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The Film Archive of Railway Signalling and People (FARSAP)

As of November 2022, the FARSAP signalling film archive now has over 200 films. All free to view, they cover signalling locations across Britain and some in Ireland. Signalling topics covering a wide range of mechanical and electronic technology, staff reminiscences and significant events are also covered.

A still from the FARSAP film showing signalling on the London Underground. Pictured is the 1948 Westinghouse installation at Harrow on the Hill.

The latest additions cover three signalling locations around the Perth area in Scotland, the York Integrated Electronic Control Centre (IECC) and signalling at four locations on the London Underground. The York IECC dating from 1989 replaced signal boxes in the York area to the north and south of the station. Its work has now been taken over by the York Rail Operating Centre (ROC) which controls the East Coast Main Line signalling from Kings Cross, London to the Scottish border. On the London Underground, the team filmed at Baker Street, Edgware Road, Harrow on the Hill and Rickmansworth. The film at Baker Street includes the rarely seen or filmed 1987 Interlocking Machine Room (IMR) in operation.

A still from the FARSAP film showing the Interlocking Machine Room at Baker Street, London Underground.

The FARSAP team from Friends of the NRM and the Signalling Record Society has worked with Network Rail to film the wide range of British signalling practices, equipment and buildings. The films show the people doing the job at a time of major change. You’ll still be able to see and hear how it was done in the days before Rail Operating Centres came along. Manual signal boxes, crossings and power boxes are all well covered. Commentaries helpfully explain the history, locations, routes, the equipment and what’s going on to operate the railway safely.

In the words of Network Rail, it’s a “valuable and comprehensive record”. It’s popular too with the signalling community who have welcomed their bit of signalling history being recorded. Whether it’s for those in training, enthusiasts, modellers or family historians, there’s masses of fascinating and valuable information. Simply search online for “FARSAP” to see the full collection. It’s already extensive – and material is being added when resources and conditions allow.

The FARSAP Team, Friends of the NRM, York.

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