This page is compiled and maintained by Alan Roberts who has been a Relief Signalman in the Llandudno Junction
area since 1981, also a railway signalling historian for North Wales and Corresponding Member LNWR lines Chester to Holyhead & Branches
for the Signalling Record Society

If you have any details regarding signalling around the Llandudno area which you think would be of interest please contact Alan on   alnrbrts9@aol.com 

Have a look at my photo collections at




February 23rd 2012.

Below is a diagramatic map showing the signalboxes between Llandudno Junction and Bangor.


October 19th 2009.
Photographs below show the interior of Deganwy signal box.

1) View of the block shelf and diagram.
2) Control console for Deganwy Quay CCTV level crossing.
3) Control pedestal for Deganwy Station crossing (Beach Road)
4) General view of lever frame.






February 12th 2009.
John Powell has sent in the great cartoon shown below.

I thought I would include it as we used to get drivers like that at one time, mainly drivers from Chester & beyond, our own drivers in 6G, Chester and Holyhead
were ok and a great bunch to work with. But nowadays with voice recording of telephones between the driver and signaller, they have to be very
careful as safety critical messages come first and these are audited by our managers every 3 months.
Messages such as telling drivers to pass signals at danger during failures etc,and safety critical messages between the signalbox and any other personnel involved with the safety of the line.


November 24th 2007


The box opened in 1936 and was merely a second-hand LNW signal hut placed on a brick base measuring 11ft 4ins x 6ft. It contained an REC 4 1/2" tappet frame of 5 levers which, unusually, although the cabin was raised, were ground frame style and placed parallel with the running lines. The signalman faced Talacre, rather than the trains, when working. The opening times for the box was merely for the Summer Saturdays traffic.

The box, unusually for this area, only controlled the down lines as trains on the up were not planned to be so bunched together !. However, whilst watching the up trains go by but without being involved in their movement, Nant Hall signalmen still had to observe any emergencies and advise adjacent boxes by telephone if action was required.

The down slow line between Mostyn and Prestatyn was closed to traffic on the 19th March 1967 during the "rationalization" rage, which left Nant Hall with just two working levers for the remainder of its life.

The box lasted until the 1970's; with 1973 being the last summer the box was used. In early December 1975 the block instruments were removed and formal closure came into effect a couple of weeks later on the 16th December. The wooden hut then became "third hand" as a shed in the garden of Tyn-y-Morfa crossing further up the line until the 1990's

The first signalman who opened the box was Bill Jolley who retired as a Relief Signalman in 1980. Other Relief Signalmen used to tell me that when the box opened on its first day during the Summer the place was infested with flies and cobwebs !

The photograph below shows the exterior of Nant Hall box (courtesy of John Powell)
and my diagrammatic view of the main line track layout.



                                           nanthallboxcomp.jpg (7861 bytes)                                         nanthalldiagcomp.jpg (20881 bytes)




November 6th 2007.

Interior view shot of Deganwy Quay Crossing GF taken in April 2003 showing the 1 lever GF operating the gate lock for gates. The lever when in the normal position as shown in the photograph locked the gates across the roadway. Additionally the lever in this position was electrically locked from the signalbox
 at Deganwy enabling signals to be cleared.


deganwyquaygfcomp.jpg (30185 bytes)




November 6th 2007.

The photo below shows Colwyn Bay signalbox prior to it's demolition at about 04.00 hrs on 
Sunday 19th March 2000. 

The signalbox was taken out of use from Saturday 2nd November 1991 and a new signalling controlled from Llandudno Junction took over a week later.


colbaysbcomp.jpg (28270 bytes)



September 6th 2007.

A 1966 view of the old signalbox at Llanfairfechan is shown below.
 It was in use as a cabin for the permanent way. The signalbox itself closed way back in 1889
 when a newer one opened and located on the up platform.
 The new box arrived from Abergele as a second hand structure following alterations there.

llanfairfechenboxcomp.jpg (31644 bytes)




July 6th 2007.

Below is part of an old plan of Llandudno Junction No2 in 1924 showing proposed alterations to be carried out .

alan1924diag3more1.jpg (31063 bytes)




June 2nd 2007.

