|Weston Rhyn signal box in 1974.
Photo by John Mann
A signal box was opened at Weston Rhyn then called Preesgweene by the Great Western Railway (GWR) in circa 1880, a few years after the passenger station had reopened. It was located on the up side (east) of the line on the north side of a level crossing which carried Station Road over the line. The passenger station was on the south side of the crossing.
The box controlled the crossing, access to the station goods yard and the junction for a branch to Preesgwyn colliery.
The original box was a product of McKenzie & Holland.
The Preesgwyn Colliery had closed by 1902 and the branch would have gone out of use.
In 1921 a new colliery opened at Ifton, two miles to the east of the railway. A branch was opened to serve the colliery. It connected to the main line north of the signal box and an area of sidings was laid to facilitate the transfer of wagons between branch and main line. Passing loops for goods trains were also provided on both sides of the line.
In 1924 the signal box was rebuilt. Its brick base was extended and fitted with a new GWR type 28b timber top. It was equipped with a 47-lever Great Western Railway Vertical Tappet 3-bar frame.
The signal box was renamed Weston Rhyn in February 1935. A GWR cast iron nameplate was ordered from Reading signal works on 2 March 1935.The passenger station was also renamed.
Weston Rhyn station closed to passenger services on 12 September 1960 and to goods on 4 November 1963. Closure to goods was followed by the removal of the goods sidings which would have made some of the box levers redundant. Ifton colliery closed in 1969 further reducing the importance of the box.
Weston Rhyn signal box closed on 3 August 1991 when the absolute block was extended to run from between Croes Newydd North Fork and Gobowen North signal boxes. After the signal box closed the level crossing was controlled by a temporary crossing keeper who was withdrawn on 9 October 1991 when the level crossing was converted to automatic half-barrier operation supervised by Gobowen North signal box.
The signal box top and lever frame were moved to the Llangollen Railway soon after closure and stored at Carrog. The plan is to use the signal box at the end of the 2½-mile Corwen extension where it will be fitted with a 30-lever GWR Vertical Tappet 3-bar frame moved from Mwyndy Junction.
To see Weston Rhyn station click here
Click here to see photos of the Ifton Colliery branch