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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Inside Malvern Wells Signal Box

Back in June, I was lucky enough to spend an hour or so inside the active signal box at Malvern Wells' old GWR station. The box stands guard over the eastern approach to Colwall Tunnel and was built in 1919, replacing the original signal cabin constructed over fifty years previously. An important note: as with many of the sites on this blog, I was able to visit the signal box only after obtaining permission. However, this site carries the obvious added risk that it is a live railway, so please enjoy my pictures instead of going near it yourself.

Ground Level

Malvern Wells signal box standing behind the derelict GWR station.
The signal box is accessed by a simple ramp leading off a private road.
The signal box from the south.
Looking south towards Colwall Tunnel (round the bend!)
The rear of the signal box. This view is very difficult to see normally because the land behind the box drops away steeply onto the small housing estate north of Worcestershire Golf Course.
Signal at the foot of the signal box.
The view north towards Peachfield Bridge. The old station lay behind the hedgerow here.
A fuller view of the above.
Behind the signal box lie the remains of what may have been a previous building. The ground is littered with old bricks, boards and stones. I have no idea if these are just cast-offs from previous repairs to the 1919 box, but these scraps do sit on the location of the very first Victorian signal cabin at the Wells. Perhaps someone will know if this is the case or just wishful thinking on my part!

Some old roofing boards.
Blue bricks in the undergrowth, the same Imperial colour as used on much of the Ashchurch branch.
Some more stones, barely visible in the nettles.
These bricks look slightly more permanent.
Inside the Box

Up the stairs onto the top floor...
Part of the large shelf of old instruments in the box.
The junction diagram above the lever array. The large green GWR Lock & Block instrument by which the single line to Ledbury is worked is the last remaining single-line section in the country to use this system.
Very colourful!
The View from the Top Floor

A FGW DMU waits for the driver to change ends.
The old signal discs below Peachfield Bridge.
Across the way looking at the old third line at the Wells.
North towards Malvern Common.
Peachfield Bridge.
The view from the back window...
Down the line towards Colwall Tunnel.
The single-track approach to the tunnel. The overgrown third line can be seen petering out on the right.


  1. Surprised you didn't comment on the GWR Lock & Block instrument by which the single line to Ledbury is worked (the big green one in the photo with the box diagram). This is the last remaining single-line section in the country to use this system. Also, minor and a bit nit-picky, but it's down to Colwall from here, not up!

    1. Cheers Adrian! I didn't comment on it because I didn't know, so thank you for the information! Have amended the caption, too!

  2. Fascinated by the lock and block instruments. The line to Ledbury and on to Hereford was originally double track except for the Colwall & Ledbury tunnels. GWR lock and block controlled the single sections from Malvern Wells Tunnel Box to Colwall Station Box and from Ledbury Tunnel (North) to Ledbury Station. There was a further signal box at Cummings Crossing on the double line between Colwall station and Ledbury Tunnel (North).