THE hard work of Dean Forest Railway (DFR) volunteers to bring a decades-old signal box back into use has been recognised with a national award nomination.

The signal box at Parkend is up for a National Railway Heritage Award for 2022, following an eight-year project to renovate it and install new signalling equipment.

The box was originally erected at Parkend Station in 2000, using three fifths of a signal box from Maesmawr in mid Wales which had been made redundant in 1995.

Then, in 2014, the DFR board decided to re-signal the line at Parkend.

A DFR spokesperson explained: “Work commenced to equip the station area and box, and de-commission the ground frame from which points had been operated for many years.

“Electronic wheel detectors and axle counters have been introduced to Parkend as the GWR sleepers had next-to-zero insulation for conventional track circuits, also eliminating the need for electrical insulation in points and at rail joints.”

The works were tested and signed off by Network Rail employees before the box was commissioned back in March, just in time for the first trains of the 2022 running season.

The National Railway Heritage Awards (NRHA) have been presented annually since 1979.

The aim of the scheme is to “encourage high standards of restoration of buildings, structures and signalling installations and of their environmental care, thus promoting public recognition and awareness of our historic railway and tramway heritage and environment.”

This year’s NRHA ceremony will be held on Tuesday, December 6.