Petone Junction Signalling History

This page documents signalling and track layout changes at Petone Junction.

Petone Junction provided access to the Hutt Park Railway and probably also to the Petone Workshops but I do not have any evidence to the latter.

I have adopted the convention north on left, as that was used on S & I 30, which was the first circular that I drew.

Petone Junction Locality Diagram


The date is that on the S & I - not necessarily the date the changes were commissioned.

August 1905 Lower Hutt to Petone (and presumably Petone Junction) duplicated. Two-position signalling.

March 1922 Automatic three-position signalling commissioned from Wellington to Lower Hutt. Petone Junction a switchout signal cabin. Low Speed and A lights installed.

S & I 460 Not Yet Copied (may be an Upper Hutt S & I).

October 1940 No change at Petone Junction - the new S & I was issued because of changes at Lower Hutt. Hutt Park Branch now Gear Meat Co.'s Siding.

October 1945 Petone Junction Up Home converted to a searchlight signal. Colour ground lights replace semaphores.

May 1951 Petone Junction Signal Cabin abolished. Access to Gear Co.'s Siding by switchlock 25 released from Petone.

Notes Additional notes to support some of the dates quoted on this page.

November 1901

In 1901 the Petone - Ngauranga section was single track, worked under the tablet system. Tablet had been introduced in July of that year. An extract from the 1901 Working Timetable explains how trains were worked to and from the Hutt Park branch.

August 1905

In August 1905 S & I 30 brought into use new two-position signalling arrangements at Petone Junction. Duplication of the Lower Hutt - Wellington section had begun in 1904 and reached Petone in May 1905 (Lower Hutt Station was officially opened that month). The single line south of Petone Junction continued to be worked by the Tablet system. Lock & Block was not introduced on the double line until July 1909 so how was Lower Hutt to Petone Junction worked from 1905 until 1909? The text of S&I 30 suggests that there were fixed signals at Petone Junction before August 1905. The text of the S & I also refers to the Goods Yard as Petone Old Station.

August 1905
1 Control on Petone Advance Starter
15 Up Starter & Control 16' 6"

2 Down Home Main Line 15' 6"
4 Down Home From Goods Yard 17' 6"
5 Down Home From Hutt Park 15' 6

14 Up Home To Hutt Park 23' 0"
16 Up Home To Main Line 25' 6"
13 Up Home To Goods Yard 23' 0"
17 Up Distant 17' 6"

March 1922

Automatic signalling with three-position upper quadrant signals replaced Lock & Block on the double track Lower Hutt - Wellington section. Duplication of this section had been completed in April 1911. Lock & Block had been installed from Lower Hutt to Kaiwharawhara in July 1909 and reached Wellington in April 1911. The Up Home signal has a dummy (?) lower arm, an A light and a low speed light (to Goods or Hutt Park). Petone Junction was a switch-out signal cabin and was switched-in and worked by a shunter from Petone as required. Lock bars have been removed.

Does Petone Junction provide access to the Petone Workshops?

S & I 460

Not yet copied (may be an Upper Hutt S & I).

October 1940

S & I probably issued because of the construction of the Western Hutt Road from Petone to Normandale. This required required resignalling at Lower Hutt as that signal box had to be moved. Hutt Park Branch now Gear Meat Co Siding. Petone has slot control on the Petone Junction Down Home. 624 may be Stop & Stay rather than Stop & Proceed. Petone Junction is a switch-out signal cabin. The S & I introduced Prepare to Reduce To Medium Speed indication with amendment to Automatic Signalling Regulations. The Petone Workshops had been closed about ten years previously.

October 1940
1 Down Control
2 Down Home
3 Down Shunting Line Home
4 Down Gear Co.'s Siding Home
5 Points & Trap Down Main & Gear Co.'s Siding
6 Crossover Up Main & Shunting Line
13 Crossover Up & Down Mains
14 Crossover Up & Down Mains
15 Low Speed from Up Main
16 Up Home
17 Up Control

October 1945

Searchlight signals replace semaphores from Kaiwharra to Petone Junction, including Petone Junction Up Home. Colour ground lights installed, replacing semaphores on shunting line and Gear Co.'s siding. Petone Junction is a switch-out signal cabin.

October 1945
1 Down Control
2 Down Home NS to Down Main
3 Down Shunting Line Home LS to Down Main
4 Down Gear Co.'s Siding Home LS to Down Main
5 Points & Trap Down Main & Gear Co.'s Sdg
6 Crossover Up Main & Shunting Line
12 Shunt LS from Down Main
13 Crossover Up & Down Mains
14 Crossover Up & Down Mains
15 Low Speed Up Main to shunting line or Gear Co.'s Sdg
16 Up Home NS to Up Main
17 Up Control

May 1951

Petone Junction signal cabin was abolished. Access to the Gear Co.'s siding was by a switchlock released by Petone No. 25 Permission lever (old signal box). Note that just south of Petone Station was a siding also known as Gear Co.'s Siding.

The S & I included the following Instruction:

No. 26 Shunt Signal does not give authority for a train to set back over No. 25 switchlocked points normal. If it is necessary to set back into Petone Station yard from the switchlock the train must first be hand signalled up to No. 26 Shunt signal.

By October 1952 there was a complex interlocking in this area controlled from the new Petone Signal Box. See my Petone Signalling History page for details. See the text of Petone S&I 665 (March 1952). I think that switchlock 92 in the text is number 25 in the diagram below.


Tablet Te Aro - Lower Hutt on 14 July 1901 (Semaphore to CTC). Duplication started from Lower Hutt in 1904. Did it reach Petone Junction in August 1905? Semaphore To CTC says Lock & Block introduced on 3 April 1911 from Wellington to Lower Hutt. (Lower Hutt to Kaiwharawhara on 25 July 1909). Semaphore to CTC says Lock & Block first introduced at Newmarket in 1909. Therefore what safeworking system was in use from Lower Hutt to Petone Junction in 1905? Were the new signalling arrangements at Petone Junction in 1905 due to duplication reaching Petone Junction? Once Upon a Village - Lower Hutt - Petone duplication finished in May 1905 (Lower Hutt station opened that month).

Last Updated: Sun June 16 2013

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