Below is a diagrammatic view of the lever frame and block shelf layout of Colwyn Bay signalbox
before first lot of alterations took place in 1980.

cbayblockshelflocomp2.jpg (38748 bytes)




May 30th 2007.

Below is an extract of the weekly operating notice showing the opening of the new box at 
Llandudno Junction Crossing in 1950.

ljctcrossingcropcomp.jpg (10848 bytes)




April 12th 2007.

Interior view of Rhyl No2 taken in 1987.

rhyl2fin.jpg (38473 bytes)
Alan Roberts




April 11th 2007.

Photo (1) shows the signalbox at Penmaenmawr in 1984 before they put new windows in. 
The second photo shows the original LNWR block instruments inside.


                                            pmawrsbfin.jpg (21990 bytes)                                         pmawroldinstfin.jpg (16180 bytes)
                                                       (1)                                                                (2)






April 11th 2007.

Below are two views of the fixed distant signal for Llandudno Junction coming off the Conwy Valley line. It was an LNWR style fixed distant signal on a timber post although the original 'corrugated' style signal arm had been renewed sometime in the 1960's. The signal remained in use until the 16th November 1980 when it was replaced by a 'working colour light' distant signal located further back as part of the Llandudno Junction East End remodelling.

                                         branchdist1fin.jpg (5188 bytes)                                                          branchdist2fin.jpg (6061 bytes)





April 4th 2007.

Below is a diagram of Tal-Y-Cafn Station , level crossing and signalling.

talycafndiag.jpg (23519 bytes)




March 16th 2007.


Two views of Llanrwst signalbox :

First picture shows the Single Line Train Staff exchanged between the Signalman and the Train Crew. Here it shows two trains passing in the loop at Llanrwst in 1979 with Relief Signalman Glyn Thomas and Guard Gilbert Owen exchanging the Staffs over from the Llandudno Junction - Llanrwst to the Llanrwst - Blaenau Ffestiniog sections.

The second photo taken in 1981 shows the Staff Instrument for Blaenau Ffestiniog with the new and present token instrument not in use on the left of the picture. The new token instrument to the Blaenau Ffestiniog section of the line was commissioned in November 1981.

                          llanrwststaffchangefin.jpg (19560 bytes)                                                                               llanrwstinstfin.jpg (16947 bytes)




Two photos showing the new freight terminal at Llandudno Junction under construction in 1980. This was built to compensate the loss of the one at Colwyn Bay which was to disappear for the A55 road construction and the yard at Llandudno Junction (now occupied by Iceland and Netto stores)
The area of land for the new yard was originally a brickwork site which disappeared in the early 1940's. The connection to the Blaenau Ffestiniog line was moved nearer to Colwyn Bay ; a section of track can be seen in the foreground of the photo and the new alignment beyond forming a new curve. The old branch connection beneath Queens Road bridge became an extension from the holding sidings alongside the station and leading to the new yard. The new yard had 3 sidings ; coal road, crane traffic, and oil. These fell into disuse in the 1990's and was thereafter used for storing wagons.   

                         newyardconstfin.jpg (15925 bytes)                                                                                 newyardfin.jpg (15214 bytes)





A 1979 view of Llandudno Junction Platform 1 home signal showing its unusual design to enable drivers to observe it when trains stand beneath the station canopy. Originally it carried 3 miniature arms reading left to right - Along Up Slow , Up Slow to Up Fast, Up Slow to Branch (Blaenau Ffestiniog). It was modified following the remodelling of the east end of Llandudno Junction 1967/68 to carry one full size arm. The signal survived until 16th November 1980 when it was replaced by a colour light.

jct141signalfin.jpg (16588 bytes)





March 12th 2007.

Photo taken on 12th October 2000 shows new signals reading from platform 3 at Llandudno. The two new posts on the right replaced the signals seen to the left of the photograph. The signals on the left located on a bracket had been moved twice in over 30 years. Firstly they were located by Queens Road bridge acting as up fast home 2 signals for Llandudno Junction No1. They were removed in the late 1968 and moved to Llandudno to form platform 4 and 5 starting signals. During the remodelling and resignalling of Llandudno in 1978 they were moved again to form new platform 3 starting signals. The signals were finally abolished on Sunday 29th October 2000 and replaced by the present 2 post signals located to the right of the running line. The main arm (lever 7) reads to the up main and the miniature arm to the right of it (lever 8) reads to the down sidings.


