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By Russell Hollowood on

Borough Market Junction buttons up for winter

Thanks to the generosity of the Southern Friends, Borough Market Junction Signal Box has been the subject of major restoration work in 2013.

Considered the ‘Busiest signal box in Britain’, because it handled almost 100 trains an hour at peak times, this 1895 South Eastern Railway wooden signal cabin has been in York since 1976.

Borough Market Junction Signal Box
Borough Market Junction Signal Box in 1975
National Railway Museum

Donated by British Rail Southern Region, it was literally pulled apart and then re-assembled in York. The Westinghouse K series electromechanical signal frame was mounted on a concrete pad and the box, simply re-built around it.

Borough Market Junction Signal Box
Borough Market Junction Signal Box at the museum
National Railway Museum

Despite the ravages of the intervening thirty-seven years, the Columbian pine sub frame had survived almost un-damaged. This was crucial to the structures survival, as the sub-frame is the skeleton of the building.

Borough Market Signal Box at the National Railway Museum
Columbian pine sub frame of the Signal Box
National Railway Museum

Mould and fungus are a constant threat to wooden buildings and Borough Market was no different. To combat this threat, new wood replaced rotten wood and the whole structure was chemically treated.

Borough Market Signal Box at the National Railway Museum
Mould and fungus are a constant threat to wooden buildings
National Railway Museum

One addition to the original structure was the incretion of a breathable membrane between the inner and outer wooden skins. This was necessary to protect the K series signal frame and its associated equipment from bombardment by moister.

Borough Market Junction Signal Box at the National Railway Museum
Image courtesy of Mike Hanscomb

Add two coats of wood friendly paint, new and re-conditioned glazing, guttering and Borough Market is good for another fifty years. Roll on 2014, when we can start working on the inside.

Borough Market Junction Signal Box at the National Railway Museum
The signal box is ready for winter
National Railway Museum

3 comments on “Borough Market Junction buttons up for winter

  1. Great Shed! Buildings like this are always worthy of preservation, especially as the temptation was resisted to replace everything .
    I am intrigued by the roof what is it made from? as it is not clear from the photos.

    Thank you.

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