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Disused Signal Box Sold at Auction

The former signal box on Torre Station in Torquay has been sold by Paul Fosh Auctions

A disused Victorian railway signal on a Devon station platform sold at auction for more than £11k above its asking price. The imposing Grade II listed, three floor, rectangular brick and glass fronted signal box, is on Platform 2 at the busy Great Western Railways Torre Station in Torquay. Inside, all the original equipment remains in place, including the signalman's armchair. Torre railway station, which has two platforms in use, is a suburban station on the Riviera Line in Torquay, Devon. The railway station is 219 miles from London Paddington. The station is managed by Great Western Railway but is not staffed. The railway station with its ornate main buildings and intricate designed passenger footbridge was designated a world heritage site in January 1975.

There was frenzied bidding by rail enthusiasts anxious to get their hands on the iconic structure from the golden age of rail. More than five people drove up the price with 41 bids. It was listed with a guide price of £54,000 and was sold by Paul Fosh Auctions for £65,750.

The top floor of the property is still equipped with all of its rows of ancient signal levers and handles and a signalman's armchair. The equipment remains in situ but is no longer in operation. The signal room has a cast iron, pot-bellied, coal fed stove dating from the age of steam, wood panelling and high ceilings and is flooded with light from the panoramic windows. The unique property dates back to when the railway station opened in 1848.

Sean Roper, of Paul Fosh Auctions, said: "We had a great deal of interest from rail enthusiasts and also from local people for the former signal box which attracted a total of 41 bids from five individual bidders at the online auction. The station is still in use. Planning permission for conversion of the signal box into a holiday home has previously been obtained for the property but this has now lapsed. I'd say the property would be just perfect for the avid train spotter or perhaps a holiday home-owner who wants to be able to go on a weekend away and simply step from the train and be at home.

"The signal box is within walking distance of Torquay's beach and attractions. It really is a wonderful opportunity for those who prefer something a little bit different. The accommodation comprises three floors. Previous plans envisaged creating a snug ground floor living area, first floor bedroom with en-suite and the third floor, having an open plan dining room and kitchen. Initial work has already started converting the building.

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