Johnsonville Signalling

Changes in the signalling arrangements at Johnsonville, from mechanical signalling in 1917 to the present day.

I have taken six snapshots so some of the changes may have occurred at an earlier date than that listed.

Right Johnsonville 4L Down Departure with 4R Up Home in the background.



1 Down Distant 17' 0"

2 Down Home 22' 9"

34 Up Starter 32' 6" (Repeater Arm 13' 0")

7 Shunt from backshunt "A"

12 Shunt from backshunt B"

19 Shunt Up Main to Backshunt "A" or "B" 10' 6"

36 Up distant 18' 0"

35 Up Home 34' 6"

3 Down starter 25' 0"

23 Shunt Down Main to South Backshunt

Engine Whistles

Up and Down Main Line 1 long

To and from South Backshunt 1 short and 1 long

To and from North Backshunt A 1 long and 1 short

To and from Noth Backshunt B 2 short and 1 long

Enginemen must first give the whistle which applies to the road they are on, then the whistle for the road they require to go to.

Note. - To avoid unecessary whistling when shunting the Enginemen or Shunter should tell the Signalman which road they require setting when near enough to the signal box to be able to do so.


Motor points and colour light signals were installed at Johnsonville in December 1937. Tablet remained in operation until the third of July 1938 when it was cancelled. The full Wellington - Johnsonville automatic signalling came into operation on the fourth of July 1938.

Note the reference to electric trains. When was the line to Tawa lifted?

Arriving trains are automatically signalled to a free platform road; first choice is No.2 before noon and No.1 after noon.

On the station are two push-buttons controlling Nos 6 and 7 signals, and these may be used for dispatching passenger trains.

On the eastern side of the relay cabin a metal door gives access to an illuminated diagram. On the diagram, associated with each signal, is a push-button. The operation of a push-button causes the correct route to be set up and the signal to clear. A blue light on the diagram indicates thus: steady - route may be selected; flashing - route cancelled, push buttons ineffective; out - signal cleared.

Goods trains must stop at the Home signal and No. 3 button operated. The low-speed light illuminated and the "L" light displayed indicate that the points are correctly set for the Goods Loop.


Platform 1 removed.

Illuminated diagram as in 1938.

June 1969

Double slip and south backshunt removed.

Johnsonville now unattended. I am not sure if it was attended before this date.

Illuminated diagram as in 1938.

July 1969

Motor points replaced by handlever and switchlock.

"Distants" re-numbered from "R1" to distance based format. Did this change their function? Points and signals renumbered.

"L" light removed from Up Home signal.

Two signal control panels are provided, one on the station platform for controlling No 4 signal and one on the relay room adjacent to No 3 switchlocked points controlling Nos 2 and 4 signals.


Pilot keys removed by this date (they were shown on a 1985 S & I diagram). The 1938 diagram did not show pilot keys.

CTC was installed and signals renumbered using the conventions for remotely controlled stations.

In 1977 distances had been metricated. In about 1983 the branch had been shortened to free up land for a supermarket.

Last Updated: Sunday, August 07, 2005

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