My tour of Rolvenden Works on the Kent and East Sussex Railway, had an added bonus that I wasn’t expecting – a look inside the substantial signal box. It is the line’s largest signal box and like everything (save the concrete water tower) on the site, was installed in preservation. The design is based on LB&SCR practice (specifically Coulsdon North box) and over the years components have been sourced from Gipsy Hill, Westgate-on-Sea and Mitcham Junction signal box.
The signalman explained the importance of this signal box – Rolvenden has a locomotive works, yard, new carriage storage facility, a single station platform with passing loop and sidings. Plenty to keep a signalman occupied, particularly when peak services are operating.
As is common with much that you see at the preserved K&ESR, the signal box provides support for operations way beyond what would have been seen in its operating days, which given the fate of much of UK’s railways, is pleasing to see. Who might have guessed that Rolvenden would ever be such an important station?!