Leek and Rudyard Railway


Rudyard has some unusual signalling which can work either automatically or manually. The systems all normally work automatically but the signal boxes can easily be switched to manual and worked by a signal person. The trains operate standard railway treadles in the track to activate the signals which are a mixture of semaphore signals and colour light signals. There are signal boxes currently at Rudyard and Lakeside Loop. The level crossing has automatic barriers, warning lights and a siren. These are activated by returning trains or the guard when the train is ready to leave the station. Various push buttons and magnetic sensors allow use of the double track over the level crossing.

Rudyard Signal Box

The system here is controlled from the signal box at Rudyard station. This was built in 2004 to the standard appearance of a North Staffordshire Railway design. In due course, warning lights and barriers were added to the level crossing, along with a point motor for use in manual mode and automatic semaphore starting signals. The whole system in this area was revamped in 2020 as part of the track dualling around Rudyard Station.

Lakeside Signal Box

This signal box was originally used at the Fairbourne railway in Wales. It was given to the railway and relocated in 2006. The signal box was then erected at the loop in 2007. The loop points are sprung but colour light signals were added in 2008 so that only one train at a time can travel into the loop. When the first train has entered the loop and stopped the second train can enter. When both are fully in the loop the signals allow the trains to depart after the tokens have been used exchanged and swiped over sensors.

Shed Ground Frame

This controls access to the various sidings and shed roads. The levers are full size and easily adaptable to use on a smaller gauge. As part of the replacement of the engine shed this ground frame was replaced and enlarged with more levers to cope with the complex track arrangements that were needed after the new shed was built. The frame is linked to colour light signals above each road on the engine shed, showing shunting routes.

Rudyard (South) Signal Box

As part of the improvements to the railway, a new signal box will be constructed to the south of the engine shed. This will be a 17 lever box open to the public with lots of working historical examples of signalling equipment. The lever frame has already been collected from Thuxton Station on the Mid-Norfolk Railway where it was surplus to their requirements when their new box opened in 2015. It is hoped this new attraction will open in a few years time once the various improvements to the area are completed.