The signal box was opened on Sunday 9 February 1936 and replaced two signal boxes: Brown St which was located approximately halfway between Civic and Newcastle and Newcastle Box located at the end of Platform 1 of Newcastle Station.
Of interest is the arrangement of lines at Newcastle - normally the line to Sydney would be the Up Line but because when opened the Newcastle system was isolated from the Sydney system lines to Newcastle were designated Up and lines from Newcastle are the Down lines. This works fine once past Hamilton but the line between Hamilton and Newcastle is the reverse of else where in the state. The Up line runs from Hamilton to Newcastle and the Down line from Newcastle to Hamilton. This is especially confusing for trains between Sydney and Newcastle (and vice versa) and they travel on the Down line from Sydney to Woodville Junction, the Down Hamilton Loop from Woodville Junction to Hamilton and then the Up Main from Hamilton to Newcastle.
When opened the current box controlled all lines east of of the Merewhether Street level crossing at Civic including the Newcastle Colliery Branch and the Goods Yard, both removed some years ago.
The box had an 83 lever power frame controlling 20 Points, 72 Signals and one gate release with 1 spare and 6 spaces - yes that adds up to more than 83 but some of the levers controlled up to 3 signals.
Upon its closure on 26 December 2014 Newcastle Signal Box was operational for 78 years, 10 months and 18 days or 28,811 days.
That's a great, timely record of a very historic signal box. Thanks, Graeme!ReplyDelete
This is such an inspirational story to share...ReplyDelete
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