Railway Signal Co Ltd, signal and electrical appliance manufacturers



Originally founded as Livesey and Edwards, The Railway Signal Company came into being in 1881 with George Edwards, former Signalling Manager with the Gloucester Wagon Company, and Robert Aurelius King of Norwood, Surrey, occupation – Gentleman, as the Principals. The Company’s Head Office was registered at Caxton House, Westminster, London while its manufacturing base was established at Fazakerley, near Liverpool. Its premises were adjacent to the sidings owned by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, who became the Company’s first major customer. At that time the Railway Signal Company added their own design of signalling equipment to those of their main competitors, namely, Saxby & Farmer, Stevens & Sons, E.S. Yardley and the Gloucester Wagon Company. The Railway Signal Company produced signals, signal boxes, lever frames and interlocks. Between 1881 and 1889 they were responsible for almost all the new signalling equipment on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. The Company thrived in its own right for much of its existence. In 1920 the Railway Signal Company became part of the Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company but continued to manufacture its own in house designed equipment until the early 1960’s, when electrically operated rather than mechanically operated equipment took precedence. From the early 1960’s until the Company’s liquidation in 1974 it diversified into the manufacture of domestic equipment such as the ‘Raysig’ ranges of radiant panel heaters and hot plates. New, larger office premises were constructed in 1956. One of the most significant of the Railway Signal Company’s employees was Lee Ollerenshaw who was employed by the Company for more than fifty years, finally serving as Managing Director. Many of the records of the Railway Signal Company were acquired by the Maritime History Department in 1974 and transferred to the Archives Department later. The detailed records of the Railway Signal Company were discovered on the Westinghouse’s Chippenham site around 2010 and were transferred to Liverpool Central Library the same year.