The Film Archive of Railway Signalling and People (FARSAP) has reached a century in 2018 and is still batting strongly.
For four years FARSAP volunteers have filmed the people, practices, equipment and buildings signalling the railway across Britain, creating a database of 100 films.
Prompted by the move to Rail Operating Centres which represents one of the most significant revolutions in British railway signalling since the middle of the 19th century, FARSAP will preserve a visual record of signalling operations before they are lost.
The archive has been created by volunteers from the Signalling Record Society and the Friends of the National Railway Museum with support from local Network Rail managers.
The website features a wide range of films from humble crossings to large power boxes. The 100th film covers four signal boxes in Calderdale, including Hebden Bridge which closed after 127 years on 19 October 2018.
Highlights of the collection include remote boxes in Scotland such as Greenloaning and Dunragit—which has ‘pulpits’ where single line tokens are handed to drivers to allow them to proceed along a single track.
Other notable films include the Kings Cross Power Signal Box which controls the East Coast Main Line as far as Sandy (Beds) which is testing the new European Rail Traffic Management System, as well as drone footage of the Selby and Goole Swing Bridges. All the films have been produced with permission and cooperation of the railway industry.
Director of the National Railway Museum, Judith McNicol, said:
“I would like to thank the FARSAP volunteers for producing such a valuable and historic record of signalling operations on the railways for future generations to enjoy. This is a great chance to glimpse inside the busiest and most remote signal boxes and to see how signalling works across the network.”
Once complete, FARSAP intend to present all the edited material to the National Railway Museum for inclusion in the museum’s archive.
The project aims to visit working locations which are important for historical and operating reasons and to provide a complete record of signalling on the railways by 2020.
Films cover non-standard, unique and unusual sites, structures and equipment that are likely to be of interest to railway professionals, enthusiasts, modellers, local history groups and family historians alike.
The completed films and the list of locations, can be viewed for free on the FARSAP website:
For more information, please contact:
Simon Baylis, PR & Communications Manager
01904 686 299
Notes to Editors:
- The Friends of the NRM (FNRM) helps the National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon to conserve and operate railway exhibits. Its members support the development of the museums and their exhibits with volunteer and financial help. The National Archive of Railway Oral History is one example of how it has added to the Museums' attraction. FNRM always welcomes new members to take part in a variety of railway heritage projects – visit
- Project partners for FARSAP are FNRM, National Railway Museum, Network Rail, The Railway Heritage Trust, The Signalling Record Society, The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, The Institution of Railway Operators, the Heritage Railway Association and the Retired Railway Officers' Society.
- FARSAP is supported financially by The Railway Heritage Trust and FNRM. It's a partnership involving Network Rail, FNRM, railway professionals and volunteers. All these partners feel it's important to record signalling as it is now.
- The Signalling Record Society records past and present railway signalling matters and maintains an archive of historical material in both paper and digital form. The Society welcomes new members to take part in projects such as FARSAP.
- For further information contact: FARSAP Deputy Project Director, Richard Pulleyn / Project Director, Frank Paterson, Friends of the NRM