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Thanks all, that's very encouraging. The use of combined locking and point levers is fascinating - I thought this was a modeller's shortcut.

 

I have just thought more about the flag-wavy man and realised he should be electronically linked to the lever frame and the points. I need to "lock him" so he can't wave his green rag until the correct road is set. Mind you, with the only signalling on the branch being stop boards there is no route interlocking so my brain is still cogitating on how any level of interlocking would work. Maybe it cannot, due to no signals to show routes.

Locking gets a lot more relevant on my main line.

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Posted (edited)

Congrats on managing to get the 1000th post Martin!

 

Andy G

Edited by uax6
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There is another thread on here somewhere, where we went deep into the BoT recommendations in respect of Light Railways, and economical FPLs got good mention and photos ...... but where??

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28 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

There is another thread on here somewhere, where we went deep into the BoT recommendations in respect of Light Railways, and economical FPLs got good mention and photos ...... but where??

 

I recall that it cropped up in Norfolk:

 

Regulation  of Railways Act  1

 

 

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Thank you Edwardian; you’ve got a better memory than I.

 

That deals with the basic legislation, but somewhere we’ve gone into the BoT recommendations, and what they resulted in at a ‘model-able’ level - I’ll try to find it later.

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18 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Having some FPL levers can be useful in simplifying your interlocking.

Hi Joseph, could you say more about what you mean here? I can see that on my main line FPLs may well be necessary, as will interlocking between signals/points. For the moment I'm trying out my ideas for the branch line only which will deliberately have a simple set up. As a test bed for ideas its an anachronism as it would probably not be passed by Col. Yolland of the BoT in the way I want to model it, as well as not really needing FPLs, interlocking, etc.

 

8 hours ago, uax6 said:

As for your levers, try and get the quadrant at baseboard level, they are much easier to use that way.

 

Using economical FPL's is probably the way forward for you!

 

Andy G

Thanks Andy. Yes, my lever frame/controller panel will have the lever quadrants at the level of the tracks in each case.

Again, as with Joseph's remark, what do you mean exactly by "economical FPL's"? Do you mean combined lock and point levers?

 

6 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

I think it might be possible to make a case that no trapping beyond what is shown in the diagram is needed at Catspaw:

 

- the loop is not to be used by passenger trains;

 

- therefore the passenger line is protected against straying wagons by the lay of the points as shown;

 

- the only period of risk of incursion by straying wagons is when the road is set for a train to enter or leave the loop, that is when a train moves between passenger and goods areas, which is a perfectly ordinary, and accepted, risk where goods lines join passenger lines.

 

As shown, it looks odd, because we are used to seeing loops that can be used by passenger trains - this isn’t one, it’s a double ended siding in effect.

 

Many stations were like this, so worth checking the prototype. The Watlington branch had a few, and looking at photos of Aston Rowant and Chinnor, I think the protection is exactly as Martin has drawn Catspaw, and I'm fairly sure that goods trains could "lay by" at these stations to let passenger trains past, and I don't think there were any signals needed, I have a feeling that it was done somehow using the electric token system ......... see if you can get Stationmaster involved, he will know.

That's correct Kevin, no passenger trains will pass at either Coggles or Catspaw so they will only ever use the platform road. I could pass goods and passenger trains at either, though to be honest I was assuming such a light traffic density along the branch that this would not happen. I think a goods train may be at work shunting the industries at Catspaw while a passenger train passes - though since the majority of shunt moves will need to use the loop, any goods engine will most likely be stationary while a passenger service passes. At the terminus, Witts End, two trains can and will be in the station at the same time. I'll need a proper signal arrangement there, a home and a starter at least and maybe a fixed distant somewhere out on "tramway curve" down at the colliery end of the layout. I'll probably use disc and crossbar signals here, or just discs of the Festiniog style that I remarked on as used on the Garreg Wen layout.

I will take a look at the Watlington branch signal diagrams. I have the Wild Swan volume on this line somewhere.

