This control unit has served to switch the turnouts (and if necessary: semaphores). At the time, this was entirely mechanical. With large levers attached to pull wires, often at shin height along the track, to the appropriate turnouts and signals were the necessary actions were carried out. A signal box from this era, therefore, had a relatively small service area, because long wires automatically give more friction and thereby switching a turnout could be very heavy.
Note: When assembling this model precision and experience is desired. This is particularly for the scale of 1:160 of applicable.