A craftsman has recreated a little bit of Aberystwyth’s history, building a new signal box for the Vale of Rheidol Railway.

Master craftsman Carwyn Lloyd Jones, the owner of Timber Designs Wales, has recreated the signal box that once stood on Smithfield Road, which is now Park Avenue.

Mr Jones said: “As the original box has been long gone, and I had nothing really to work to, I had to use all my knowledge and skills to recreate it like they would have when the original was built, possibly even better! I had to search the internet to find similar sized signal boxes and try and work out the details from photos.

“There aren’t many small signal boxes around, so it was a long process. I hope it brings as much pleasure to people visiting the railway as it gave me to build it.”

Vale of Rheidol Railway new signal box
The new Vale of Rheidol Railway signal box at Aberystwyth (Picture supplied)

Vale of Rheidol railway thanked Mr Jones, saying: “Our newly installed signal box has been built by a local master craftsman Carwyn Lloyd Jones and we think it looks great.

“Handmade in the traditional way with a wooden frame. Designed by the VoR’s designer, James Corbett, with similarities to the appearance of the original Smithfield Road signal box.”

Signal boxes used to be crucial parts of the railway, housing the levers and control equipment which co-ordinated railways.

Using these levers, signalling staff could switch track lanes, send signals to different signal posts along the track, and use what is called a block system.

Which breaks down the rail line into a series of ‘blocks’, this protects railways from collisions by making sure that only one train is allowed on any block at any time.

Before the signal box, staff had to walk up and down the rail line to get to various individual signal posts and levers, switching them for each train. The signal box brought these controls under one roof.