View Full Version : The clocks that kept a railway running

April 29th, 2018, 05:28 PM
Trains of all types - passenger, freight, MOW, specials, etc - all run to a timetable and in the past it was the station, signal box and depot yard clocks that were the guardians of railway time. This article looks at heritage railway clocks and their role in the running of the railways.


August 8th, 2018, 07:47 AM
And in setting the time standards we all live by today!!

August 9th, 2018, 09:35 PM
That's a wonderful article Pware, and one very close to my family - my late father was a watchmaker who, although he had no connection with the railways repairing their clocks, he specialized in repairing antique timepieces and dealt with antique stores who often would come into possession of such clocks and watches and hence railway clocks and watches were occasionally part of that.

I still remember one memorable occasion back in my teens where he was asked to service (as in, repair and restore to operation) a WAGR (Western Australian Government Railways) station clock by an antique dealer he knew which I'm pretty sure was a similar make to the NSWGR ones in that article (I'm also pretty sure the original clockmaker was Seth Thomas to boot). I still remember seeing it set up on his special clock stand in our loungeroom after he reassembled the movement, it's polished gears and brass work all clean and ticking loudly, 'W.A.G.R' etched in black on it's face. :D

And yes he also used to always talk proudly about how it was the railways that established the global time zone system still used today, as Boleyd mentioned. It's something that has always stuck in my mind.

Anyway, thank you so much for that link pware!

August 10th, 2018, 05:47 AM
Anyway, thank you so much for that link pware!

Thank you for the positive feedback Enkidoh. My partners ancestors also have a link to railway clocks. One of them was a clockmaker here in Sydney back in the early 20th century and he did some work repairing clocks for the NSWGR.

August 12th, 2018, 09:34 PM
Can remember these clocks as a kid
when will the train be here
The train will be here when the big hand is on the five

now we know why nothing runs on time
All the clocks are locked away
Analog trains and digital clocks