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LMS Route: Birmingham West Suburban Railway

Bournville Shed: mrb1502

Another unusual view of the main line, looking north past the signal box on 10th March 1961

An unusual view from the down line, looking north past the signal box on Friday 10th March 1961, with the down platform of Bournville station, seen through the arch of the Maryvale Road bridge, in the distance. DJ Norton must have asked the signalman, visible in his cabin, for permission to stand in the middle of the track to take this photo. It was not as risky as it looks, as the down home signal in front of him would have stopped any train coming his way, unlike modern colour light signals, which default to green when a train clears the section. Both up and down signals in the picture are on the drivers' right side, because of the curve. The up signal is a Midland Railway design, with the arm descending rather than ascending to indicate road clear. The rather elegant finial at the top was to protect the wooden post. There were at least two other MR built signals controlled by this signal box, one on the Lifford branch and the other on the engine shed loop. The junctions for both branches are visible in the photo. The signal box itself is not the original Midland one, but a replacement, built in 1932, as part of a LMS scheme to reduce the number of boxes needed to control the lines in the area.

John Dews