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About our Exeter West Simulation


Exeter St David’s station on the former Great Western main line to Plymouth and Cornwall was very much a rail crossroads since it played host not only to Western Region trains but also those of the Southern Region also making their way to and from the West Country. Such was the nature of the railway geography, that trains to the same ultimate destinations travelled through the station in opposite directions. Operations were further complicated by the nature of the line connecting St Davids, with the SR station at Exeter Central which not only included a tunnel and some very tight curvature but also one of the steepest main line gradients in the country. Couple all of this with a very cramped and somewhat awkward junction layout and it all makes for quite an operational challenge.

Location map

Exeter area map

Some features

The nature of the operational challenges necessitated some particular methods of working and this, coupled with the need for frequent shunting and light engine movements through the station require the use of some bell codes which might not be familiar even to experienced signallers. The simulation is set in 1960 and, at that time, Great Western bell codes and block regulations remained in operation. Since these might not be familiar to users – and given that there are already enough challenges – the simulation uses BR bell codes and block regulations. Nonetheless, you would be well advised to read the Operating instructions and to familiarise yourself with the bell codes before you attempt to work the Box!

Exeter West Signalbox today

Although Exeter West box was superseded by the Exeter Signalling Centre in 1985, the box itself has happily survived into preservation thanks to the efforts of a dedicated band of enthusiasts. It is to be found at the Crewe Railway Heritage Centre where it is regularly demonstrated to the public. More than that, the public demonstration of the box in operation is “powered” by exactly the same simulation that is downloadable from this site. Thus you can be sure that this truly is an authentic simulation.

A contribution to the costs of preserving Exeter West box is made from the proceeds of each sale of this simulation