Avon West - SignallingWA

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Avon West

Signal Cabins in WA


WAGR -  Railway (E. R. - Avon Valley Route)

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14 Levers


Superceeded by AVON YARD PANEL

West Avon was a temporary signal cabin provided during the construction of the Standard and Narrow Gauge facilities at the then new Avon Yard marshalling yard complex. Unlike other "temporary" signal cabins, West Avon did live up to it's role, lasting a mere six months, and together with East Avon had possibly the shortest working lives of any fixed signal cabins in Western Australia. West Avon signal cabin was situated on the new "Avon Valley" dual-gauge route between East Northam and Bellevue which opened on 13/02/1966. On that date most of the old "Eastern Railway" between East Northam and Bellevue was abandoned in favour of the new, more easily graded dual gauge line which for the most part followed the course of the Avon River.

(Editor's Note: Western Australians pronounce the name Avon with a 'hard' A - and therefore not the same as the English river of the same name.)

The 1966 view of the West Avon Signal Cabin above was taken from one of the carriages of the same narrow gauge train as in the East Avon page en route from Central Avon to Bellevue. Note the signal Cabin just ahead of the locomotive. The train is about to Pass No. 2 Up Home and cross onto the double line for its run down "the Valley" (the 'Up' direction).

Both West Avon and East Avon worked with a location within the Avon Yard complex called Central Avon, however this was merely an "Auxiliary Staff Cabin" with no full-time Signalman appointed. Further afield though, West Avon controlled the entrance to, and exit from, the dual gauge double line to Bellevue.

The Supplement to Weekly Notice No. 4 of 1966 states:
"Avon Yard - East Northam - Spring Hill Signalling. Temporary Signalling will be brought into use between the Western entrance to Avon Yard through to East Northam and Spring Hill.

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Signal Boxes have been erected at the Western and Eastern Entrances to Avon Yard, the one at the Western entrance being known as WEST AVON and the one at the Eastern entrance being known as EAST AVON. The narrow gauge main line between WEST AVON and EAST AVON will be single line working under Electric Staff Block Regulations, miniature staff, Colour,  RED."

Railway Signal Company 'miniature' instruments were used, and, as there was a set of staff locked points which gave access to the Narrow Gauge 'Up Arrival' line at Central Avon, an Auxilliary Instrument was positioned in the Auxiliary Staff Cabin there.

Page 5 of the Supplement to Weekly Notice No. 4 of 1966 adds:
"Duplicate staff instruments are provided at EAST AVON and also in the auxiliary staff cabin at CENTRAL AVON. These duplicate staff instruments are out of phase so that only one staff can be obtained from all the staff instruments for the section at the one time."

West Avon signal cabin was closed on the 14/08/1966 with the opening of the Avon Yard Panel situated atop the newly constructed Yard Master's building.
The fate of the West Avon signal cabin is unknown.

Editor's note: At this point in time, no photos are available of the interior of West Avon signal cabin - the Editor would be most interested to hear from anyone who can furnish these photos
. Any additional information on this signal cabin would be most welcome - please use the e-mail form provided on this page.

Information researched and interpreted by Chris. J. E. French of SignallingWA
Photographs © by W. A. G. R., Chris. J. E. French
and K. Raynes courtesy of RHWA Archives (image T2385)

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WEST AVON Employees

This list may not be complete and does not yet include employees who worked here without being appointed.
Where an appointment date is unknown, the Weekly Notice (WN) date advising of the appointment or other official documentation, i.e. Certificate of Competency (CC) will be used.




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