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Penyghent

40 Years Of Sheffield Power Signalbox

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Penyghent    0

February 2013 sees the 40th anniversary of the commissioning of Sheffield PSB and to celebrate this, we are in the process of collating photographs to make a book in which we intend to show photos of all the signalboxes closed as a result of Sheffield PSB taking over their operations. We have a large amount of photos but there are some gaps.We need photos of the following signalboxes:-

  1. Aldwarke Main Colliery (closed in 1965 when Aldwarke Junction box opened)
  2. Roundwood (again closed 1965 when Aldwarke Jn opened, but retained as a Ground Frame until the 1980's)
  3. Brightside Junction (1965 box interior photo)
  4. Sheffield North Junction interior photo
  5. Sheffield PSB interior photo's taken in the 1970's or 1980's (we have current photos)

Any help with these would be much appreciated

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February 2013 sees the 40th anniversary of the commissioning of Sheffield PSB and to celebrate this, we are in the process of collating photographs to make a book in which we intend to show photos of all the signalboxes closed as a result of Sheffield PSB taking over their operations. We have a large amount of photos but there are some gaps.We need photos of the following signalboxes:-

  1. Aldwarke Main Colliery (closed in 1965 when Aldwarke Junction box opened)
  2. Roundwood (again closed 1965 when Aldwarke Jn opened, but retained as a Ground Frame until the 1980's)
  3. Brightside Junction (1965 box interior photo)
  4. Sheffield North Junction interior photo
  5. Sheffield PSB interior photo's taken in the 1970's or 1980's (we have current photos)

Any help with these would be much appreciated

February 2013 also sees the 40th anniversary of when they re-opened Sheffield Victoria Station for the few weekends whilst Sheffield Midland was closed so that the new Power Box would become active

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I went in the Power Box in 1977 as part of a work experience scheme with British Rail.

There was a full track layout in it with it on what looked like light boxes. At that time it covered the area from Rotherham to past Chesterfield, where the Nottingham box took over. The track layout was divided into sections. Each section had two lights controlling it. Red And Green, representing the signal. The section itself changed colour too, depending where a train was. Also on the section in the middle was a 4 digit code display. If there was no train in the section it read 0000, if a train was on it read the train's code. These codes could also be seen on the front of locos at that time. For example 1E24. These were not some random code, but held clues about the train. For instance the first number was the type of train. 1 being an express passenger. Numbers 1 to 5 all refer to passenger trains (5 being empty coaches), while 6 to 9 refer to freight trains. Generally freight numbers are to do with the amount of brakes the train has, 9 being it had none, just the engine and a brake van at the end! The letter was an indication of destination. E in this case being Eastern region. The train clearly coming from another region. The other region codes I know are S for Scottish, V for Western and of course M for Midland. A "Z" would mean it's going to the depot. The final numbers are the route taken. On the boards were buttons next to the signal indicators. The signalman would press these to allow the train to go once the line was clear, switching the signal to on, or off to stop a train. If the signalman pressed the button to on, it wouldn't automatically go to green. But it would come off Red if the line was clear. But it would go to red if he switched it off.

Because the signalmen could see where trains were, they could tell the station announcer when a train was due in Sheffield station. As they were located in the signal box too.

I always thought that signalman set the lights to stop at a station. But that's not true. The driver has to remember to stop at the station!! The signals simply stop trains running into the back of the next train.

You might be also interested to know that there was also a full timetable list of all the trains that were going through Sheffield, which included stops and destination. Plus a full list of the coaches and how they were made up. Useful if you want to know where the brake van was when the train pulled in, for loading mail sacks and parcels. You could then go to the top end of the platform if you know it was the first coach from the engine. Imagine trying to get past loads of passengers with the mail carts, if the coach was at the back of the train and the mail crew didn't know! Plus it would make the train late!

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Oh forgot to mention that there are two Route indicator signals. One at each approach to the station. You can see one clearly from of the road bridges that cross the line around Parkhill. Possible the one on Duke Street, it's been a while since I went there! It's a normal coloured light signal with what looks like a TV screen on it. It will show a digital number from one to eight, when a train is near it. This tells the driver what platform the train will come in at.

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If you don't already know the Sheffield Power Box closed in 2016. The Sheffield and Rotherham area is now controlled at York.

I believe the old power box is still in use to house relays etc. 

From what I can see from recent YouTube video's of Sheffield Station the signals still carry the "S" for Sheffield code. And not YK for York.

Network Rail intended to do away with all the signal posts on the UK railways. And the signal information will be fed direct to the drivers cab.

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