CF du Nord - Paris Area Interlockings ca 1890 -

Cabine 2

Saxby Interlocking Cabin No 2 has a frame for 127 levers; 119 levers in use:

60 signal levers
20 point levers
22 direction levers
13 facing point locks
 4 disengaging levers (for slotted signals)

All signals, points and disengagers are controlled electrically (sont contrôlés électriquement), except points 55, which are interlocked (verrouillés)


12 signalmen, among them 4 principal signalmen, are rostered for working cabin No 2, Paris station.  Always three signalmen on duty, working six hour shifts:

1.  Principal signalman working centre of frame, acting foreman for signalmen and blockman
2.  Signalman working northern part (arrivals side)
3.  Signalman working southern part (departures side)

Principal signalman normally to work points and FPL levers situated in centre of frame, other signalmen to work points and signals in their respective area. However, working areas of signalmen not rigidly fixed - rapid manipulation of levers is the overriding objective

Principal signalman as far as possible to be assisted by a trainee signalman (élève aiguilleur) during the day

The signalmen are responsible for cleaning, repairing and oiling all aparatus except points and underground rodding or wires.


Cabin No 2 is also manned by a blockman (gardes-sémaphores) for working the electric semaphores (interlocked block) for
In toto three blockmen,  working eight hour shifts  
Blockmen to work electro-semaphores and the announcing bell for trains going to Soissons line

Block signals interlocked with stop signal (signal d'arrêt)

When small arm of block semaphore appears, blockman to announce in a loud voice to signalmen that a train is about to arrive, and from which line.


Arrivals and departures to be announced by telephone or by electric guichet (train describer)  to cabins 1bis and postes D and E.

The principal signalman announces in a loud voice the number of train to be routed, and the number of the last signal to be taken off. Assisted by the other signalmen, he reverses the levers of the points and facing point locks, and finally the lever of the last signal of the route. Finally, the signalman announces the train or engine to the blockman, in a loud voice, so that the block semaphore can be manipulated.

Electric Communications

The cabin is connected by telephone with the neighbouring cabins and postes, the offices of the stationmaster and sous-chef, and the electric power station.

It is also in communication with neighbouring boxes by train describers (tableaux de correspondence). Before a starting signal is taken off, the signalman has to ask for permission from the signalbox in advance by making the indicator (voyant) appear.  The permission is granted by the box in advance by making the indicator disappear. In the same manner, cabin No 2 is advised by box in rear which wants to send a train, engine or shunting move towards cabin No 2   [These indicators/describers were probably  a supplement to the block working by electro-semaphores]

CF du Nord interlockings



Last update 2009-01-04