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Metropolitan Railway Signals - Baker St to Aldgate

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Gentlefolk,

 

I'm currently building a coarse scale O gauge layout based on Met Railway practice east of Baker St towards Aldgate with an approximate dateline 1925 - 1930.

 

It has occurred to me that I need to think carefully about the types of signals in use and their placing. I've seen a 1926 diagram that shows colour-light signals used in the Kings Cross to Liverpool St area, but I can find no direct history of the chronology of the signal types used on the Met? - Can anyone advise:

- A good write up of Met Railway signalling practice and types upto 1933?

- When and where the Met first adopted colour-light signals in place of Saxby and Farmer semaphore types?

 

Regards

Chris H

 

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Peter Bancroft and John Talbot produced a very learned book on LT signalling and the life and work of Robert Dell. It is still available from:

 

http://www.metadyne.co.uk/Nebulousbooks.html

 

I believe there are details of earlier signalling systems included with reference to their being brought into line with standard LT practice over the years. Otherwise there may be something useful on District Dave. Just had a quick trawl and found that there are 26 pages of signalling threads on there which might be of use:

 

http://www.districtdavesforum.co.uk/board/5/signalling-track

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L49,

 

Thanks for the tips. I will get a copy of the Bancroft and Talbot book and try to work my way through the District Dave site.

 

Lord of Narnia,

 

Tinplate Dreadnoughts are available - see attached - but Saloon stock will have to wait a while, till I get the layout running properly. This is very much retro-modelling for fun, so don't expect too much.

 

Regards

Chris H

post-27238-0-46970600-1463523328_thumb.jpg

Edited by Metropolitan H
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Kevin,

 

Thanks for the links. I will have to buy the ICE paper - unless you know of another way? - but it looks to be answering my questions and worth reading,

 

As indicated elsewhere I thought you were aware of the change of area, which came with the insertion of the terminal road and working name change from "Dog Lane" to "City Road". There were a number of factors that drove the change:

- As the available space is to put it mildly "a bit tight" - equivalent to 6ft x 4ft in OO - and I want a double track circle line, a very "Inner" urban scenario works better for the scenic (?) treatment.

- The goods sidings are sort of based on Vine Street - but not as expansive.

- The terminal road ideas come from a sort of amalgam of Moorgate and Liverpool Street (Met).

- The N2 / N7 and quad-art set workings into Met territory were off the GN lines - not the GC.

 

I know this means I shouldn't run any Met steam locos bigger than an E class 0-4-4T or F class 0-6-2T, but Rule 1 applies and I will be happy to ensure clearances will accept a H 4-4-4T and K 2-6-4T or any other loco I fancy.

 

As others will have noted I'm already mixing periods with the M-V Bo-Bos and a British Westinghouse "Camelback Bo-Bo running together. So niceties about the 1925-30 period and signal types are a bit nominal - but while this is all coarse scale O "Retro" style modelling it did cross my mind that I ought to get the signals "Sort of right". 

 

When there is more progress I might start a new topic stream - if there is any interest. For the moment this is my statement of intent.

 

Regards

Chris H

 

P.S. - I would happily run a "S" Stock train alongside the B-W loco if the opportunity comes along. But that is probably very long-term wishful thinking, did you see that pink animal fly-past?

 

CH

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I must have dozed-off during the Dog Lane to City Road transition, sorry!

 

Anyway, I like the idea.

 

The big question with the signalling is: what did the signals themselves actually look like?

 

They may have been very discreet things, a single lamp on a bracket, with coloured filters moving behind a single lens, a sort of oversized Bardic lamp, painted black, but don't those old diagrams imply signals with multiple lenses?

 

K

 

PS: ICE site very odd. Sometimes I get straight into it, no fee, no password, and can read whole papers, other times it's a case of phone your friendly neighbourhood ICE Member, or the ICE library, who will provide copies free to IET or IMechE members.

Edited by Nearholmer

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Kings Cross - Moorgate was resignalled in 1926 so this probably fits your 1925 to 1930 time period. The 2 aspect colour light signals were the short range type with 6" diameter lenses. In the outdoor sections (such as Moorgate) long hoods were provided.

 

The photo below shows the starting signal from platform 5 at Moorgate. Going from top to bottom we have a 2 aspect red/green signal head (F21) a 2 aspect yellow/green signal head (RSS1b) with a 2 aspect red/green signal head at the bottom (F22). With the signal at stop we get a red in the top head, the middle head is black (no aspect) and a red in the bottom head. With a move signalled out of platform 5 toward the Down Widened Line we get a green in the top and head and either a yellow or green in the middle head depending on what the next signal (SS1) is showing (either red or green). The bottom head (F22) shows a green when a move is signalled out of Platform 5 and in to the loco spur (the buffer stops at the base of the water tower).

 

post-6371-0-60550200-1464037188_thumb.jpg

 

For my layout I brought a number of Eckon 4mm colour light signals with the intention of experimenting to produce something resembling a short range signal in 7mm.

