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Britain's Last Mechanical Signalling (Hardback)

Salute to the Semaphore

Colour Books Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways

By Gareth David
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 227
Illustrations: 250
ISBN: 9781526714732
Published: 17th July 2019


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Mechanical signalling has been on the way out since colour signalling was introduced in the 1920s. It was originally intended to replace mechanical signalling by the millennium, however, there are still odd pockets in the system today. There is a network rail project to finally eliminate the last boxes and mechanical signals in the next few years, replacing it with a dozen railway operating centres. this book looks at the last mechanical signalling on the network.

Author featured in


As featured in


For anyone with a strong interest in semaphore signalling this book will be an invaluable guide and can be strongly recommended.

The Journal of The Stephenson Locomotive Society - September/October 2020

As featured by (pg. 50)

Waterside, September/October 2020

As featured by

Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Issue 92

"An interesting record that not only records the signal but also the type of stock that is under control at each location by their inclusion in the numerous photographs."

Great Eastern Railway Society

As featured by

Railway Modeller, January 2020

As featured in

Great Western Society

Interesting book. A wake-up call and a nostalgic look back at the relentless advance of the passage of time.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

The book is packed with excellent pictures accompanied by detailed captions.

Vintage Spirit, January 2020 – reviewed by Ken Rimell

"Well recommended for those with an interest in historical signalling and the current scene at some of the UK’s lesser-known railway backwaters."

Review by

West Somerset Railway Association

Article: 'Books reveal hidden history' as featured by

The Northern Echo, 23rd November 2019

Listed in 'Christmas Gifts' feature

The Railway Magazine, November 2019

Article: 'Tracking the changing signals' as featured by

The Haslemere and District Messenger, 8th October 2019

Article: 'Tracking the signals' as featured by

Haslemere Herald (online & print)

Article: ‘Big daddy’ signal is simply the best as featured by

Shropshire Star (print), 10th September 2019 – words by Toby Neal

Article: 'Shrewsbury's "big daddy" signals joy for enthusiasts' as featured by

Shropshire Star (online), 20th September 2019 – words by Toby Neal

It’s a lovely book in hardback, full colour, with many photographs.

Shropshire Star, 1st October 2019 - reviewed by John Mountford

Featured as prize in competition

24seven Lifestyle Magazine, September 2019

Featured in

York Model Engineers, September 2019

About Gareth David

Gareth David was a business journalist who worked on a number of national newspapers before moving into financial public relations. He is a life-long railway enthusiast who has travelled most of the UK rail network and many of the narrow gauge railways across Europe. He has also travelled the entire Albanian railway network. During his career in public relations, he was a founder director of Grand Central Railway Company, and helped launch its 'Open Access' services from Sunderland to London Kings Cross in 2007. Gareth is a working volunteer on the Mid-Hants Railway.

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