Monthly Archives: February 2016

Thank you for your help

I apologise for having taken until Thursday to write this (I am a bit swamped at the moment!), but THANK YOU very much indeed to everyone who gave their time and support at Swindon Panel last weekend!

All the Domino tiles were removed on Saturday, which was very impressive – I didn’t expect to get them all out in one day. The nameplates were also removed from the outside of the signal box and safely stored for preservation. Later that afternoon, two Network Rail people turned up with the intention of removing the plate, and it is doubtful whether they would have gone to the trouble that Andy and Vincent went to to remove it without damaging it, and much more likely that it would have been snapped off some of the difficult-to-remove bolts. So well done for saving the plate from the bin! We were also able to have a first look at the removal of the end doors.

As all the panel work had been completed on the Saturday, on Sunday we concentrated on doing work relating to the development of the electronic simulator for the panel. This advanced the work normally carried out on Monday evening telephone conferences by several weeks, so many thanks to everyone for getting involved in that. It was pleasant to be doing this in the surroundings of the panel that it is all in aid of.

Thank you very much for coming and giving your time and support. We are at DRC this weekend continuing preparations on the building, and then at Swindon PSB again every weekend after that until the move. Hopefully we’ll see some of you again over the next six weeks.

Thank you!

Panel Recovery Work Starts

A fantastic day was had at Swindon Panel today on the first of many dates preparing the panel for its move. The Domino tiles were successfully removed from the panel, wrapped, labelled and stored.

The photos below showing the last six tiles to be removed, from the top of Dauntsey bank. We were also pleased to be given the signal box name plate by Network Rail, which we weren’t expecting!

Thank you very much to everyone who came along and helped!

48 Years, Not Out.

Swindon Panel has now, at long long last, signalled its last ever ‘real’ train. The last train was 1B94, the 2245 – Padd Swansea, shown below approaching Hullavington on Open Train Times.

After this train had cleared Alderton the usual ritual, to which Swindon Panel is now well accustomed, took place for the final time; The possession for the resignalling work was granted to the signal engineer by the signaller, and then the signalling supply disconnected to the panel’s last remaining interlocking (Hullavington (commissioned 23 March 1968)).

In addition, this time, as it was the final stage of the work, the fuses in Swindon Relay Room that feed the panel controls and indications were pulled, and at 0110 on 20 February 2016, for the first time since the 1860s, the town of Swindon was deprived of the dignity of controlling its own trains. The last Swindon Signal Box has closed.

One of the managers of the signalling scheme joked that now that Swindon Panel Society had (nearly) finished their building, Network Rail could finally close the panel….!

Asbestos Survey

ASBESTOS! We hope there isn’t any!

But we are obliged to find out.

So, readers, you are normally excellent at coming up with leads…. do you know of a friendly local company that might be willing to do a small asbestos survey for us of the panel, the control room and the flat roof of the relay room at a good price?

Or even a company that doesn’t do it themselves but would like to sponsor the asbestos survey being carried out by a company that does (~£400)?

If so, please get in touch with us!

We’re very happy to acknowledge sponsorship such as this via our website, new articles, Facebook, etc.

If it helps, the Society is a registered charity, no 1159646.

Thank you!

Flooring the Competition

The floor in the Swindon Panel room is now being laid!

The first third of the floor was laid on Tuesday 2 February and the next thirds will be laid on 16 February and 1 March (both Tuesdays).

The current floor is the concrete foundation slab, on top of which is now several layers of membrane and insulation, which will all being concreted in on these three Tuesdays. This will make the final floor level onto which carpet tiles will be laid.

If you are able to help on these Tuesdays (16 Feb and 1 March), please get in touch with Richard Antliff at DRC (via us if you wish).


SPS Carriage & Wagon Dept

Well, sort of!

The Great Western Society has recently procured some new main-line registered OBA wagons for trips between the Centre and the West Yard (where deliveries are made). These new wagons (110664 and 110711) are what, we hope, will be able to be used to transport Swindon Panel into the Centre. This will be preferable to using a well-wagon and needing to bolster the middle with sleepers etc.

R. Heron

The wagons require some maintenance before they will be ready for traffic. This is taking place at DRC on Saturdays from now on. The work is mainly scraping, brushing, painting, oiling, that sort of thing. Some of the wood planking will be replaced. No special skills are required, training and direction will be given.

If you might be happy to get involved with this task and help the GWS bring the wagons up to standard, which will also help Swindon Panel on its journey into the Centre, please contact Roger Orchard at DRC (via us if you wish).


Danny S.