Claremont (2) - SignallingWA

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Claremont (2)

Signal Cabins in WA


WAGR - Eastern Railway (E. R.)

1938 WAGR MAP Mileage = 6

Location Map

Next Down Station:

Next Up Station:

Quick Facts

Interlocking into use:






18 Lever Frame

Winter's Block

Fate: Unknown

Early in February 1897, the first of two Signalmen was officially appointed at Claremont, then on the 22nd of the month, the second Signalman. The following day, the Daily News newspaper of 23rd February 1897 announced on page 3, that:
"Yesterday afternoon the duplicate railway line between Fremantle and Subiaco was thrown open for traffic. The 1.30 p.m. train from Fremantle was the first to travel over the new rails, and the trains that followed in the afternoon ran with a greater degree of punctuality than has been the case lately. The Railway Department is working that section on which the duplication is finished under the ‘Winter’s Absolute Block System,’ while on the single line between Subiaco and West Perth the electric staff system will remain in use. Between Fremantle and East Fremantle the line has been quadrupled, and in order to relieve the main passenger lines all goods trains will proceed by the separate lines. The general manager of railways (Mr. John Davies) and the chief traffic manager (Mr, John T. Short) visited the duplication yesterday afternoon, and were well pleased with all the arrangements that had been made."

The week ending the 16th April 1897 announced another milestone, in that interlocking had been connected with the signal box since the 7th April. Unfortunately, no evidence, in the way of a Diagram of Signalling has yet been discovered regarding this innovation, or the track layout that was in use at the time.

In the two subsequent Weekly Notices however, those concerned were advised of the Whistle Codes (used by Main Line and Shunting Locomotives to request movements between different lines and platforms). By this time, the second platform was now being correctly termed an 'Island' platform and the track adjacent to it had been slewed in to enable it to be used as a proper passenger platform.

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The Whistle Codes seem to agree with the plan which shows in the McKenzie and Holland 'Plans and Estimates' Book, the diagram of which appears at the top of this page. Although this drawing was dated, 08/08/1898, it is uncertain at this stage if this was indeed the track layout used in the 1897 interlocking. [Editor's note: As usual, should any information come to light which may shed some light on this, please advise to ensure this page is corrected.] Should this diagram echo the signalling at the time, it may indeed be the way the station was provided with additional signal security? The signal cabin was shown on the drawing as a rectangle towards the Perth end of the No. 1 platform, which was the 'Down' platform in those days. Judging by the numbering of the points and signals, it certainly appears that the levers in the cabin were positioned at the front of the signal box, and therefore would seem to fit perfectly (refer to the obstruction of the Signalman's view) with the harsh criticism offered by the press of the time on page 2 of the Daily News of 3rd June 1897. This again, seemed to continue the legacy of controversial signalling at this station.

The year 1899, appears to have been another of minor corrections and changes. The first was the official announcement of the change to the Terms 'Up' and 'Down' - these being promulgated in Weekly Notice 26 of 1899. The second change that year, was that Signal boxes were subject to Classification - In Claremont's case, it was rated as a 3rd Class Cabin as from 1st July 1899.

The next year, 1900, saw more innovations: The Claremont 'Down' Distant Signal, which was a considerable distance from the Signal Cabin, and out of sight of the Signalmen by being around a curve (near today's Scotch College), was provided with an Electric Signal Repeater from 13th July 1900. Then, in October, a new 32 foot high 'Down' Starting signal was erected and provided with a 'repeating arm (co-acting signal) so as to enable it to be seen under the recently provided pedestrian footbridge. The top arm of this signal, situated at the top of the post, and well over the heads of patrons using the footbridge, was easily sighted by Locomotive Drivers when approaching from a distance. Both arms worked as the same signal, and the Rules stated that should either arm fail to work when the signal was set to 'Proceed', then the signal was to be regarded as a 'Stop' signal.

On the 7th January, 1902, the 'Up' Starting Signal was removed and refixed 85 yards nearer to the Platform, i.e. on the Perth side of the Level Crossing which spanned all the tracks at the station. This was the last event at this cabin's short, if somewhat troubled working life as it was closed on Wednesday, 15th January 1902 when a new Signal Cabin was brought into use. This new cabin, situated on the ground beyond the platform ramp at the Fremantle end of the 'Up' Platform became the third such structure along that platform. One thing that each cabin had was the orientation - the levers were all nearest the main line. The Copy of Circular 465 of 10th January 1902 did state that the old cabin would be 'taken down and removed', but one has to wonder, was this actually the case? Perhaps the lever frame and block instruments inside the cabin were, but a building similar in style to the smaller cabins of the time shows at the very same location in photographs taken in the mid-1930s. This remains a tantalising puzzle that requires further investigation. To date, no photographs have yet come to light that show this 2nd Claremont Signal Cabin, either inside or out during its working life of 9 years, 6 months and 7 days, but we can still hope. The story of Signalling at Claremont continues on the page CLAREMONT (3)...

NOTE: This page is under development - please check back later, however, if you have any additional information on this signal cabin, it would be most welcome - please use the e-mail form provided.

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

Additional reference: "Station Masters of WA" by J. Austin 2011

Photographs courtesy of RHWA Archives and are credited beneath each image.

This page is copyright, and permission must be sought from SignallingWA before this page is used for any purpose other than personal education.

CLAREMONT (2) 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.




Malone, J. December 1893 to July 1897
Station Master
Gunning, Michael 02/02/1897 Signalman
Douglas, Hugh J. 22/02/1897 Signalman
Thomas, G. W. 26/06/1897
Slater, J. 01/07/1897 Station Master, Class 3
Nesbit, William James 26/07/1897 Signalman
Humphries, Alfred Robert 19/11/1897 Signalman
Smith, Jasper 21/04/1898 Night Officer
Lucas, Alfred H. 21/04/1899 Signalman
Hill, A. H. 02/09/1899 Signalman, Class 3
Ryan, Matthew James 09/12/1899
Signalman, Class 3
Seldon, O. 01/09/1901 Station Master
Smith, Robert 15/12/1901 Signalman
     Is a name missing?
Please submit any corrections / additions with suitable evidence using the e-mail form above.
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