Saturday, 3 January 2015

Christmas Dinner, London, 2014

My friends Jilly and Rita had urged me to attend one of the meals organised for members of the Royal Burma Society and so, on the evening of Friday, 19th December 2014, all three of us attended the Society's Christmas Dinner held at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross, London.

The impressive facade of the station building at Charing Cross houses the Amba Hotel Charing Cross. The entrance to the hotel is behind the red bus.

The guests enjoyed an evening of good conversation and good food.

During the meal, the Italian Operatic Tenor, Yuri Sabatini moved between the tables delighting the diners with well-known operatic works.

The Royal Burma Society was founded by HRH Prince Shwebomin of Burma (who is now Patron) and Michael P. Wright (who is now General Secretary). Stan Spurling is President of the Society and Isolde Spurling is Director of Events & Communication.

Some of the members of the Society have travelled in Burma and various Charitable Donations are made, in particular to the Zay Ta Wun Buddhist Monastic Education Centre in Nyaung U.

My pictures

Christmas Dinner, London, 2014

Crewe Salop Goods Junction Signal Box

A view of Salop Goods Junction Signal Box in 2008, heavily altered inside and out but its LNWR origins are still clear.

I first started to take an interest in the railways at Crewe in the 1950s and I became fascinated by the extensive marshalling yards south of the station which were provided with their own through lines - the Goods Independents. My post Railways at Crewe in the '50s has a sketch showing my early understanding of the complex arrangements.

The Goods Independent lines were generally inaccessible but in summer when there were extra holiday trains and excursion trains, Crewe station became very congested and, particularly at weekends, passenger trains not requiring to stop at Crewe were frequently routed via the Goods Independents. I travelled on passenger trains using the Goods Independents a few times so these journeys gave me views of Salop Goods Junction Signal Box.

The signal box was provided as part of the major remodelling at Crewe between 1896 and 1907 which constructed the Goods Independent lines in the form which still, largely, survives today (the Down Chester Independent is now a siding). From Sortings Sidings North Box, there were four roads 'paired by direction' (Down Fast Independent, Down Slow Independent, Up Slow Goods, Up Fast Independent) which passed under the line from Crewe station to Shrewsbury and continued in a cutting alongside Crewe station. Salop Goods Junction signal box was provided on the Down side at this point. Pointwork was provided to change the sequence of the four lines to 'paired by use' (Down Liverpool Independent, Up Liverpool Independent, Down Manchester Independent, Up Manchester Independent). A branching pair of lines formed the Down and Up Chester Independents, which climbed so as to join the Chester main line at Crewe North Junction. Salop Goods Junction box also controlled connections allowing freight trains access to and from the Shrewsbury line at Gresty Lane No. 1 box.

Like a number of signal boxes at Crewe, F. W. Webb provided Salop Goods Junction Signal Box with the 'Crewe' All Electric System.

Click here for a larger version.

Diagram of the lines controlled by Salop Goods Junction Signal Box as built.

This diagram appeared in the book 'Power Railway Signalling' book reference [1], together with similar diagrams for Crewe North Junction and Crewe South Junction.

At some point, the 'Crewe' All Electric System installation was replaced by an LMS (or BR) mechanical frame. John Tilly's excellent site here includes a photographic survey of Salop Goods Junction Signal Box in 2007 on the page here.

In 1980, there was a fatal accident on the Up line between Salop Goods Junction and Gresty Lane No. 1 where a freight train, allowed to proceed past Salop Goods Junction under Permissive Regulations, collided with a freight train which had stopped on the approach to Gresty Lane No. 1 to change engines. The Accident Report, by Major Olver, can be found on the splendid Railways Archive Site here.

Book References

[1] 'Power Railway Signalling' by H. Raynar Wilson, published c1908, reprinted in two parts by P. Kay (ISBN 1 899890 00 9).


Crewe Area rail.