Plus parts of the South Hams and West Devon

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: April 25, 2018
Webpage updated: January 23, 2019




The first North Road West Signal Box was erected by Messrs Saxby and Farmer in 1876 in connection with the new North Road Plymouth Station and the Cornwall Loop line that enabled the London and South Western Railway Company's trains that had come from Lydford down the mixed gauge Great Western Railway Company's Launceston Branch to access their terminus at Devonport.  It was on the Down side of the tracks and had 27 levers.

When the lines to Plymouth Station at Millbay were remodelled and North Road Plymouth Station was enlarged, a new North Road West Signal Box was erected by the Great Western Railway Company on the Up side and opened in November 1908.  It had 59 levers and measured 38 feet by 13 feet.

North Road West Signal Box.
The Inner Home Signals seen  above were for Platforms 6, 7 (with Inner Distant Signal for North Road East Signal Box) and 8.
  R K Blencowe.

The rear of North Road West Signal Box is just visible over the top of the building
 on the left of Saltash Road in this official GWR photograph taken on December 14th 1936
 in preparation for the removal and replacement of the railway bridge.
  Great Western Railway Company.

When worked started in 1937 on modernising the Station, North Road West Signal Box had to be bodily moved so that a new road under-bridge capable of taking four tracks could be put in place.  This work was undertaken between January 22nd and 27th 1938.  Platforms 7 and 8 were also added at that time.  That Box remained in use, open continuously, until the re-signalling in 1960 and the opening of the Plymouth Panel Box on November 26th 1960.

In 1957 North Road West Signal Box, which was 638 yards from Devonport Junction Signal Box was open continuously.  The Box was not provided with a closing switch.

The signalling regulations for this Box required that as soon as the signalman receives the "Is Line Clear?" request from North Road East Signal Box he should ask the same of Devonport Junction Signal Box immediately if the train is not stopping at North Road Plymouth Station.  This instruction would have mainly applied to goods trains as the majority of passenger trains stopped.  Otherwise, "Is Line Clear?" should be asked just before the train is due to depart. 

For Up trains  the "Is Line Clear?" code should be sent to North Road East Signal Box immediately upon receipt from both Devonport Junction Signal Box or Cornwall Junction Signal Box.

Just beyond North Road West Signal Box, at 246 miles 10 chains, was a board indicating a Permanent Speed Restriction of 15 mph to Millbay and 25 mph towards Devonport Junction Signal Box.


  With grateful acknowledgement to the late Mr Laurence 'Larry' William Crosier (1929-2010) of the Great Western Railway Company (1943-1947);
British Railways (1948-c1994); the Plymouth Railway Circle, the Lee Moor Tramway Preservation Society, and the Signalling Record Society.