Taita Signal Box

Taita Signal Box on the Hutt Valley electrified line had an individual function switch panel controlling a relay interlocking.

Taita was a switch in/switch out signal box. In 2013 it was switched in from 0600 - 0840 in the morning and from 1515 - 1900 in the evening to terminate Taita services.

The Box was switched out for the final time on Friday 18th July 2014. The existing interlocking is now controlled from Train Control.

Taita side view

Taita Box viewed from the Taita shopping centre. The panel and relay room are on the first floor of the station building.

Very Brief History

1947. The steam operated Hutt Valley Railway was extended from Naenae to Taita. I do not have any information about the Taita signal box of this period.

1953. The current Taita Box opened and electric services from Wellington commenced. The signal box controlled yards at Taita and Naenae. Locomotive hauled carriage trains terminated at Taita, some stabling overnight.

1960/61. Taita and Naenae converted to switchout panels.

1981.  From 10th May 1981 the Taita yard was open for private siding traffic only. (Rails Magazine July 1981). For a detailed article describing Taita operations in 1981 see NZRO No. 179 Vol 41, No 3   "Taita as a Sub-Terminal Station"   D.K.G. Greenhill.

1982. The last locomotive hauled carriage train to Taita ran on 3 November 1982. After this date all services were worked by EMUs.

1984. The Naenae Goods shed closed on 3rd November 1984. The yard remained open for wagon lots. (Rails Magazine December 1984).

1996. Naenae signals removed and the yard lifted, although the loop overhead is still in place in 2013.

2000. The Taita yard was simplified - the loop was removed and the storage road became single ended. The loop overhead is still intact in 2013.

2013. On 9th December 2013 Taita Box was temporarily closed after tests for asbestos were positve. Taita services pushed up to return to Wellington. On Monday 27th January 2014 Taita Box re-opened.

2014. Taita Box was switched out for the final time at 1841 on Friday 18th July 2014. At 0001 on Saturday 19th July 2014 the Box was decommissioned. The existing interlocking is now operated from Train Control. It was originally planned to install a computer based interlocking but under a revised plan the 1950s era equipment was retained.

Panel in 2013

Panel in 2013

Left. The left hand side of the panel controlled a goods yard at Naenae. The yard closed about 1980 and all track structures had been removed by 1996.

Right. The right hand end of the panel controls Taita.

Photo taken standing inside the toilet door to get all of the panel in the frame.

Label On Back Of Panel
The panel was constructed in an era when most towns in New Zealand had industries that provided employment and trained apprentices.

2013 Layout


25 Up Home. Normal or Low speed to Up Main
26 Shunt from Down Main. Low Speed to Down Main
27  Shunt from Down Main. Low Speed to Down Main
28 Up Plaform Starting from Up Main. Normal Speed to Up Main; Low Speed to Storage
29 Shunt from Down Main. Low Speed to Storage
31 Up Starting from Up Main.

125 Down Starting from Down Main.
126 Down Platform Starting.
127 Shunt and Down Starting from Up Main. Low Speed to Down Main
129 Shunt from Storage.
Low Speed to Up Main or Down Main
132 Shunt from Up Main. Low Speed to up Main
134 Down Home. Normal Speed to Down Main
135  Down Outer Home.

Managing Taita Services In 2013

Panel close up

Up Platform. The most efficient move is for an Up Taita service to berth at the Up platform. It is Normal speed from 25 signal to the platform. As soon as the train has finished its passenger work it can depart (if time) back to Wellington through 77 points.

Down Platform. Usually an up Taita is closely followed by an up Upper Hutt express (stops Waterloo and Taita then all-stops to Upper Hutt). If there is no conflicting down train the up Taita can be berthed on the Down platform via 75 points, a low-speed move. The following Upper Hutt can then arrive at the up platform while the Taita is completing its passenger work.

Storage Road. If there is a following Upper Hutt train and also a conflicting down movement then the up Taita must go into the storage road via 78 points. This is the most flexible, but slowest move - often the following Upper Hutt waits at 25 signal while the Taita completes its passenger work. It is also the least convenient for the crew because they cannot use a platform to change ends.

The train usually exits storage via 79 points following a down Upper Hutt service but could use 78 and 77 points if the down Upper Hutt is delayed and there is no conflicting up train.

Typical moves can be viewed on the Taita Peak Timetable 2013 page.

More Information...

What the Signalman Sees (from the windows)

Photographs taken from the windows. show the use of the storage road to allow Up and Down Upper Hutt services to pass a terminating Taita service.

Signal Box & Station Building

Photographs of the signal box and station building.


Study Taita Timetables from 1947 to 2001. Also study the Taita Peak Timetable 2013 page which defines the berthing arrangements for Taita services.

Push Up to Return

The Push to Return control on the up platform allows Up trains to terminate and return to Wellington when the signalbox is switched out.

Control Tables

Study the 1982 Control Tables for the period before the loop and other structures were removed.

Taita & Petone Compared

Although Taita and Petone signal boxes are of the same vintage and use the same technology there is a significant difference in the interlockings, requiring different operating techniques at the two boxes.


Study the extension of the Hutt Valley Railway north from Waterloo to Taita on my Waterloo - Taita page.


Read the instructions for using the telephone network.

Direction Chart

The Direction Chart told the signalman which levers to operate to set up a specific route.

Local Instructions

L889 1960

L365 2001

Taita Box Closed

In July 2014 the panel was closed and the interlocking remotely controlled  from Train Control in Wellington.

Last Updated: Wednesday 29th Nov 2014

Validated by HTML Validator (based on Tidy)