Woburn Signalling History

This page documents signalling and track layout changes at Woburn.

Local Instruction L917   describes the operation of Woburn in 1960.


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

1927 - Automatic signalling commissioned.  

1951 - New layout and searchlight signals.  

1953 - New Woburn - Waterloo Interlocking  

1975 - Track changes southern end; Signal 14 Up Starting From Down Main Installed  

1988 - South backshunt truncated. Arrow Indicator removed; 45 Points motor added.  

1996 - Signals Fixed Red after station fire. Branch to Down Main Crossover removed.  

1998 - Normal indication changed from Stop to Clear.  

2006 - Access to Branch Changed  


Automatic signalling was commissioned at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, 25th May, 1927.


A new layout - Woburn was now in the basic form that it would be in for the next fifty years. Searchlight signals were installed. The diamond crossing was removed. For the purposes of the Regulations, Woburn was considered a Switch Out signal box. Overlaps were provided on all main line running signals.

May 1953 New Woburn - Waterloo Interlocking

A new interlocking, controlling both Woburn and Waterloo was brought into use in May 1953. Woburn-Waterloo became one interlocked station controlled by a switch-out signal box. Woburn and Waterloo could each be switched out separately. All signals were converted to searchlights.

38 and 40 crossovers were installed at Woburn - adding a diamond crossing and a single slip to the structures.

This was advised in S&I 674 which cancelled 664 (Woburn)and 630 (Waterloo).


There were track rearrangements at the southern end of the Woburn yard. The diamond crossover and single slip were removed. Signal 14 Up Starting From Down Main (Woburn) was installed, replacing 14A ground light which had been fixed red. The Woburn signal box now controlled the Gracefield Branch, which had been equipped with automatic signalling in 1968. Gracefield was a separate switch-out interlocked station.


The south backshunt was truncated and the Arrow Indicator removed. 45 Points motor was added. Hand points in the siding were electrically detected.


Some signals were Fixed Red after a station fire and all motor points hand wound. (The fire was on 20th November 1994 according to Semaphore To CTC). The Branch to Down Main Crossover number 38 was removed.


Most of the Fixed Red signals were blacked out. The Normal indication of mainline running signals was changed from Stop to Clear.

2006 - Access To Branch Changed

On 20th November 1994 (Toast Martinborough Day - I remember cycling past the burnt out station on my way to watch the special trains) Woburn Station was damaged by arson and the signalling damaged. The signalling has not been repaired. In 2002 the Gracefield Yard closed and since then the only regular trains using the branch have been shunts to the Hutt Workshops. In early 2003 work began on changes to the Gracefield Branch access arrangements.

The work was completed in August 2006. Earlier in the year the Gracefield Industrial Line had been re-named the Gracefield Industrial Siding. Access to the Gracefield Industrial siding is from the north end, with the points operated by switchstands. The switchstands are fitted with electric locks. See my Woburn Junction Changes page for details of the changeover. The changes introduced the concepts of Controlled Network; Controlled Network (Special Requirements) and Operater Controlled Territory. When there is a Block Of Line south of Waterloo EMUs reverse at Woburn North Siding. When there is a Block Of Line north of Waterloo Up EMUs cross over to the Down Main at the south cross-over, then run wrong-line in a form of Pilot working.

The 2006 changes at Woburn include changes to signals at Waterloo. For the period up to 2003 I have included the Waterloo signals on my Waterloo - Taita history page. For the period 2003 onwards I will include them on the Woburn page. Here are two diagrams - one showing Woburn - Waterloo signalling before the changes;  the other the signalling after the rearrangements. In September 2006 the redundant lower signal heads had not been removed - they functioned as "big" marker-lights.

Last Updated: Wed Mar 14 07:33:34 NZDT 2007

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