Welwyn GC station around 1968?

By Frank C

Photo from my friend Peter Foster showing two ‘Paxman’s’ bringing the empty rubbish wagons back from Blackbridge Sidings and returning to Ashburton Grove, near Finsbury Park. The passenger service on the Luton line had been gone for a few years by this time. Can you see the tin hut projecting from the footbridge, in the middle of the picture and with three windows? That’s where I started my career, it was known as the ‘East Side Booking Office’

This page was added on 22/08/2014.

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  • Hi, could you add something to my original post please.

    The second line down from the top post-

    “There was 2 lever frames in the box OF THE SAXBY & FARMER DESIGN facing away from the main running lines…”

    Thank you Michael


    By Michael S (25/11/2015)
  • Hi again, also could you also add a letter that i accidently missed out in my original text in the top post please.

    7 lines down in the line where it says “duplicate bock bells” that should read “duplicate block bells” the word should read BLOCK and not BOCK thank you.



    By Michael S (25/11/2015)
  • The Welwyn Garden City & Luton Town passenger service finished in 1965 although the single line branch line remained open as far as Blackbridge sidings near Wheathampstead until 1971 for a daily ‘rubbish train’ that originated from sidings at Ashburton Grove in north London now the site of the new Arsenal FC stadium. These ‘rubbish trains’ were also worked by double-headed Brush type 2 diesel locos (later class 31) as well as the Paxman diesel locos shown in the photograph.

    When the returning empty rubbish trains arrived back at Welwyn Garden City as shown in the photograph the train would run beyond the station along the Down slow line towards the 20th Mile bridge and stop (at a Limit of Shunt board) then it would be ‘propelled back’ along the Down slow line towards and through the station and out onto the Down main line via a set of points outside the signal box and stop just beyond the Hunters Road overbridge it would then be crossed over onto the Up fast line for it’s return run back towards Hatfield all these movements would be carried out under the control of the signal box shown in the photograph.  


    By Michael S (28/10/2014)
  • Welwyn Garden City signal box opened circa 1926 and closed in September 1976 as part of the Kings Cross to Sandy re-signalling scheme. There was 2 lever frames in the box facing away from the main running lines the first was a small lever frame containing about 20 levers which was known as the ‘Luton frame’ and the second was the main lever frame containing 85 levers. There was 4 wooden cased block instruments of the L.N.E.R. Thompson design type mounted on the block shelf for the Down slow, Down fast, Up fast & Up slow lines plus there was also several wooden housed individual duplicate bock bells for the Up fast & Up slow lines towards Hatfield no.2 signal box and also for the Down fast & Down slow lines from Hatfield no.3 signal box (from November 1969 onwards from Hatfield no.2 signal box) also mounted on the block shelf as well was the Welwyn Garden City illuminated track diagram showing the track layout. Standing opposite the main 85 lever frame to the left of the train register desk and facing the main running lines (in the vicinity of levers nos.50-60) was the single needle telegraph instrument that originally worked four telegraph circuits (by the mid 1960s onwards only 2 circuits were still in use) with there dial faces containing there single needle & sounder being mounted in a wooden cabinet with the exisiting 2 telegraph circuits then in use being the Kings Cross to Hitchin telegraph circuit and the Hatfield no.1 to Sandy telegraph circuit.

    The signal box was staffed by 3 regular signalmen working Monday to Saturday 6:00am-2:00pm 2:00pm-10:pm & 10:00pm-6:00am and on Sundays 6:00am-6:00pm & 6:00pm-6:00am. There was also 2 telegraph lads employed at the box although by the 1960s & 1970s there was only one lad at the box me being one of them working at the box after leaving secondary school between July 1972-March 1974.


    By Michael S (03/10/2014)