A historic railway signal box has reopened to the public after an extensive restoration project.

Amberley Museum invited the chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust, Andy Savage, to perfrom the opening ceremony at the 147-year-old Billingshurst Signal Box.

The Argus: Andy Savage at the signal boxAndy Savage at the signal box (Image: Amberley Museum)

The Saxby and Farmer type 1b box, one of the rarest of its kind, needed major repairs to its timber staircase after it closed in 2014.

It was shut to visitors and volunteers while the work took place. It was funded by the Friends of Amberley Museum.

The Argus: Billingshurst Signal Box at the level crossingBillingshurst Signal Box at the level crossing (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The listed structure used to stand at Billingshurst Level Crossing on the Arun Valley Line, built for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, but shut when Network Rail decided to widen the level crossing and modernise the signalling system.

It was offered to Amberley Museum and the main part of the signal box, the operating room, was taken to the museum on the back of a flatbed lorry and installed by crane.

The Argus: Amberley Museum Amberley Museum (Image: Amberley Museum)

It lost its listed status due to the move but a spokesman for the museum said it "undertakes to treat the building with the associated level of care and attention as though it was listed".

The lever frame, signalling levers, the block instruments and the track diagram were also saved and form part of the exhibition which helps visitors understand how the railway once operated.