Home (Signal) PageSignals - a guide to British semaphore signalsBlock System - a guide to the principles of Absolute BlockBranch Lines - a selection of articles on signalling subjectsPhoto Gallery - a photographic guide to British mechanical signal boxesMuseums & Pubs of signalling interestRailway Companies and Contractors - a comprehensive listingSection C - recent signalling alterationsSignal Box track layoutsOverseas signallingLatest Magazines - a summary of signalling articles in recent magazine issuesBook Shelf - signalling books past and presentLever framesExchange Sidings - classified advertsRule 55 - sign the Train Register to say you've been hereSignal Links - a guide to other signalling web sites

This is the old Signal Box web site archived for your reference during completeion of the new one at
Information already available on the new site has been withdrawn from here!

Signalling People
Surviving Equipment
Other articles

Google local site search

Rule 72(a) has been infringed
since April 1998

What's Rule 72(a)?

Directory of British SBs
Track layouts

Telegraph the signalman

To the Studio 433 site


Early signalling techniques

Welcome to the signal box, do come in.


Commencing Saturday 1st February, some features of this web site may not work correctly - including, but not necessarily limited to, the Visitor's Book, Magazines, Section C and the Track layout Diagrams.

The provider of our server is withdrawing some technology (on which many pages depend) at short notice, and I do not have the time to make all the necessary changes before that date.

Please be assured I will be working on solutions for a "RESUMP" (in telegraphic code) at the earliest opportunity.

  • 13/2/20 Counter on Home Page fixed
  • 4/3/20 All pages on the site should now be working. Some may display an error emssage at the top of the page which may be ignored.
  • March 2020 - a completely new web site is under construction, bringing both the site design and the server technology into the 21st Century.
  • April 2020 - the new site is in operation at:


OK, so you've come in. Do you realise that is an infringement of Rule 72 (a)? You didn't? Never mind, you can learn about things like that on these pages.

This web site is all about railway signalling. Its primary purpose is to describe the principles behind railway signalling in Great Britain, but some coverage of signalling around the world will also be found. The emphasis is on the older, mechanical signalling - that worked by mechanical levers and with semaphore signals. More detailed information on modern and foreign signalling will often be found elsewhere on the web.

This web site has developed from a desire to record in an orderly and easily understood manner the quantities of information that I have learnt during the last forty fifty plus years - much of which has only been stored in my head!

You will find here descriptions and illustrations of signals, explanations of the rules and regulations, photographs, historic articles, reminiscences, museum and book lists, a monthly quiz, classified advertisements, sources of software (including downloads), links to other sites with signalling interest, and much more. Have a stroll around. Whether you have a deep interest in signalling or just a passing interest, there is lots here to look through.

You can click on the links below to reach the pages you want to visit, or navigate by clicking on the badges at the top and bottom of each main page. Enjoy!

John Hinson

Please note that another web site, which has been named "The Signalbox", has no connection with this one, nor is it specifically related to railway signalling. The choice of name has caused some confusion with users of this site. We neither endorse nor associate ourselves with that web site.

  1. THIS HOME PAGE - you are on this page - but click here if you are stuck in a frame within somebody else's site.
  2. SIGNALS - illustrations of British signals and descriptions of their function.
  3. BLOCK SYSTEM - a blow by blow breakdown of the principles of Absolute Block.
  4. BRANCH LINES - a selection of articles on signalling matters contributed by a range of authors.
  5. PHOTO GALLERY - photographs of British signal boxes and their equipment.
  6. MUSEUMS & PUBS - a list of places where you can see signalling equipment on display.
  7. RAILWAY COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS- A comprehensive listing of railway companies detailing the types of signal box and frames used. The list also includes a set of standard abbreviations used around this site.
  8. SECTION C - recent and forthcoming alterations to signalling in the UK, edited by Nick Allsop.
  9. TRACK LAYOUTS - a selection of signal box track layout diagrams.
  10. SIGNALLING OVERSEAS - a glance at signalling of the past around the world.
  11. LATEST MAGAZINES - a summary of recent signalling articles in magazines, edited by David Clegg.
  12. SIGNALMAN'S BOOKSHELF - a list of signalling books in and out of print, together with a summary of current magazine articles. You can purchase on-line, too.
  13. LEVER FRAMES- photographs and descriptions of the different types of lever frame that were used in the UK.
  14. EXCHANGE SIDINGS - an area for mutual help and classified advertisements for signalling railwayana.
  15. RULE 55 - your chance to sign the Train Register to say you've been here
  16. SIGNAL LINKS - some useful links to other sites of railway signalling interest

The web site is updated from time to time, and continues to grow. Will it ever be complete? Probably not. The content is primarily historical - even where more modern signalling systems are touched on, it should be understood that the descriptions are unlikely to reflect current Rules & Regulations. I do not plan, as some readers imagine, to put a photograph of every British signal box on this site - I only show examples of the different architecture and equipment.

Additional information is always welcomed, and some contributors have provided entire articles for the site. However, the large amount of material received sometimes means that I cannot publish it immediately.

Are you having problems viewing this site? See the Infrequently Asked Questions page.

Want to copy information or pictures from this site? In most cases this isn't a problem - please see the Conditions of Service page.

. . . and a thank you to our sponsors:

My Custom Essay is a guarantee of a high grade in college.

MyPaperDone is a website students go to when they need writing help.

Best Built-In Microwaves


Visit showappslike to find similar ios apps

Güde Kompressor





Apply EHIC

Savant MAG


Search Engine Optimisation

Advanced Writers

Classic transport, bus and routemaster domain names for sale - more info

Signal Box Photographs
Purchase prints of signal boxes on-line
or by mail order