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12 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

 

>>>>The signal box diagram also seems to indicate an advance starter also controlled by the box, further up the line.

 

That would be unrelated to the limits of mechanical point rodding.

12 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

The CWS siding was installed in 1934, some decades after the signalbox so I suspect the reason the signal wasn't resited and the point and FPL controlled from the 'box was that the box wasn't big enough to take any more levers!

Alternatively, perhaps it was costed to be easier and cheaper to install and maintain a local GF and a small amount of rodding, rather than to install longer lengths all the way to the SB, relocate the signal and relock the lever-frame.

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22 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

 

OK, now I know where I'm looking I can just make out signal 13 in a couple of photos. Somewhat surprising there's no platform starter. Also surprising that the home signal comes after the CWS siding rather than before it.

 

19 hours ago, RailWest said:

Not really, quite a few examples like that. 

 

The siding had its own GF and was located within the block section (being outside of the Down Home) and the GF was unlocked by the train staff, so that was sufficient protection for any Down train approaching the station. It is possible also - I'm not familiar with the location  - that it was too far away from the SB anyway for the limits of mechanical working as were current at the time that it was installed.

 

12 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

 

I suspect limits of mechanical working weren't the problem - one of the photos I've seen seems to show the point for the goods loop and the point for the CWS siding pretty much abutting each other so the signal wouldn't have to have been moved far. The signal box diagram also seems to indicate an advance starter also controlled by the box, further up the line.

 

The CWS siding was installed in 1934, some decades after the signalbox so I suspect the reason the signal wasn't resited and the point and FPL controlled from the 'box was that the box wasn't big enough to take any more levers!

The CWS siding was operated by a ground frame within the OES section so would have been released by the staff and therefore required no signal protection.  The facing connection in the branch was indeed only just beyond a 'box worked facing point and was 280 yards from the signal box.  So it would have been possible for it to be operated by the lever frame in the signal box but it was a far more sensible, and much cheaper, approach to provide a ground frame even if there had been sufficient spare levers to accommodate it being connected to the 'box (it could have been done with only one extra lever used but significant locking alterations).

 

As far as the 'block section' was concerned there wasn't one in the normal sense of that term because the line was worked under One Engine in Steam Regulations and they extended to the stop block at Wallingford station - in other words the entire line beyond Station Limits at Cholsey was the OES section.

 

As far as the Starting Signal is concerned there was one and it was visible from the platform.  The only difference from what we are used to in a more puissant installation is that it wasn't accompanied by a similar signal at the platform end.  But when all is considered such a second signal would really have been of little use apart from adding cost but the GWR clearly got away with not having a fixed signal to detect the points immediately adjacent to the 'signal box'.  But that is hardly unusual because exactly the same conditions applied there as at a ground from because the points were immediately under the eye of the person operating them and he, in addition to the FPLs, could check that the points were properly set and no doubt the GWR used that argument, plus the presence of facing point lock(ing) bars to avoid installing (an) additional stop signal(s).  

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15 hours ago, bécasse said:

The presence of the home signal is an almost certain indication that shunting without the use of a locomotive took place at Wallingford. Probably a horse was used, either the railway's own or a trader's, but in later years (typically post-WWII) pinchbars were used - although I doubt whether much such shunting had taken place since the Great War.

 

I doubt it.  There was a Home Signal to indicate to drivers that the points were correctly set for their train.  Use of horse, or anything else (including a  pinch bar), to shunt in the OES section was not permitted because possession of the OES staff indicated to a Driver that his was the only movement in the entire OES section and that the line was clear all the way through that section - right to the stop block at Wallingford station.

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Most importantly it means that on a quiet branch that’ll never see more than one train at a time I can still justify a signal box and a semaphore or two!

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Did this signal box that was really a ground frame at Wallingford have to be released by a key on the train staff?

 

I'm assuming not.

 

 Which seems to make the purpose of the signals to be 'point indicators', but of an only partially interlocked kind.

 

Did I get that right?

 

TBH, I'm still trying to get my head round this whole installation, which challenges my preconceptions about OES termini, and really makes me wonder why the GWR didn't rationalise the whole thing. I guess it was cheaper to just leave it as it had been from the year dot.

 

Were there other OES termini like this, with signals? By which I mean ones that had always been OES, not ones that were downgraded and where rationalisation was incomplete. Many?

