ST BLAZEY SIGNAL BOX
St Blazey box opened in 1908, replacing an old Cornwall Mineral Railway box on a site opposite. In 1908 and for some years afterwards, the box has a dual function: note that the nameboard is off-centre.
This is because as built, the Par end of the building was a 2-storey yard and control office, with windows down almost to floor level, and with a separate entrance and staircase. The nameboard was therefore central to the 'signal box' part of the building. This arrangement came to an end about 1920, but the altered brickwork is still visible - and the signalman has a great space at the Par end of the box.
When the old cast iron nameplates were needlessly and foolishly removed in the 1980s they repeated the old position of the nameboard.
BUGLE SIGNAL BOX
As with St Blazey, I enjoyed visiting this box back in the 1960s. Bugle had a 41 lever frame (same size as SBZ) which was installed in 1930 when the line to Goonbarrow was doubled. By the 1960s Bugle was very quiet, while Goonbarrow was busy.
The website photos show the box after the economies of 1964, when it became Bugle Ground Frame ( not Molinnis GF as some references say). There were now two working levers (gate bolt and up distant -the down distant was fixed) and 39 spares!
Roy Many thanks Roy, I'll add the info to the relevant signalboxes
Cheers, Craig Many thanks Craig
by Roy Hart
Reading the late Cyril Hitchens' piece about Probus reminded me about a visit I made to Probus box in 1964: the box was reached up a quiet farm track, then down a path along the cutting. It was a ground-level wooden structure, on the outside of a curve, so the signalman's eyes were at wheel level of trains.
The story began in the 1890s, when the Great Western resolved to double the Cornish main line. The problem was not the widened earthworks, but the viaducts. Between St Austell and Truro were 9 viaducts: St Austell, Gover, Coombe, Fal, Probus, Tregarne, Tregeagle, Truro and Carvedras. Probus was to be replaced by an embankment, the others by wider, masonry structures.This made traffic management difficult, with Grampound Road the only passing place. At Probus was a small box, Probus siding. It lay to the west of the later Probus Halt. The long single line section from Grampound to Truro was a difficulty and Probus siding had just a small loop with no room for expansion, so the box was closed and a new, long crossing loop installed, with a box at each end: Probus East and Probus West. With the completion of doubling in the area in 1896, Probus West remained as a break- section box: Probus.
Probus box was an example of the old-time railway: in 1964 I found the signalman ensconsed in an armchair with the two resident cats. The box had four signals only by then. The frame was the original from the 19th century. So low was the structure that ballast was thrown up like bullets by passing trains.
This quaint little spot was obliterated in 1965. Today it is possible to spot the notch in the cutting near the overbridge where the box once stood.
Many thanks to Roy for this additional information.