 

Hope this helps???

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Emma

 

Are these signals on the Widened Lines, or the Met?

 

Or were the two "signalled in common", using the same kit?

 

Kevin

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Emma,

 

Thank you very much, that is a very useful photograph - just what I needed. Now to lay plans to get some appropriate signal heads made by rapid prototyping / 3D printing means to fit 3mm LEDs.

 

 

Kevin,

 

To answer your questions look at www.harsig.org/Metropolitan.htm - particularly the 1926 / 1956 Widened Lines .pdf file. You will see that all the Met and Widened lines signalling was done from one 44 lever signal box - Box F - and that similar arrangements prevailed at Aldersgate / Barbican and the other stations. 

 

This is getting ever more interesting. I hope I can do it all justice.

 

Regards

Chris H

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Those signals are on the Widened Lines but they were owned by the Met and the signalling system, including the boxes, was common to both lines.

 

The colour light signals, and the slides that worked them, were supplied by the British Power Signal Co. The points seem to have been worked mechanically using frames "home-made" by the Met.

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Emma/Becasse

 

Not that I need to know (I don't even model the Met), I'm just curious, really: do you know what the c1909 signals looked like?

 

Kevin

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Emma

 

Are these signals on the Widened Lines, or the Met?

 

Or were the two "signalled in common", using the same kit?

 

Kevin

 

 

Emma,

 

Thank you very much, that is a very useful photograph - just what I needed. Now to lay plans to get some appropriate signal heads made by rapid prototyping / 3D printing means to fit 3mm LEDs.

 

 

Kevin,

 

To answer your questions look at www.harsig.org/Metropolitan.htm - particularly the 1926 / 1956 Widened Lines .pdf file. You will see that all the Met and Widened lines signalling was done from one 44 lever signal box - Box F - and that similar arrangements prevailed at Aldersgate / Barbican and the other stations. 

 

This is getting ever more interesting. I hope I can do it all justice.

 

Regards

Chris H

 

The 1926 scheme covered both lines with the same signal type. The photo here on my layout thread shows the Circle lines.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/29574-moorgate-the-widened-lines/

 

 

These are the starting signals from Platform 4 (Met Railway)

 

post-6371-0-20575700-1464122722_thumb.jpg

 

post-6371-0-16783100-1464122737_thumb.jpg

 

The train stops were electrically worked and all points were mechanically worked with Economical Facing Point Locks provided where required.

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With apologies for not often looking at these web pages, this is a late footnote that doesn't seem to be mentioned.  There is a good written history of Metropolitan signaling, albeit not having much detail for modeling signaling assets, in this book:  Jackson, Alan (1986). London's Metropolitan Railway. David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8839-8.

 

The signaling section of this book was written by Ken Benest, who had great knowledge and expertise on signaling matters.

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Its interesting to look at those signals in a bit more detail.

 

The foot (or boot) of the post looks to be a Westinghouse design, as does the finial on top of the post. These could be because BPRS used Evans O'Connell as a sub contractor. Now E O'C was part of the Westinghouse group at this time...

 

The signal heads presumably are General Railway Signal Co ones (BPRS was their British agents at this time). GRS got a bit touchy about BPRS using there competitor's for work, so eventually terminated their agreement with BPRS and joined up with Metro-Vick...

 

Andy G

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And, wasn't metrovick actually the former British Westinghouse, purchased with British capital from its American parent during WW1 to overcome restrictions on foreign-owned companies supplying armaments?

 

K

Edited by Nearholmer

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Indeed, but that wasn't that a different Westinghouse to the WB&SC?

 

Very complicated this history lark!

 

Andy G

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“And, wasn't metrovick actually the former British Westinghouse, purchased with British capital from its American parent during WW1 to overcome restrictions on foreign-owned companies supplying armaments?”

 

and

 

“Very complicated this history lark!”

 

A supplementary observation or two might be of general interest to the audience.  The following notes may appear irrelevant to railway signals on the Metropolitan but I think I can claim it’s not too far from topic as there is a small connection:

 

British Westinghouse {BW] was acquired in 1917 by Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company [MCWF], with the assistance and support of Vickers.  BW were keen to rebuild their business after WW1 so welcomed this interest. 

 

By 1919, Vickers had purchased MCWF for about £13m [a lot of money at the time] and then formed the electrical conglomerate Metropolitan-Vickers [M-V].  Yet by 1928, times and business emphasis had changed so much that M-V was sold to the International General Electric Company and soon after was joined with BTH and others to form Associated Electrical Industries [AEI].  The MV name became purely a subsidiary holding company.  So, the M-V name and products gained their place in history within less than a decade. 

 

As hinted in post 16, there was potential for competition and business intrigue in the industry, to rival modern soap operas.  The Metropolitan connection?  The original BW, MCWF and Vickers deals were masterminded by a man of many directorships, Dudley Docker.  He was also a Director of the Metropolitan Railway.

 

Main source for the notes:  ‘Vickers – A History’, Scott, J. D., Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1962.

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