Signalling Department

Between 6 o’clock on an average summer Friday evening and the same time on Sunday, the East Lancashire Railway trains will have travelled just under 450 miles.

In order to keep them running, 12 ELR Crossing Keepers and Signalmen will have undertaken a turn of duty on the Railway; the trains cannot move unless Signalmen are manning the Railway’s Signal Boxes.

We have Level Crossing Boxes at Townsend Fold and Rawtenstall West, and Signal Boxes at Ramsbottom and Bury South. To run a passenger train the entire length of the line from Heywood to Rawtenstall we need all four Boxes to be open.  The post of Signalman is a safety critical position within the Railway's operation.


A Signalman’s primary duty is to ensure the safe passage of trains. This is much more than simply pulling levers to change points and work signals. A Signalman must operate equipment so that trains are signalled and regulated in accordance with the ELR Rules, Regulations, Instructions and the timetable currently in force, whilst ensuring the highest possible standards of safety and train performance.


The minimum age at which you can qualify as a Signalman is 18. We will accept trainees aged 17 and 6 months. We do not have an upper age limit, however due to the training requirements and the physical aspects of the job it is not always suitable for everyone. No previous Signalling experience is necessary as full training is given but there may be a waiting list for training courses.

For more information on becoming a working member, please contact Chris Moore from the Volunteer Liaison Team on 07840 110448 or at

East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Ltd.

Company Registration Number 11773904

Registered Charity Number 1190609

Bolton Street Station, Bury, 

Lancashire BL9 0EY

​Telephone: 0333 320 2830

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East Lancashire Railway
Link to the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Home page