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In these situations, are the facing points locked when the FPL lever is normal, and released by pulling the lever, rather than the more usual arrangement of pulling the lever to positively lock the facing points and release the appropriate signals?

 

I can see how that would be the case for ground frames released by the key on the train staff, but what about the signal box? 

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2 hours ago, Regularity said:

In these situations, are the facing points locked when the FPL lever is normal, and released by pulling the lever, rather than the more usual arrangement of pulling the lever to positively lock the facing points and release the appropriate signals?

 

I can see how that would be the case for ground frames released by the key on the train staff, but what about the signal box? 

Based on what I read on another conversation on one of these forums, there was no set practice as to whether a FPL was locked with the lever normal or reverse.  Even if they had to be reverse it would still be possible to arrange the locking so they had to be in that position before the staff could be taken away.  A bit similar to a boxes that can be "switched out" - the relevant signals would have to be cleared, so levers reversed, before that took place - although in that case I think it might still be possible to restore the signals in emergency.  

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16 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Did this signal box that was really a ground frame at Wallingford have to be released by a key on the train staff?

 

I'm assuming not.

 

 Which seems to make the purpose of the signals to be 'point indicators', but of an only partially interlocked kind.

 

Did I get that right?

 

TBH, I'm still trying to get my head round this whole installation, which challenges my preconceptions about OES termini, and really makes me wonder why the GWR didn't rationalise the whole thing. I guess it was cheaper to just leave it as it had been from the year dot.

 

Were there other OES termini like this, with signals? By which I mean ones that had always been OES, not ones that were downgraded and where rationalisation was incomplete. Many?

There is no indication in the Sectional Appendix that it was key released - so we're sort of back to 'what is a signal box?'   So maybe another way of looking at it was that a signal box didn't need ti have a frame released by token or train staff etc (but it could have a King Lever).

 

Ashburton was an OES section beyond Buckfastleigh and there was at least one semaphore running signal there (but it was atypical because it was worked under some rather unusual Regulations).  Malmesbury was OES with a 'signal box' but it had been reduced from ETS to OES in 1933. . But Clevedon was OES with a ground frame released by the train staff and no running signals although it had ground discs and lots of spare levers  - it had been downgraded to a GF when the line was reduced from ETS to OES in 1917.  Hemyock was reduced to a ground frame in 1925 but unless the frame was shortened at that time it appears r to have never had any signals, apart from a fixed distant, to start with.

 

We can perhaps see differences in the GWR approach over the years which might even be down to local comments at the time any changes were made.  For instance Hemyock as a ground frame controlling points not immediately adjacent but without any signals was technically not correct - even for a light railway.  What was done at Clevedon in 1917 seems totally logical - keep the ground signals but dispense with the running signals.  Whereas Malmesbury in 1933 almost produced an equivalent of Wallingford but all that really happened was dispensing with the Electric Train Staff and converting the line to OES with nothing spent on outdoor signalling changes.  Thus I go very much with changing views, and amount of expenditure, over the years and anything older was left 'as was' in order to avoid expenditure.

 

2 hours ago, Regularity said:

In these situations, are the facing points locked when the FPL lever is normal, and released by pulling the lever, rather than the more usual arrangement of pulling the lever to positively lock the facing points and release the appropriate signals?

 

I can see how that would be the case for ground frames released by the key on the train staff, but what about the signal box? 

At Hemyock the FPLs stood bolted normal  - i.e. normal GF practice (but it was something of an oddity any way).  At Clevedon 'staff out' locked the sole FPL lever in the reverse position which obviously minised alterations to the locking.

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12 minutes ago, Edwin_m said:

Based on what I read on another conversation on one of these forums, there was no set practice as to whether a FPL was locked with the lever normal or reverse.  Even if they had to be reverse it would still be possible to arrange the locking so they had to be in that position before the staff could be taken away.  A bit similar to a boxes that can be "switched out" - the relevant signals would have to be cleared, so levers reversed, before that took place - although in that case I think it might still be possible to restore the signals in emergency.  

With the normal block switch arrangement the levers would be free to be replaced to the 'on' position because the block switch only works on the block circuit and not on any electrical controls on the frame and definitely doesn't affect the mechanical locking.  However where a King Lever is used it all depends on how it is arranged so it can either leave signal levers free to be returned to normal or lock them in reverse. 

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2 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Ashburton was an OES section beyond Buckfastleigh....

