St Albans, AL1 3AJ
St Albans South Signal Box offers an unusual opportunity to visit a signal box standing where it once worked next to a still busy main line. It was built by the Midland Railway in 1892 as part of an improvement scheme on the 'London Extension' to St Pancras. Abandoned by British Rail in 1980, this Grade 2 listed building deteriorated over the years and suffered from vandalism and pigeons.
A Preservation Trust, set up in 2003, leased the box from Network Rail in 2006. Some £135,000 was raised from various sources and the box structure restored to its 1950s appearance by 2008. Inside thousands of hours of voluntary work have seen the restoration of the 44 lever frame and the installation of signalling equipment so we can show how the box worked shortly before closure. The box has since won local and national awards for the restoration work. There is also a small museum of signalling and other railway items.
The grounds around the box have been changed into a pleasant garden. There are working signals, both colour light and semaphore - the latter can be worked by visitors from ground frames. Other items on display include a garden railway, an example of the old telegraph 'Pole Route' once common alongside the railway line, and a number of old advertisements and road signs. On Open Days light refreshments are served in the garden.
The box is regularly open during the year - see our website for details, our location and facilities. Entry is free and all visitors get a souvenir ticket.