit the Departments Diary page for the latest news from both the signals team and the other departments on the railway.

North Weald Signalbox 2007 North Weald Signalbox 1957

"From small acorns": We pause for tea while laying the Concrete Foundations for replacement steps, back in Summer 2007. Compare this picture with the one at the top of the page. The station now well on its way to once again look similar to this excellent 1957 picture, complete with semaphore signal.

What Next?

Now much of the signalling now being installed at North Weald, we will of course not be idle as the system needs to be regularly maintained and tested, as well as continuing work on other projects (such as at Ongar and possibly Epping).