Monday, February 16, 2009

The Cookham Station Signal Box and Signal Staff.

Layout of a standard GWR single line signal box.

Another piece of Cookham Railway history, which has long since disappeared, is the manned Signal Box and Level Crossing Gates.

The photo above shows a replica of the Cookham Signal Box except for one thing that the Level Crossing wheel would have been placed at the near side of this picture.

The single line Signal Staff. In 1912 GWR engineers Blackall and Jacobs invented the Electric Key Token (EKT) system and thereafter the GWR used EKT for new work and the replacement of old equipment. This Key Token was carried in the handle of the staff with a drawing from memory below.

The fireman on the engine would drop off a staff and pick up the next one as the engine passed the signal box. No photos or drawings are available of the two poles that were used for that purpose.

There were two keys that were in use. One between Cookham and Maidenhead, the other between Cookham and Bourne End. On arrival the key was inserted in the arrival switch which told the Maidenhead Signal Box that the train had arrived and also to inform Bourne End that a train was about to enter the section between Cookham and Bourne End. The photo above shows a replica of the EKT token or key.

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