Thanks to the generosity of the Southern Friends, Borough Market Junction Signal Box has been the subject of major restoration work in 2013. Considered the ‘Busiest signal box in Britain’, because it handled almost 100 trains an hour at peak times, this 1895 South Eastern Railway wooden signal cabin has been in York since 1976.
Donated by British Rail Southern Region, it was literally pulled apart and then re-assembled in York. The Westinghouse K series electromechanical signal frame was mounted on a concrete pad and the box, simply re-built around it.
Despite the ravages of the intervening thirty-seven years, the Columbian pine sub frame had survived almost un-damaged. This was crucial to the structures survival, as the sub-frame is the skeleton of the building.
Mould and fungus are a constant threat to wooden buildings and Borough Market was no different. To combat this threat, new wood replaced rotten wood and the whole structure was chemically treated.
One addition to the original structure was the incretion of a breathable membrane between the inner and outer wooden skins. This was necessary to protect the K series signal frame and its associated equipment from bombardment by moister.
Add two coats of wood friendly paint, new and re-conditioned glazing, guttering and Borough Market is good for another fifty years. Roll on 2014, when we can start working on the inside.