BELLAIR

Bellair is probably the most interesting surviving semaphore locations in South Africa, with its classic station building, and wide variety of signal types. This station is on the Old Main Line from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in the heart of Durban suburbia, and still sees a fairly regular suburban service, although all goods traffic has now ceased. The track becomes single in the Malvern direction (towards Pietermaritzburg) but is double towards Rossburgh, the junction with the South Coast Line and the New Main Line. In this picture, you can see part of the station building, now a historic monument, with the signal box (a single level building on the platform) in the distance.

This picture by Greg Hart shows the signal box close-up.

Another view of the station building and the signal box in the distance, taken by Greg Hart.

Another view of the signal box, taken by Greg Hart.

Pictures of the lever frame at Bellair, taken by Greg Hart. Bellair used to be equipped with lock ´┐Żn block to Rossburgh until CTC Durban took over in-between 1984 & 1987. Before then, the station was manned 24 hours a day then because of coal trains running to the Umgeni power station in New Germany, a branch/siding off of Sarnia. The up outerhome and distant signal were then replaced on the Rossburgh side with a single intermediate home signal. Bellair now has its own panel to give up & down routes to CTC, and this can be seen in these views of the frame. Both the advance starting signals are colour lights which are operated by the frame. The Van Schoor single line system is still in operation to Malvern.

A closer view of the panel, taken by Greg Hart.

A picture of the the signal box diagram. taken by Greg Hart. Although the station is fairly small, with a loop of only 211 metres, the frame has 32 levers. The functions of these levers are listed below.

1 Distant (Fixed) (used to be the distant signal when Rossburgh cabin was in use)
2 Down Outer Home
3 Main Home
4 Down to Wrong Road
5 Down Main to Loop
6 Facing Points Bolt
7 No 1 Route
8 Junction Points
9 Up No 2 Route
10 Points To Loop
11 Loop To Up Main Route
12 Spare
13 Up Cato Ridge No 1 Fixed (colour light)
14 Up Cato Ridge No 1 Fixed (colour light)
15 No 2 Down Advance Starting (colour light)
16 Loop To Dead End
17 Derail
18 Loop To No 1 Down (Starting)
19 Up Main To Loop Crossover Points
20 Down Wrong Road To Cato Ridge No 1 (Starting)
21 Facing Points Lock
22 Up No 1 Main To No 2 Main Crossover Points
23 Down Starting For No 1
24 No 1 Down Advance Starting (Colour Light)
25 Facing Points Lock
26 Up Main To Down Main Crossover Points
27 Facing Points Bolt
28 Up Main To Loop
29 Up Main To Wrong road
30 Up Main Home
31 Up Main Intermediate Home
32 Spare (fixed)

More close-ups of the levers and signal diagram, taken by Greg Hart.

Tablet and Van Schoor machine at Bellair for the single line to Malvern. Pictures from the Umgeni Steam Railway site.
More pictures of Bellair:
The many types of signals at Bellair.

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