VOLUNTEERS have opened up a signal box which has been boarded up for many years due to vandals.

The Princes Risborough north signal box was closed in 1991 and was boarded up as vandals had thrown stones through nearly 200 window panes.

Now members of the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway Association have been able to remove the first of the boards, to get some light and ventilation back into the building. They were able to fit replacement window sashes into this section, because they had saved some spare ones from Aynho and Gerrards Cross signal boxes when they closed.

This is the most visible change since access to the box was granted to the railway association by Network Rail last year.

The association, a 100 per cent volunteer-run charity, is seeking to lease the land to extend its heritage railway line into Princes Risborough station, and while the discussions are ongoing Network Rail has agreed to allow maintenance access so that volunteers can try to halt the deterioration in the listed signal box.

Princes Risborough North is the largest surviving signal box in the country built to an original Great Western Railway design.

More information on the box and the campaign to save it are available from www.RisboroughBox.org.uk