The current Armathwaite Station Signal Box was built to replace an earlier signal box which was destroyed by fire. It is a standard timber-built "Midland type 2b" design measuring 12’6 x 11’6 x 8'0. It was built (in kit form) in the Midland Railway Company's signalling workshops in Derby, then erected on its current site at a cost of £260. It opened on the 16th of July 1899 and closed on the 15th of January 1983. It houses a 16-lever 'tumbler' locking frame. The signal box is still owned by Network Rail, but it is classed as a 'non-operational heritage asset'. It was leased to the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line (FoSCL) in 1992 and it has since been fully restored to its Midland Railway appearance (the yellow-and-red paint scheme is authentic). It is now maintained by a small but dedicated group of FoSCL volunteers. The original lever-frame is still in position and the signal box has been furnished with a number of interesting exhibits relating to both the signal box and to the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway that runs right alongside.
Additional photographs of the signal box are available in the SCRCA Location Summary for this structure.
The signal box is open to the public for accompanied tours most Sunday's (usually 10:00 to 16:00) and access can also be arranged at other times with a few days notice via the 'Contact us' facility. In addition, if a FoSCL volunteer is working in the signal box or on the station when you visit Armathwaite, just ask if it is convenient to have a look round the signal box. There is no charge for admission but, if you would like to make a donation to help cover the cost of maintaining this historic structure, it will be gratefully received as repairing and re-painting the woodwork is a never-ending task. With regards physical access to the signal box, please see the 'important note' below.
Facilities and access
A very small car park is provided beside the entrance to the northbound platform. This is intended primarily for rail-users, but it may be used by visitors to the signal box if space is available.
Transferring from the northbound platform to the southbound platform involves walking down a country lane under the railway bridge, that has a pavement, then ascending a steep and narrow path to reach the southbound platform, about 300m in total. Do NOT cross from one side of the tracks to the other by any other means (doing so is both dangerous and illegal).
Gaining access to the signalbox from the southbound platform involves walking along the platform, walking an additional 30 yards or so over uneven ground, then ascending the steep and narrow external staircase that can be seen in the photograph on this page.
Unfortunately, this means that there is no wheelchair access to the signalbox.
There are no toilets at the signalbox or on the station.
The signal box does, however, boast excellent rail connections from the adjacent Armathwaite Station (part of the UK's National Rail Network). Information regarding the train service can be obtained from the National Rail Enquiries website.
For a brief article explaining the purpose and historical development of signal boxes, see "What are railway signal boxes and why are they necessary?".)