SAVE OUR SIGNAL BOX
Signals are key to a safe and efficient railway, and the signal box on Platform 1 at Haslemere continues to fulfill this function on a key section of the 'Portsmouth Direct' Line. Staffed around the clock (because some trains run out of normal service hours) the box controls the points and signals at Haslemere and other signals in the 'EW' zone (from Witley to Liphook).
The box dates from 1895 and is Grade II listed.
It is one of the last operating signal boxes (other than on preserved railways) to retain a fully operational lever frame and interlocking engine for daily use. The frame includes many levers for the sidings serving the from goods yards on both the up and down sides of the line.
However, as the railway moves towards greater efficiency through new technology, control of Haslemere's points and signals will be transferred to the modern signalling centre at Basingstoke in autun 2024. At that time , the signal box will become redundant.
As part of the Haslemere Community Station initiative – which includes the Information Hub on the station forecourt – a team of local public-spirited enthusiasts is campaigning to preserve the signal box as both an example of the town's railway heritage and as a future visitor attraction.
This page will be updated as frequently as possible to reflect developments in the preservation project and opportunities for local residents and visitors to reflect on the railway's contribution to the Haslemere area.
The Haslemere Society website has a comprehensive review of the history and importance of the railway through Haslemere. Click here for the full story.
Gifts boost museum plans
Thanks to Maggie Barlow who has donated a genuine BR clock for our Signal Box. It has been restored to full working order by Midhurst clockmaker Geoff Allnutt, who is keeping it safe in his shop until we take over the signal box.
It comes from the former Collage Lane signal box, Collingham, on the line between Newark and Lincoln.
We have also been donated a Brirtsh Rail signalman’s bag – plus its necessary contents.
What happens inside the box?
Big, heavy levers like these enabled signallers to control points and signals at considerable distances from their signal boxes.
Mechanical interlocking system beneath the cabin ensures that trains cannot proceed until correct routes are set.
Interior photography by special permission.
Not a lot has changed since this 1950s picture of Reginald Percy Heather "Darkie" who was a Haslemere signaller from the late 1940’s to the early 1960s.
Old pictures, railway
Haslemere Station track plans – 1900 and 1938
Apart from the removal of the goods yard on both sides, the 1938 track plan should still be recognisable for today's rail passengers.