Spring 2017 started with a BANG!  That was the sound of the starting pistol which had been fired after all the years of warming up: the Railway achieved its 25 year dream of holding the lease to enable our trains to run into Princes Risborough station. Now all we needed was a platform, some track and some signals, roughly in that order.

S&T work continued inside the box until the signing of the lease in spring 2017. Having the largest remaining Great Western signal box in the UK also means having the most signal box painting to do in the UK!  Washing down countless years of railway grime, rubbing it all down, undercoating it and then finally top coating it was a daunting task. We made a good start in spring but after that the S&T team spent most of the summer and autumn working alongside other teams within CPRRA, finding Platform 4 buried in the undergrowth and then rebuilding it.

With the platform built we handed over the next step - track laying - to our Permanent Way team. S&T were then back working in the box over winter 2017/18 and with the benefit of all the trees we’d cut down providing for roaring fires, we set about completing the urgent tasks needed to qualify for a very welcome Railway Heritage Trust grant towards some of the renovation costs; a new ceiling over the old relay room (see the pictures below), extending the lever frame back to its 1960s length, reinstating the partition on the operating floor and of course the never ending replacement of rotten timber and then painting anything that didn’t move.

Princes Risborough North Signal Box; Recent History (2017/18)

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Association is a registered charity, number 1016237. It and the railway it owns are operated, managed, developed and maintained entirely by volunteers.

©PRNB 2018                                         Updated: 01/06/2018                                                     E&OE

The operating floor partition was first installed when the signalling arrangement at Princes Risborough was simplified and the lever frame shortened, back in the eighties. It allowed part of the box to be an office and latterly a mess room for train crews. By reinstating it, we will be able to keep the ‘live’ operating area separate and open part of the box to the public in future.

2018 will see the S&T team in its element. Now that the Princes Risborough end of the line will again have points controlling train paths, there is all the work of reinstating the levers in the box such that they will throw sets of points. In fact, work on this has already started - all the levers in the “public” area of the operating floor have been installed and many of the others are back in the frame. All the necessary rodding needs putting in place, connecting up and testing. Eventually, up will go the best advertisement a Heritage Railway could possibly get: imposing semaphore signals with their gleaming red boards and white stripe.  But that’s for the next chapter in our history. We invite you, the reader, to help shape it.

The new partition in all it’s glory