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More useful light (railway) reading.

 

 

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By having your (fictional) FPLs, you can use simpler switches (single pole) on your control panel. Not an easy concept to explain but I will try to do a wiring diagram at some stage. Perhaps you could indicate a location and post detailed plan.

 

I think that your branch might well be "light" enough to get away with some things that the Colonel would not permit elsewhere - especially if your speed is limited to 25mph.

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I covered some aspects of signalling on narrow gauge and light railways in a series of three articles published in Narrow Lines recently. 

Narrow Lines is the magazine of the 7mm NGA.

 

An economical point lock was arranged to work from one lever as illustrated in the picture below.

 

46941059055_16294b4410_b.jpgsig art 020 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

This drawing was based on a photo to get around potential copyright problems. The drive comes in by the rod on the left hand side and as the bolt is removed it changes the position of the point blades.

The Midland Railway used economical facing point locks as its standard practice. (Mind you the Midland had an aversion to these 'works of the Devil' ( the facing points rather than the FPL) ! I believe that I once read somewhere that there was only one such device between Settle and Carlisle.) 

 

The idea was common on German railways with the 180 degree throw levers. The first third of the movement unlocked the points the middle third changed the blades and the last third relocked them.

 

Re the signal box. As I noted in my article (not that anybody takes any notice!) many wayside stations on secondary systems did not have a nice twee signal box but used a groundframe.

This could be on the platform or, in the case of the County Donegal Railway, almost in a wayside hedge, as at Lough Eske.

The NER sometimes used glorified garden shed structures which covered the frame. One example of a line so equipped was the Malton-Driffield branch.

 

Ian T

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Economical fpls are combined locks and operating rods. The first part of the lever movement undoes the lock, then the blades moves, then the last bit of the lever movement locks it again. The MR used them extensively.

 

andy g

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Regularity said:

This is quite similar to your situation:

https://signalbox.org/diagrams/highley1969.jpg

Interesting in that no. 2 siding has a crossover worked from the box at one end (lever 6) but that the turnouts at the other end are hand operated.

Note also that turnout 9 and disc 14 are superfluous to your needs. Obviously, you are using “stop and proceed” operations and presumably trains do not pass here, so no need for signals as this is not a block post?

 

The facing point locks in this example are unlocked when the lever is in the normal position. They would not be required for access into the sidings, so would only be reversed (pulled) to lock the points in the normal position. Until they are reversed, the licking is not proved and signals cannot be released. If you look at the numbering, you can see how a “run” of lever reverses operates.

For example, an up train passing through (or stopping) will require levers 4,3 and then 2. A down train would have 11, 12 and then 13. In both cases, the starting  signal (3 or 12) would require the block in advance to have been requested, cleared and accepted. If not, the levers remain normal.

A train running into the loop(s) would be brought to a stand at the home signal before the crossover was reversed. Without a copy of the locking table, I cannot say if a movement into the sidings would be flagged by the signalman, or use the home signals.

 

Hope that helps in some way. Personally, I would go for a small 2-lever ground frame at each end of the loop, with facing point lock and crossover levers, all released by a key on the train staff.

DINSDALE.

On a more relevant note, I've found this site very useful for inspiration.
https://www.signalbox.org/diagrams.php

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
Just realised I'm now miles behind the conversation. Dammit.
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Re hiding the frame, on my layout Sarn - see the Railways of Wales section here -  it is inside the house at the back of the layout, which is full depth but has no back. As it is only a four lever frame the house didn't need to be very big.

At Highley when I used to act sometimes as assistant signalman, sometimes trains were terminated at the station. In that case even though it was only a light engine movement all points without FPLs were padlocked for each movement. You can see from the trackplan which they would have been, though the connection to the Engine House did not then exist.

