12KB. Royal Mint Street, Whitechapel, London Borough of Tower Hamlets With thanks to Alex Monk for informing me of these Survivors. Attached to a brick structure that appears to serve as an electrical substation for the Docklands Light Railway's Bank branch, which passes immediately above the structure, are a small number of 35 Watt SOX lanterns - the majority being GEC Z9582s (what became the Siemens SRL 35). These may date from the late 1980s, when the DLR was constructed, although the route to Bank did not open until 1991, and so they could be slightly newer than this. Nevertheless, SOX lighting was rare within "inner" London, even by the 1990s, and to see it in any form in 2023 is a welcome sight.
Many Victorian railway structures that had fallen into disuse by the 1980s were re-purposed for the DLR; one such example is visible in the background. The newer brickwork of the compound appears to have been coated in some sort of varnish - possibly, as a way of retaining a 'new' appearance. This has the secondary advantage of making the surfaces more reflective, which works well in mirroring the operating Z9582 in this view.
This example didn't appear to be fitted with a photocell, which may explain why it was lit in daylight.
Thorn Beta 5s were attached to the adjacent support pillars. These are likely to be extra lanterns fitted as additions to the original Z9582s.
Only the left-hand lantern was lit on the next pillar. Neither of these lanterns looked to carry photocells either (though their canopies were topped with bird deterrent spikes), and so the lamp in the right-hand lantern may have failed.
The Z9582s that did face forwards were celled, however.
Somewhat amusingly, the foreground lantern's bowl carried a "Property of Dockland (sic) Light Railway Ltd - Do Not Remove" asset item number sticker.
A slight historical anomaly is the use of this Z9532 - the Z9582 was the replacement to this fitting in the mid-1980s (though the larger Z9536 series remained in production beyond GEC days). The older lantern may be an old stock example, or even installed here second-hand.
I was interested to see this wall-mounted setup attached to one of the original bridge structures on the adjoining Leman Street. While the Axia 2 lantern is supplied from a modern plastic enclosure, a much older supply feeding a now-empty control gear box remained alongside. Amusingly, on the other side of the bridge from here, still extant in 2023, was a sign warning of what to do in the event of a vehicle striking the bridge - the sign ordered that Railtrack must be informed immediately - a company that hasn't existed since 2002!
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