Grangemouth No 3 Signal Box

Location type

Place


Name and dates

Grangemouth No 3 Signal Box (1906-1985)

Opened on the Grangemouth Harbour Railways (Caledonian Railway).


Description

This signal box was located in the dock area at Grangemouth and controlled arrival and departure lines to the Carron Dock, Western Channel, Grange Dock and, later, Grangemouth Refinery. There were a considerable number of lines here and the box controlled the area where yard working, to the east, ceased. To the immediate east of the box was Dock Road Level Crossing. The box was similar to that at Oban and Larbert North.

Although the box no longer exists this is the location where ownership of the lines changes from Network Rail and Forth Ports, the division being a product of the nationalisation of railway and separation of railway and dock concerns.

Most lines were laid in connection with the opening of the Grange Dock in 1906. Some existing sidings were adapted and brought under control of No 3 box. Going west the lines turned south to join the existing railway at Grangemouth No 2 Signal Box (replaced 1906) alongside Grangemouth station.

Going east the lines served, from north to south:
- Carron Dock, coal hoists on the south quay at the east end and Western Channel north side approach via Grangemouth No 4 Signal Box (West Cut)
- Grange Dock's 'tongue'
- timber sidings
- departure sidings leading from the Grange Dock's coal hoists
- arrival sidings for the Grange Dock - leading to north sorting sidings, sorting sidings bypass, south sorting sidings
- departure sidings from Grange Dock coal hoists (with connections to last group)
- south line bypassing the yards serving Grangemouth Goods yard, original oil terminal, Grange Dock east end quay, north/west quaysides of the Western Channel and Eastern Channel via Grangemouth No 5 Signal Box (East Cut), and east quayside of Eastern Channel and Grangemouth Refinery (Grangemouth New Oil Terminal)

Lines were reduced in the 1960s, notably the southern set of departure sidings being entirely removed.

The signal box was closed in 1985 and the lines drastically cut back. Sorting and marshalling was relocated to Fouldubs Junction and the box there became the boundary box for yard operation. Of the lines listed only those to the south quay of Grange Dock (realigned) and the south line bypassing the yards leading to the original oil terminal (closed around 1989) and Grangemouth Refinery (Grangemouth New Oil Terminal) remain. The Grange Dock line and refinery line run out as two parallel single track railways from Fouldubs Junction. The box was replaced with a ground frame which allowed access to Grangemouth Oil (Gas) Terminal, now closed.

Gates now close across the railway at the railway/port boundary when not in use.

It might be fair to say that the lines provided were excessive but the Great War was unforeseen and the resulting loss of much coal export to Europe. The superb dock infrastructure built established Grangemouth as a major port and paved the way for the construction of the refinery here and redevelopment of the Grange Dock as a container port.


Tags

Junction signal box