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March 12th 2007.

Photo of Llandudno signalbox getting refurbished in early 2003.

llandudnosbfin.jpg (29868 bytes)




December 9th 2006.

Picture shows Mochdre & Pabo signalbox. It was a tiny box to split the section between Colwyn Bay No2 and Llandudno Junction No1 during the summer period. The box had 10 levers numbered as "A" and 1 - 9. Originally had 8 levers when it opened in July 1904.The "A" and 9 levers were added around 1911 when new down starting signals were added to the layout.  There was also a siding off the up slow which served the Garth Shale Quarry nearby but fell into disuse and were lifted by 1944. Marl Siding off the down slow near Pensarn Bridge at Llandudno Junction was also released from this box but was transferred to Colwyn Bay No2 when switched out. Marl Siding closed during 1962/63 and was lifted in 1964. 


Mochdrepabobox.jpg (19336 bytes)



October 18th 2006.

A view of Colwyn Bay No2 signal box taken about 1960.

colwynbaynumbertwoboxcomp.jpg (21396 bytes)




September 5th 2006.


The Down Main Fixed Distant signal for Llandudno is due for renewal quite soon to a reflectorised 
distant board seen here on Tuesday 5th September 2006.

llandudnodownmaincomp.jpg (40725 bytes)



1948 box roster for Llandudno No2 signal box. is reproduced below.

1948signalrostercomp.jpg (52179 bytes)


A 1981 photo below showing the former down starting signal for Colwyn Bay box (lever 32). View shows prior to the commissioning to colour light signals in May 1981. The new signal with a "X" on it was to become CB33. Six months later a new I.B. (Intermediate Block) signal was commissioned at Mochdre which became CB32. With the closure of Colwyn Bay box on the 2nd November 1991 the control of this signal was transferred to Llandudno Junction and re-plated LJ53. Also the picture shows the main lines running on what is now the A55 and the old Brompton Avenue bridge can be seen in the background. A new bridge was built here to span the new A55 and the realigned railway located to the right of this picture. The old bridge was then demolished using explosive charges during a weekend possession of the line.

colwynstartsignalcomp.jpg (20956 bytes)




Below is a self portrait of me working Rhyl No2 in 1984. This box had a frame of 126 levers, the largest in the area. The box closed on the 25th March 1990. Nowadays it stands boarded up and has a Grade 2 listed status.

rhylno2robertscom.jpg (26208 bytes)




A 1960's signalling diagram of Conway Morfa is shown below. The main functions of the box was the control of the down sidings to the stone quarries on Conwy Mountain. The siding on the up side led to the gas works.

conwaymorfa1960comp.jpg (29278 bytes)


Just a stone throw away from Llandudno Junction No2 box was the Crossing box. Originally the crossing was controlled by a temporary 6 lever ground frame. In 1877 a signalbox was built to operate the level crossing. It was built as a Type 4 design by the LNWR and had a tumbler frame of 20 levers and a wheel for the gates. On the 10th September 1950 this was replaced by an LMS timber structure located on the station side of the crossing to improve visibility of the busy A55 main road across the line and of course the 1877 box had seen better days structurally. With the traffic increasing on the A55 road a new flyover bridge was planned to carry the road over the line at this point. During construction a temporary set of barriers were installed on the 14th May 1967 to protect a slight diversion made to the A55, these lasted until the new roadway opened in 1969. . There was a footbridge also located at this point and the original Maelgwyn Hotel was located here which was demolished for the new flyover. The crossing became busier during the summer months with traffic queuing back to Conwy when the gates were shut. With another train due it was a task then for the signalmen to shut the gates once again against the slow moving traffic. The box was finally abolished on the 8th June 1969. A good colour photo of the box can be seen on the front cover of Recollections of a Steam Era (1950-1966) by Harry Rogers Jones.


junctioncrossing.jpg (33637 bytes)





             Below is a list of signalboxes in the Llandudno Junction area during the 1960ís with closure dates.