Jonathan

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Posted (edited)

Here is a good example with trapping exactly as Martin drew for Catspaw, and this is Heavy, not Light, Railway https://www.s-r-s.org.uk/html/srx/T3232.htm

 

Its actually a mid-section GF, or rather two of such on one diagram, and the signals relate to the level-crossing, rather than being anything to do with the loops and sidings, and a LR possibly wouldn't have had signals for this purpose. Its actually somewhat similar to Rolvenden (KESR) in 'real' times, which I think might have had a signal to protect the LC from one direction, but not the other.

 

And, this is almost exactly what we're after: a LR block-post, worked by two ground-frames, with the ability to 'loop' a goods train, but not a passenger train. https://www.s-r-s.org.uk/html/sre/R1806.htm Notice how very few levers are needed in each GF, because it has (I assume) economical FPLs, and there are no starter signals, and no signals specifically to protect the level-crossing (the two 'homes' simply control entry to the station). Almost a text-book example of safety with economy!

 

".......even though it was only a light engine movement all points without FPLs were padlocked for each movement......" Sounds like a very precautionary approach, to prevent engines that volunteers have worked for years to restore from falling on the deck, and getting damaged, due to signaller error, rather than something a "real" LR would do. Didn't the preserved GCR put an Ivatt 2MT on the deck while running round a train?

Edited by Nearholmer
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58 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Notice how very few levers are needed in each GF, because it has (I assume) economical FPLs, and there are no starter signals, and no signals specifically to protect the level-crossing (the two 'homes' simply control entry to the station). Almost a text-book example of safety with economy!

Yes indeed.

The GFs at the locations either side of these two have separate levers for the point locks!

In use, the EFPL did three things as the lever was pulled:

1) Withdraw the bolt-lock from the stretcher (“tie bar”);

2) Move the points;

3) Restore the bolt-lock.

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Posted (edited)

My surmise is that the original c1901 installations had separate mechanisms for the FPLs, and that Eastchurch was altered, probably when the airfield siding was put in during WW1, and equipped with 'economics', but it is only surmise. Or, the other way round, and that the  whole line started with 'economics', but the SR used their standard bits and bobs when renewals were necessary. 

Edited by Nearholmer

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Posted (edited)
On 15/05/2019 at 09:43, Regularity said:

This is quite similar to your situation:

https://signalbox.org/diagrams/highley1969.jpg

Interesting in that no. 2 siding has a crossover worked from the box at one end (lever 6) but that the turnouts at the other end are hand operated.

Note also that turnout 9 and disc 14 are superfluous to your needs. Obviously, you are using “stop and proceed” operations and presumably trains do not pass here, so no need for signals as this is not a block post?

 

The facing point locks in this example are unlocked when the lever is in the normal position. They would not be required for access into the sidings, so would only be reversed (pulled) to lock the points in the normal position. Until they are reversed, the licking is not proved and signals cannot be released. If you look at the numbering, you can see how a “run” of lever reverses operates.

For example, an up train passing through (or stopping) will require levers 4,3 and then 2. A down train would have 11, 12 and then 13. In both cases, the starting  signal (3 or 12) would require the block in advance to have been requested, cleared and accepted. If not, the levers remain normal.

A train running into the loop(s) would be brought to a stand at the home signal before the crossover was reversed. Without a copy of the locking table, I cannot say if a movement into the sidings would be flagged by the signalman, or use the home signals.

 

Hope that helps in some way. Personally, I would go for a small 2-lever ground frame at each end of the loop, with facing point lock and crossover levers, all released by a key on the train staff.

Very helpful, Simon. Thanks. This starts to answer another question I have which is what rules, or working practices, if any, governed the numbering sequence of levers for signals, points and locks in a frame. I can see at once that you'd want to not have the signalman running up and down the length of a long box with numerous levers just to bring in one train, so obviously the numbering is not to do with the sequence on the ground but to economise on the number of steps the signalman would have to take along his frame. Some guidance on this would help me too.

 

17 hours ago, ianathompson said:

I covered some aspects of signalling on narrow gauge and light railways in a series of three articles published in Narrow Lines recently. 

