Restoration - page 4 Princes Risborough North Signal Box
2019 One of the first tasks of 2019 was to continue connecting up levers inside the signal box. With levers already connected via point rodding to the crossover points at the rear of the signal box, it now needed the disc signals connected up too. The signalman was very keen on this, so he didn’t have to lean out of the windows to be able to flag train movements on cold, windy days! In the photo to the right you will see we have used a double disc signal with the lower signal blanked out. This is ready for any possible expansion in the future. There are now six levers (out of 125!) in the frame that work, numbered 35 to 40: Lever 35 - Up disc signal Lever 36 - Currently Spare Lever 37 - Crossover points Lever 38 - Facing point lock (both points) Lever 39 - Down disc signal Lever 40 - Token frame release Those levers are between the yellow lines in the picture to the right. All this is, however, only temporary. The levers that currently control the points are at the wrong end (the north end) of the signal box, but before we can install them in their final position we have to replace/rebuild the missing interlocking under the south end of the lever frame. The lower right hand photo above shows the rodding and cranks beneath the south end floor ready to be connected to the levers above (as well as a stray broom!). Presuming we get Listed Building consent and we reach the stage of opening the north part of the box as a demonstration area it will be the south end which controls the railway. The remaining boarding was removed from the downstairs windows and all the broken panes were reglazed. We owe a debt of gratitude to our glazing sponsor in nearby Aylesbury - Quickseal UK. One major piece of renovation we carried out this year was the rear wall upstairs where the toilet cubicle was put in sometime after the end of World War II. When the toilet was installed the builders reduced the width of the existing window to cater for the internal cubicle. They boarded the resultant hole with lapped wooden planks. The lower planks soon rotted away and were replaced with a sheet of plywood as seen in the picture alongside, taken before replacement work started. It was the pipework near the toilet that froze and then burst causing all the historic water damage so we took the opportunity to completely rebuild the toilet and washbasin area while we were replacing all the rotten boarding. There remains the cleaning of the brick beneath. With the signal box really starting to take shape we were able to have three Open Days during the year to proudly show off our work. Visitors could see the improvements already carried out and were very supportive of our efforts. We are all unpaid volunteers and it’s rewarding for us to see people enjoying an insight into railway heritage and we were only too happy to explain some of the features being restored and offered demonstrations of items we had on display.
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The future