|Chronology:||Bargery Number|||||Main Themes:|
|1855-59|||||Dangers caused by long hours and overwork|
Charing Cross Signal Box c1890.
The complexity of the railways and the volume of traffic put great strain on the signalmen. (See Cabman's Railway Yarn) In 1889, the Main A signal box at Waterloo comprised 209 levers. It was worked by 3 shifts each of 10 men. A lever had to be pulled about every 15 seconds.
Signalman - along with the drivers - were widely regarded as heroes. When the long-hours dispute was raging in the 1880s - much of the public - even middle and upper classes were on their side.