Narrow Lines is the magazine of the 7mm NGA.

 

An economical point lock was arranged to work from one lever as illustrated in the picture below.

 

https://flic.kr/p/2ew2cspsig art 020 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

This drawing was based on a photo to get around potential copyright problems. The drive comes in by the rod on the left hand side and as the bolt is removed it changes the position of the point blades.

The Midland Railway used economical facing point locks as its standard practice. (Mind you the Midland had an aversion to these 'works of the Devil' ( the facing points rather than the FPL) ! I believe that I once read somewhere that there was only one such device between Settle and Carlisle.) 

 

The idea was common on German railways with the 180 degree throw levers. The first third of the movement unlocked the points the middle third changed the blades and the last third relocked them.

 

Re the signal box. As I noted in my article (not that anybody takes any notice!) many wayside stations on secondary systems did not have a nice twee signal box but used a groundframe.

This could be on the platform or, in the case of the County Donegal Railway, almost in a wayside hedge, as at Lough Eske.

The NER sometimes used glorified garden shed structures which covered the frame. One example of a line so equipped was the Malton-Driffield branch.

 

Ian T

Great drawing Ian, but I am struggling to see how the actual motion works. I shall probably fit some dummy lock gubbins on the points to represent the important locking parts as long as I can get away with it being relatively simple and it not impeding the throw of the blades (obviously).

I've edited the Coggles and Catspaw diagrams to include locks and have tonight finished the Witts End diagram. WE has a "proper" signal box with a full time signalman because its here that two engines are most likely to be active at once.

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed. I thought I knew a bit about signalling but it seems I knew less than I thought I did!

Now I need to start on the main line diagrams. I'm basically doing this in order to know how many levers we need to buy and what signal models need constructing. The lever count affects the control panel length for each station and Neil is keen to tackle the carpentry on these soon.

WE.png.695f72cb50768ef0a3bcfc10759c8bdd.png

 

Edited by Martin S-C
edited plan to correct disc & crossbar symbols
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5 hours ago, Martin S-C said:

Very helpful, Simon. Thanks. This starts to answer another question I have which is what rules, or working practices, if any, governed the numbering sequence of levers for signals, points and locks in a frame. I can see at once that you'd want to not have the signalman running up and down the length of a long box with numerous levers just to bring in one train, so obviously the numbering is not to do with the sequence on the ground but to economise on the number of steps the signalman would have to take along his frame. Some guidance on this would help me too.

 

Great drawing Ian, but I am struggling to see how the actual motion works. I shall probably fit some dummy lock gubbins on the points to represent the important locking parts as long as I can get away with it being relatively simple and it not impeding the throw of the blades (obviously).

I've edited the Coggles and Catspaw diagrams to include locks and have tonight finished the Witts End diagram. WE has a "proper" signal box with a full time signalman because its here that two engines are most likely to be active at once.

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed. I thought I knew a bit about signalling but it seems I knew less than I thought I did!

Now I need to start on the main line diagrams. I'm basically doing this in order to know how many levers we need to buy and what signal models need constructing. The lever count affects the control panel length for each station and Neil is keen to tackle the carpentry on these soon.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_05/WE.png.dc435074a1c97eb86045f290f2d168cc.png

Just out of interest, but how did you make your signal diagrams?

Duncan

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6 hours ago, Martin S-C said:

This starts to answer another question I have which is what rules, or working practices, if any, governed the numbering sequence of levers for signals, points and locks in a frame. I can see at once that you'd want to not have the signalman running up and down the length of a long box with numerous levers just to bring in one train, so obviously the numbering is not to do with the sequence on the ground but to economise on the number of steps the signalman would have to take along his frame. Some guidance on this would help me too.

Pro tem, usually the point levers are in the middle (with some signals possibly mixed in, particularly related to shunting moves) with the main running signals arranged such that distant signals (if provided and not fixed) are outermost, followed by outer home, home, starter, advanced starter (if those all exist!)

