Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

The Signal Boxes

Map showing the location of signal boxes on the Kings Dock

Map showing the location of signal boxes on the Prince of Wales Dock

Alan Beynon pictured on the steps of the Down Hump Yard signal box in 1961

Traffic staff in front of the Kings Dock Junction Signal Box. Brian Hunter, Alec Hitchings and Jeremy Figgures

Inside the Kings Dock Junction Signal Box

Alec Hitchings inside the Kings Dock Junction Signal Box 1987

Burrows Sidings Signal Box

King's Dock Junction Signal Box,1987. Photographed just a few months before it's closure in the summer of 1987 Swansea King's Dock Junction signal box was manned by staff of Associated British Ports. The line was built as the Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway and opened fully in 1895 but from 1906 it was operated by the Great Western Railway eventually becoming a subsidiary company in 1922.

Swansea King's Dock Junction Signal Box, 9/11/83

Swansea Docks pilot 08259 passes the Swansea Burrows Sidings box. 9/11/83.

Burrows Sidings Signal Box

Above is an internal view of Burrows Siding Signal Box, looking west towards King's Dock Junction box. It was taken after 1976 when the Tyer's apparatus (No Signalman Key Token, or NSKT) was installed for working to Eastern Depot. Of standard GWR timber construction with a hipped-roof, it was the fourth box of that name and replaced a similar but smaller box in 1909/10 (this box was re-used at Queen's Head, north of Birmingham). Being strategically important, it had ARP works carried out to strengthen it during the last war. This work was carried out by Messrs William Brown & Son (Builders) Ltd. in late 1939 and was completed by early 1940. It consisted mainly of replacing the timber walls of the lower floor (locking room) with 14" brickwork and providing a 'blast wall' to protect the entrance. This work cost £775-0-0d, which equates to about £35,000-00p. today. It originally had a 90-lever frame (the smaller box had one of 41 levers). This was replaced with a 110-lever frame when the King's Dock level crossing over what is now Fabian Way was replaced by a bridge in 1955. When it closed in 1990, the frame had been reduced to 87 levers.

Kings Dock Junction Signal Box shortly before it was demolished.

Above is an internal view of King's Dock Junction Signal Box, looking east towards Burrows Siding box. Constructed by Worcester signalling contractors McKenzie & Holland for the Swansea Harbour Trust, it opened about 1905 and was of the attractive all-timber design used extensively by the Taff Vale Railway. It, too, had ARP works, similar to Burrows Siding, carried out, this time at a cost of £402-0-0d., equivalent to about £18,000-00p. today. When the level crossing was abolished in 1955 it was given a GWR 100-lever frame. In all probability, this replaced the original McKenzie & Holland frame. When it was closed in 1987, much of the lever frame was disused. The structure, complete with lever frame, has been dismantled and is stored at the Gwili Railway for eventual re-use as a museum

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