Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter


Monday, 23 June 2014

Cowley Bridge Signal box Progress

For many of our visitors (and some members), Cowley bridge has been a working progress, they never got to see Cowley Bridge mk.1. However, over the weekend our chairman, Peter Chatfield, and Treasurer, Dick Hewett  (who is also leading the work on the new building) took a trip up to London to visit Alan Johnston who is one of our members; he is the person who is tackling the challenge of working on Cowley Bridge Junction signal box (our miniature signal box that we can take to shows). We are very pleased to announce that this fantastic piece of engineering is nearing completion and we may be looking at welcoming the model to Romsey some time next year! (or later if the building is not completed). Peter and Dick were even more pleased when Alan was actually able to demonstrate the simulation to near perfection (few tweaks and bugs to iron out).  But overall this is looking extremely promising and hopefully we will have it on site when we reopen next year! Yet another reason to come to the signal box when it re opens, two signal boxes for the 'price' of one (its free any way). This is a great opportunity to say our thanks for all the years of work Alan has put into this project single handed and we look forward to welcoming this amazing educational artefact back to the signal box!


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Up coming open days

Please remember our two open days are coming up next month on:
July Saturday 5th
July Sunday 13th

Come along and see the progress since we shut and have a go. If you've never been, come along and see what it's all about, this is for anyone of any age, expericence or knowledge.

We hope to see you there, don't forget it's free!!

Pleases remember we have to use the back gate, THE FROUNT GATES WILL NOT BE OPEN!! Parking is available in the Nightingale surgury 

Great Well Drive




Saturday, 14 June 2014

Ding Ding; Romsey Signalbox crew Entering Section

Today, the friends of Romsey signal box were let loose around England as they went on their first ever social day trip to visit other preserved signal boxes. Friends on the trip were:
  • David Trewern
  • Keith Phillips
  • Gavin Brooker
  • Jamie Brooker
  • Peter Chatfield (joined us at Ropley)
  • Janet Payne
  • Ben Cook
  • Tom
  • Roger Pleasant
  • Dick Hewett (who kindly provided transport)

The day started by the members meeting just outside Romsey/getting picked up on our way out as we headed for our first signal box of the day, Ropley on the Mid Hants line, we were to meet Peter there as he had come down on the train. When we arrived, we were greeted by Jim Russell, Distric Inspector from the organisation. He took us up into the box and answered any of our questions alongside the signalman working the box. We had talks about the progress of signalling on the line, near feature advancements of Ropley signal box, and anything else we wanted to know about the signalling of the line and general discussion on mainline signalling.

Once we had been into the box and got in the way of the signalman a couple of times, we had to tear
ourselves away from the excitement of an actual working box and proceed to our next location, St Albans signal box.

Like Romsey, St Albans is a preserved signal box that runs simulations, the only difference is, they are very close to the main line (and very, very fast trains!!). They gave us a tour of their site and showed us how they worked their open days. We were very impressed by their extensive collection of signalling artefacts and  all the demonstration material they had in their visitor centre: token block demonstration, communication demonstration, upper/lower quadrant demo, e.t.c.

After having a look around and some of the members (mostly Jamie) having a play on some of the ground frames and demonstration material in the bottom of the box (their visitor centre) we were allowed upstairs to see the business end of things.

Once up there we were given information on the box and its workings, followed by a simulation. After this, the members were let loose on the frame. Jamie was volunteered to go first, and... broke the simulator. After resolving the problem, other members had goes working the frame and learning about the box. At the end, Jamie had another go at the frame, and broke it again (this time it was not his fault, it was a frequently reoccurring problem, so we let him off).

Overall, a very good day was had by all. Ideas on modification to Romsey box/how we run open days were suggested and it has given us some good things to go away and think about.

Please follow the link here for St Albans website

 Photos from today;