No of Levers



       BR BRICK






1st AUGUST 1967




23rd FEBRUARY 1969



   154 (A+ 1-153)

10th FEBRUARY 1985



   101 (A,B + 1-99)

   26th MAY 1968




    8th JUNE 1969




   28th MAY 1967








13th SEPTEMBER 1970



86 (Reduced to 34 as from April 1978)









    31st JULY 1967




15th SEPTEMBER 1968




15th SEPTEMBER 1968




2nd NOVEMBER 1991


     LNW HUT


   30th MAY 1965




18th DECEMBER 1983




20th AUGUST 1967







Notes: Llandudno Junction new box opened 9th-11th February 1985 replacing No. 2 box.

Conway Morfa, Deganwy No.1,Llandudno No.1,Mochdre and Pabo & Llandulas boxes were classified as seasonal i.e. only manned during the summer or as required.

Colwyn Bay No.1 & 2 boxes were replaced by the new box located at the end of the up platform.

The up slow line between Llandudno junction No.1 and Colwyn Bay No.2 was taken out of use from July 3rd. 1967.

Down slow line between Colwyn Bay No.2 and Llandudno Junction No.1 was taken out of use from July 31st 1967. (Portion retained at the Colwyn Bay end and used as a headshunt)



Below is an interior view of the old Llandudno Junction signalbox in 1982. This was the former No2 box and was the largest on the coast. Evidence can be seen in the photo of a space at the station end where levers 1 to 45 were removed during the 1968 remodelling of Llandudno Junction.During its heyday it was double manned  on early and late turns. A box lad was employed during its latter years as a working box to deal with the train register book and telephone work. This job was carried on through with the new box until 1991 to cover additional telephone work in conjunction with work sites during the A55 road construction. 



Another interior view of Llandudno Junction old box, this time in March 1984. Further remodelling had taken place by this time and the box had approximate 11 months to go before its replacement took over. Most of the semaphore signals at the east end of the station had been converted over to colour lights during the east end remodelling of 1980 and 1983 and the platform starting signals at the signalbox end of the station.





Below is a diagramatic map of the Llandudno Junction area showing siding connections and boxes - this is purely a map showing the main connections and not the full layouts.




COLWYN BAY NO2 signalbox taken about 1964. Photographer unknown.
Resident signalmen working this box during this time were . J.M.Sharp, H. Aitcheson and D.J. Barber.
(Alan Roberts Collection)





Below is a photograph of the new Llandudno Junction signalbox under construction during 1984. It also shows the old box (formerly No2 box) during its final months before its closure. The new box actually arrived in sections by train to Llandudno Junction and was second hand from the redundant West Hampstead Resignalling Scheme in the late 1970's. It was also the last box of its type to be constructed by the then London Midland Region of British Rail  ; a type which was introduced in 1954 and lasted until 1983. Colwyn Bay new signalbox  was another example in the area. 





Llandudno Junction new box taken in 1992 on a glorious Sunday morning!.




Below shows a photo of the box at Llysfaen taken on 20th September 1980. The box opened soon after the tragic Abergele accident of 1868 when the Irish Mail collided with runaway wagons running down the gradient from shunting operations at the sidings in Llysfaen. Up until the 1970's the box controlled connections to two quarries. From 1981 up to its closure on the 18th December 1983 it served as a blocking point for bridgeworks in conjunction with Stage 1A of the A55 road construction.

llysfaen.jpg (71243 bytes)


Below is the newly refurbished box at Deganwy taken on 5th April 2004. The work was carried out by SERCO and was completed by May 2002. 

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An interesting signalling diagram of Llanrwst dated 1960 is shown below

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The diagram below shows Llysfaen 1960

llysfaenone.jpg (24429 bytes)



Below is a signalling diagram of the small box at Old Colwyn. 

