Resignalling in 1894
Immediately after the conversion of the gauge, in 1892, the GWR planned to double the line from Camborne to Redruth. This work, naturally, involved resignalling. The existing signals at the time were semaphore, but showed red for danger and white for all clear. Note the emphasis on the document that all the new signals would carry 'red and green lights' -obvious to us today, but not then.
New boxes were planned at Redruth station (by the tunnel because of the need to handle train staffs for the single line to Scorrier) Redruth Junction,Carn Brea Yard East and West (later cancelled and reduced to one box), Carn Brea Station, North Crofty, Dolcoath, Roskear Junction and Camborne. The work was finished in 1896.
It will also be noticed that each of the two boxes had 'outer home' signals. These were a Victorian 'fad' on the GW: they had fishtail arms and worked in tandem with the home signal 1-200 yards ahead, thus giving enginemen some extra warning on curves etc. They had all gone by about 1910. These are not to be confused with the term 'outer home' used by foreigners like the LMS to mean an extra home signal 440 yards on the approach to the home signal, enabling the signalman to accept a train while his area was still occupied by shunting, for example. It should be borne in mind that distant signals in those days carried red arms and lights: drivers simply had to know at night, for instance, what type of signal they were approaching. All distant signals in Britain became yellow arm + light in 1927-9.
From this notice it can be learned that the old broad-gauge signalling at Redruth was pretty basic: Redruth Junction, for example, operated only two signals on the main line. The old box at Junction was on the down side, in the 'v' of the junction for Tresavean.
There is reference to 'independent discs' -these are what we know today: a ground signal operated by a lever in the box. This was a new innovation in the 1890s - previously, ground signals were simply rotating lamp cases bearing red and green targets at 90 degrees to each other and operated by a rod connected to the point blades. Their weakness is obvious: a green target was possible even if the points were not quite over.
This new Redruth station box in 1894 lasted only until 1914. Redruth Junction closed in 1966.
This document is a window into 1890s train operation and is a wonderful survivor.
Many thanks indeed to you Roy for your detailed description and insight into 1874 operations.
North Cornwall Line in July 1995