Cravens Heritage Trains

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Epping Signal Cabin

Introduction

Since 2001 CHTL have leased the disused signal cabin at Epping. In the future we hope to restore the cabin and use it as a meeting place for members and as a museum.

History

The 1935 New works programme heralded the introduction of London Transport Tube trains into Essex by the driving of new running tunnels from Liverpool Street to enable the Central Line to be joined up with the LNER Loughton and Ongar branch at Leyton.

Epping Signal Cabin seen from the station in 2001.

The branch was re-signalled to the then LPTB standard of two-aspect long-range colour-light stop signals (red and green) plus fog repeaters (with a black 'F' on the yellow aspect), which could be switched on when required. To give the necessary stopping distances for steam hauled freight trains distant signals of the externally floodlit disc type showing a black fish-tailed bar on a yellow background were provided. A new brick and concrete signal cabin was built at Epping complete with a Westinghouse K-type power frame with 47 miniature levers and illuminated diagram. The cabin was coded 'LW' and it was commissioned ready for electric trains working through to Epping from 25 September 1949. The new cabin replaced the original Great Eastern Railway signal box, which had stood on the down platform of Epping station.

The 47-lever frame was necessary because freight traffic was still playing its part on the railway. Epping had a large goods yard and gasworks siding, in addition there was still a locomotive shed and carriage sidings to cater for the Epping-Ongar services and early morning services to London that were still steam hauled. The line to Ongar was finally electrified on 18 November 1957. Freight traffic continued until 18 April 1966.

By September 1994 there were only 21 operational levers on the frame and with the closure of the Ongar section this was reduced to 14 levers, although to operate the normal service only seven levers were needed. The Central Line was re-signalled to modern standards with all movements being controlled from Wood Lane Signal Control Centre. On Sunday 28, July 1996, the 01.02 departure was the last train to be controlled and the cabin was switched out. For a short while all points and signals at Epping were controlled by a temporary panel in Loughton signal cabin prior to the eventual transfer of operations to Wood Lane.

The illuninated track diagram

The interior of the signal cabin during it's last year in use

The future...

We plan use the signal cabin as a museum and meeting place. A lease for the cabin was agreed with LT Property in the summer of 2001. In co-operation with Ongar Railway Preservation Society renovation of the cabin has begun. Initial work so far has focused on redecoration and the re-connection of services. Regrettably the original frame was removed after closure. However the 83-lever frame from Hainault cabin was secured as a replacement. It was dismantled in and components were moved to Epping over the weekend of 21/22nd May 2005. Over a dozen volunteers from Cravens, ORPS and other friends took part in the move.

The frame at Hainault in use in 1996. Bob Yeldham

On Saturday 21st May the frame components were moved from the cabin, loaded on board a train of 92TS and moved to the lifting shop. The components were then transfered to a hired van to for delivery to Epping the following morning.

The Saturday crew at Hainault minus Donald McGarr and Phil Wimbush. (Photo: Donald McGarr)

The components were moved from Hainult by road. (Photo: Phil Wimbush)

Bob drives the van away whilst others look worriedly at the tyres...(Photo: Donald McGarr)

The cabin interior at Epping. The frame stood in the centre of the room where the access panels to the relay room below can be seen. (Photo: Phil Wimbush)

L11 and Epping station seen from the cabin balcony (Photo: Donald McGarr)


Home News 1960 Stock Aldwych Branch Photos
High Barnet Shuttles East London Explorer
1962 Stock L11 History Preserved
Central Line Track Replacement Aldwych 2003
Wood Lane 2003 Isle of Wight 2003 More
Links Membership

For more information on CHTL contact Bob Yeldham - bob.yeldham21@btopenworld.com

For comments, questions and contributions to the website contact admin@cravensheritagetrains.co.uk

1960 Stock

Our three-car unit of 1960 Stock operated on the Central Line until withdrawl in 1994. Since 1995 we have operated regular railtours on the Underground network. More...
Aldwych Branch Photos...
High Barnet Shuttles...
East London Explorer..

1962 Stock

Our second train also operated on the Central Line for 30 years and is now being restored at Hainault depot. More...

L11

L11 a unique locomotive built for shunting at Acton works, now preserved by CHTL. More...

History

The eastern branches of the Central Line started life as part of the Eastern Counties Railway More...

More Preserved Tube Stock

Many other items of underground rolling stock have been preserved. More...

Photographs

Uxbridge Centenary
Central Line Track Replacement
Aldwych 2003
Wood Lane 2003
Isle of Wight 2003
More

Links

More railway and underground websites...

The Holden F5 Trust

Re-building a lost steam locomotive... More...

The Pumphouse

Low Hall Steam and Transport Museum in Walthamstow commemorates the industrial heritage of the Lea Valley. For more information visit the Pump House