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This 1978 view of Colwyn Bay signalbox shows Frank Griffiths on duty. Frank was a relief for few years until 1981 when I took over his job after been working 5 years previously in Llandudno Juction and Colwyn Bay stations. By this time Colwyn Bay box controlled a full layout including up and down loops and no colour light signals in sight apart from the up distant signal. trains were regulated here at times and trains for the goods yard, now occupied by the A55 and the Bay View Shopping Centre

wfgriffithscolwynbay1978.jpg (62442 bytes)




Further up the line at Llysfaen this 1980 photo shows Dennis Delaney signalling a down train which was passing the box.

dennisdelaneyllysfaen1980.jpg (24565 bytes)





 A 1986 view of Abergele signalbox showing a "young and slimmer"  Alan Roberts at work. At this time Abergele had up and down loops and a crossover. The up main was later slued through the up platform and the crossover removed. 

youngalanrobertsabergele.jpg (67673 bytes)




COLWYN BAY No1 Signalbox.


Colwyn Bay No1 signalbox controlled the east end of the station. It opened in March1908 following the completion of the new station at Colwyn Bay. It was built to a later LNWR design and had a LNW tumbler frame of 20 levers. During the summer down trains were regulated here for either Bangor or Holyhead and the branch to Llandudno. The usual practice was, that any down trains for Bangor and Holyhead were routed here on to the down slow and trains for Llandudno were kept on the down fast ; this was done to save any  conflicting movements in Llandudno Junction i.e. Llandudno bound trains could, as a result, depart from Llandudno Junction station without a requirement to regulate other sevices. In the up direction, trains from Llandudno were kept on the up slow from Llandudno Junction, again to save conflicting moves. With only two lines between Colwyn Bay No1 and Llanddulas boxes, this section became a bottleneck at times, so during busy periods the boxes at Old Colwyn and Llysfaen became very useful and provided a short headway of about a minute between trains.


Of interest was the up fast outer distant signal located approximately 1,600 yds from No1 box. The signal also acted as up fast distant signal to No2 box. With the distance for No1 box to clear the signal, it was provided with a multiple lever ; something which was quite common in certain locations on the LNWR. The first lever took up the slack while the second lever cleared the slot to the "off " position enabling No2 box to clear his signals for an up fast train.


Colwyn Bay No1 closed on the 15th September 1968 at 0525hrs ; control was then taken over by the new Colwyn Bay signalbox.


         colwynbaynumberone24102004.jpg (45385 bytes)                                                 colwynbaynumberoneupdated24102004.jpg (99847 bytes)
CLICK THUMB                                                                                                                               CLICK THUMB






This box opened in June 1907 in conjunction with the building of the new station at Colwyn Bay. It was built to a LNWR Type 5 design and was located on the up side on the Llandudno Junction side of the station. It had a LNW tumbler frame of 45 levers controlling the four lines to Llandudno Junction, connections to the goods yard which was located on a lower level to the main line. Access to this yard was on a ruling gradient of 1 in 51 and a  66 yd long tunnel under the station approach. As No1 box routed trains bound for Bangor on to the down slow the trains continued and pass No2 box along the line with Llandudno bound trains continued along the down fast. Further down the line the signalbox controlled access to the gas works at Mochdre. This was controlled by a ground frame which was later electrically released from No2 box ; traffic ceased here about 1960, the siding was officially taken out of use on the 30th July 1963. During the Second World War a new siding opened at Marl Cold Storage Depot ; the siding was located off the down slow and was released from Mochdre & Pabo signalbox. An additional release was provided at Colwyn Bay No2 for this frame when Mochdre & Pabo was switched out. 
Until 1953 due to sighting difficulties the down fast and slow signals (No 2,4,7 &9) were mounted on a large and high timber construction gantry ; a common practise by  the LNWR , so that drivers of down trains approaching Colwyn Bay station could observe the signals over the station roof. The replacement was two single posts for the down fast and a small offset bracket conveying short arms for the down slow. These were repeated by banner signals when down trains approached the station.
The signalbox along with No1 box closed on the 15th September 1968. Control was then taken over by the new Colwyn Bay signalbox. 

colwynbay2.jpg (51917 bytes)





Enclosed is a photo showing a LNWR Boundary post. This example can still be seen near to Queens Road Bridge at Llandudno Junction at the top of the path which used to run to 6G shed. Alongside the path used to be railway allotments. I wonder how many railwaymen, mainly shed staff have trodden on this path on their way to work. The path brings happy memories for me during my train spotting years in the 1960's and 1970's.
The path now leads to the multiplex cinema. 

lnwboundarypost.jpg (89014 bytes)






Located between Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction it was also the site of the first water troughs ever laid down enabling LNWR engines to replenish their tenders by scooping water from between the rails while travelling at speed. In October 1860 experimental water trough designed by John Ramsbottom, the LNWR locomotive engineer, was installed on the down line at Mochdre; this was then followed for the up line. The troughs were later removed to Aber in 1871 where water was more plentiful.

