Signal box and level crossing – must have

A signal box and level crossing.

I think a well placed signal box and level crossing(s) look great.  Put them in the wrong place without any thought and you will be forever asking yourself the question – why?

I have a few ideas for placement and have already purchased a level crossing kit (which has been partly assembled already).  It’s now just a matter of getting it on the layout.  The signal box is another matter.  I have seen so many, what look like, decent signal boxes.  However, I am left wondering whether or not they fit in with my LNER-style and also what size box would have actually been required for a simple two mainline railway.  My initial thought was certainly not as big as what I had planned to buy.  So, do I go big or small?  Weathered or not?  Add point levers and lighting?

I was going to add a couple of photos of the current signal box which I had planned to use.  However, I think that one will shortly go by the wayside and I would love some feedback on what others have used and why.

Also, as one of the many jobs on my to do list, I am planning on putting in some actual signals.  Without trawling through the internet for an answer, does anyone know if there is a minimum distance (obviously to 00 gauge scale) that a signal should be away from a signal box and/or crossing?  It may mean a slight adjustment to my proposed placement of other items, but no major works have yet taken place in this area so should be too much of an issue to move things around.

As a quick aside – has anyone actually constructed a signal box or level crossing on their own rather than using an off-the-shelf item?  This may be a little outside my capabilities, but I thought I would ask anyway as sometimes the home constructed items provide much more realism.

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