 

Best thing is to find real places with similar track layouts, and use that as a starting point, but the position of the signal cabin and the orientation of the frame do affect things.

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Hi Martin,

 

Did a bit of searching, thinking of St. Ives (Cornwall) as a useful starting point (pun unintended) and found this from several years ago on RMWeb:

 

 

It is well worth reading, with lots of useful and interesting contributions, particularly from Mike Romans (professional railwayman).

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14 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Didn't the preserved GCR put an Ivatt 2MT on the deck while running round a train?

 That was at Quorn & Woodhouse in 2013 during a gala. A TPO Set and Ivatt 2MT were recessed in a siding at the Leicester end of the station. I seem to remember the cause being the train authorised past a starter without checking the points. Captured on video below - 

 

There is somewhere also a set of photos of a Jinty in the dirt at Highley in preservation; perhaps that would explain the overcautious padlocking of points mentioned previously! 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, drduncan said:

Just out of interest, but how did you make your signal diagrams?

Duncan

I downloaded several diagrams from various sites after just Googling for "signal box diagram", then cherry picked these for stylistic elements I liked. I then cobbled my own together using mainly copy/paste from different bits in Paint Shop Pro and MSPaint. I collected an alphabet of letters and numbers and various symbols then just added these as needed. I went for older designs that were a bit wordier and chose a nice curly-wurly border design as well. If you want to do ones set for later decades, go for a cleaner/clearer style, for example later the curly corners go and text such as "from" and "to" is removed. I also noted that the legend "xxx yards from box" commonly gets replaced with "xxx yds" on a number of later (post war) diagrams. For the disc and crossbar symbols I made my own in MSPaint.

Please be aware that if you go down this route, most images online are jpegs and so are not very good quality. I had to clean up a lot of "noise" from the characters and symbols and it still reappears if you save as jpeg so I tend to work in .png format. So far these diagrams are test pieces. For the final graphics they'll need a lot more work. I'd ideally like to find the font used in the "SPARE LEVERS", "FIXED" and "CALL ON" signs. This font seems to be very common among earlier diagrams.

I attach my master alphabet/symbol sheet if its any use.

 

I realised that my crossbar should be below the disc, so have edited that.

 

6 hours ago, Regularity said:

Pro tem, usually the point levers are in the middle (with some signals possibly mixed in, particularly related to shunting moves) with the main running signals arranged such that distant signals (if provided and not fixed) are outermost, followed by outer home, home, starter, advanced starter (if those all exist!)

 

Best thing is to find real places with similar track layouts, and use that as a starting point, but the position of the signal cabin and the orientation of the frame do affect things.

Thanks. Looking at WE as I've done it so far, that seems fairly close to what you suggest.

799494418_FontsSymbols.png.bcbcf48a440b2b01c5a0a8c5e7a946ae.png

Edited by Martin S-C
bit more technical explanation
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45 minutes ago, Joe61264 said:

That was at Quorn & Woodhouse in 2013 during a gala. A TPO Set and Ivatt 2MT were recessed in a siding at the Leicester end of the station. I seem to remember the cause being the train authorised past a starter without checking the points. Captured on video below - 

Nice demonstration of how effective catch-points are!

 

How was the movement authorised? I couldn’t see anything visual, e.g. a signaller waving a flag, and presumably if there was a ground disc, it would be not only interlocked but be “detected” against the points as well.

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10 minutes ago, Regularity said:

Nice demonstration of how effective catch-points are!

 

How was the movement authorised? I couldn’t see anything visual, e.g. a signaller waving a flag, and presumably if there was a ground disc, it would be not only interlocked but be “detected” against the points as well.

 Presumably verbally by the Signalman - the signal to the right of the train is the starter from said siding and there isn't a disc. The driver was clearly aware of the signal in question being at danger, hence the long whistle as the loco heads past.
 

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