A level crossing did exist here before a box was erected manned by a crossing keeper and was located at the end of the platforms at Mochdre & Pabo; the station opened here in 1889 comprising of two 120yds long sleeper platform s.

In 1904 ,in conjunction with widening of the main line between Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction a new box was erected between the fast lines. This tiny box was built to a LNW Type 4 design (the last of its type before the Type 5 was introduced). It had a LNW tumbler frame of 8 levers fitted with an additional added around 1911 to work new down starting signals. The box was manned mainly to split the block section between Colwyn Bay No2 and Llandudno Junction No1 during the summer months when traffic was heavy. It wasn't unusual to see all signals "off" for all lines as train service was quite frequent at times with trains running "on block" behind each other. A private siding off the up slow was put in around 1912 serving the nearby Garth shale quarry but was taken out of use during the Second World War ; this was worked by a single lever ground frame released by an "Annetts Key" from the box. Further down the line towards Llandudno Junction another siding led off the down slow was released by key and was transferred to Colwyn Bay No2 when the box was switched out. Mochdre & Pabo box finally closed in July 1967 after being switched out since September 1966.





Below is a signalling diagram of Llandudno No1 signalbox. It controlled the Llandudno Junction end of the carriage sidings connections to the main line. The box was seasonal and was usually opened during the summer months to assist with the movements in and out of the sidings, known locally as Cae Mawr sidings. The box fell into disuse in the late 1960's and was finally closed on the 13th September 1970.  

llandudnonoone270605.jpg (70477 bytes)




Below is the signalling diagram of Llandulas box (nowadays known as Llanddulas ! ). This is the location where the lines were quadrupled east to Muspratts Siding signalbox , west of Flint. Earlier proposals show that the lines west of Llandulas to Colwyn Bay were to be widened but did not take place and the section remained just double track. This caused some problems with summer traffic on the main lines hence the box was only open during the summer months during Saturdays and Monday to Friday twice a day (0900 - 1000 and 1700 - 1800 ) to relieve congestion. During the winter months coaching stock was authorised to stable on the slow lines between Abergele and Llanddulas due to the capacity of stabling stock in Rhyl and Llandudno Junction carriage sheds. The slow lines between Abergele and Llandulas were abolished on the 14th March 1965. The box lasted another 2 years before finally closing on  20th August 1967. 

 LLANDULAS.jpg (58351 bytes)



Colwyn Bay signalbox diagram 1982 following the abolition of the down sidings to make way for the new A55 road through Colwyn Bay.

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Enclosed is a layout inside the signalbox at Mochdre & Pabo. All of the 10 levers were in use for the main line signals.

mochdreandpabotenlevers.jpg (83257 bytes)



Picture below shows the old down fast and slow homes for Colwyn Bay No2 signalbox. These signals were one of the highest along the coast and were replaced in the early 1950's by smaller structures on single posts. The top arms repeated the lower ones and could be seen over the station when approached from the Chester end by down trains. As far as I know the signal structure dates back to approx 1910 and originally had LNWR lower quadrant arms fitted.

downhomes.jpg (90997 bytes)


Photo below shows new box in Penmaenmawr under construction. The new and the present box opened on 13th December 1952 to replace an earlier box located on the Bangor side of the station on the down side following the tragic accident on the 27th August 1950.

penmarnmawrboxunderconstruction.jpg (208691 bytes)



Photo shows Colwyn Bay No2 Down Fast Home signals which replaced the former LNWR wooden gantry in the 1950's. The signal on the left reads down fast to down slow while the signal on the right reads to movements along the down fast. This photo in my collection dates back to 1964.

colwynbay2downfast.jpg (46987 bytes)