 

 

and there was at least one semaphore running signal there (but it was atypical because it was worked under some rather unusual Regulations).  Malmesbury was OES with a 'signal box' but it had been reduced from ETS to OES in 1933. . But Clevedon was OES with a ground frame released by the train staff and no running signals although it had ground discs and lots of spare levers  - it had been downgraded to a GF when the line was reduced from ETS to OES in 1917.  Hemyock was reduced to a ground frame in 1925 but unless the frame was shortened at that time it appears r to have never had any signals, apart from a fixed distant, to start with.

 

We can perhaps see differences in the GWR approach over the years which might even be down to local comments at the time any changes were made.  For instance Hemyock as a ground frame controlling points not immediately adjacent but without any signals was technically not correct - even for a light railway.  What was done at Clevedon in 1917 seems totally logical - keep the ground signals but dispense with the running signals.  Whereas Malmesbury in 1933 almost produced an equivalent of Wallingford but all that really happened was dispensing with the Electric Train Staff and converting the line to OES with nothing spent on outdoor signalling changes.  Thus I go very much with changing views, and amount of expenditure, over the years and anything older was left 'as was' in order to avoid expenditure.

 

At Hemyock the FPLs stood bolted normal  - i.e. normal GF practice (but it was something of an oddity any way).  At Clevedon 'staff out' locked the sole FPL lever in the reverse position which obviously minised alterations to the locking.

>>>Ashburton was an OES section beyond Buckfastleigh....

Only in the final goods-only days, before that it was TS&T.

 

>>>Hemyock was reduced to a ground frame in 1925 but unless the frame was shortened at that time it appears r to have never had any signals, apart from a fixed distant, to start with...

 

I believe that it did have the basic Down Home and Up Starting in very early days. Do not forget that the layout was altered at some stage, so I would guess that the frame had been re-locked then.

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Mention was made about using a horse or pinch bars to shunt. Mike thought that unlikely. However although I would have thought that shunting proper would have to wait until the one engine in steam arrived. I would have throught with the main line through to the station and with thepoints locked it could be allowable to move say a wagon under the crane or move one out of a goods shed to let another in. Thi would be providing  it could be done with no risk of affecting the main line into the platform. One would expect their to be traps to prevent any risk.

 

Mention was also made of a loco failure  and one coming to rescue it. One possibility would be if it was a major failure to let the fire out. It would be necessary anyway if it had no access to water. Once the fire is out it is no longer an 'engine in steam' . Of course of a rescue engine had arrived the two could be coupled together and be treated as one engine in steam.

 

I suspect many of these small 'signal boxes' and running signals on a line generally run of a one engine in steam basis may have been provided in response to the Railways act following the terrible disaster at Armargh.  The act required points and signals to be interlocked for safety and they may have provided a bit more than the minimum to avoid having to come back if the operation was to change. 

 

I could see in a small station the use of a home or starting signal would at least warn everyone that a train movement was imminent although an engine whistle would do that too.  Whoever was working the points when shunting took place would be glad of  little signal box on  wet day. Makes for a nice model though and on a small terminus fiddle yard the starting signal could differentiate between a shunt move and a train setting off.

 

Don

 

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18 hours ago, RailWest said:

>>>Ashburton was an OES section beyond Buckfastleigh....

Only in the final goods-only days, before that it was TS&T.

 

 

Yes, according to CJF, in earlier times, one market day they managed to wind up with three trains in the station, each with the locos trapped at the buffer stops and no way to run round!

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12 hours ago, Donw said:

Mention was made about using a horse or pinch bars to shunt. Mike thought that unlikely. However although I would have thought that shunting proper would have to wait until the one engine in steam arrived. I would have throught with the main line through to the station and with thepoints locked it could be allowable to move say a wagon under the crane or move one out of a goods shed to let another in. Thi would be providing  it could be done with no risk of affecting the main line into the platform. One would expect their to be traps to prevent any risk.

 

Mention was also made of a loco failure  and one coming to rescue it. One possibility would be if it was a major failure to let the fire out. It would be necessary anyway if it had no access to water. Once the fire is out it is no longer an 'engine in steam' . Of course of a rescue engine had arrived the two could be coupled together and be treated as one engine in steam.

 

I suspect many of these small 'signal boxes' and running signals on a line generally run of a one engine in steam basis may have been provided in response to the Railways act following the terrible disaster at Armargh.  The act required points and signals to be interlocked for safety and they may have provided a bit more than the minimum to avoid having to come back if the operation was to change. 

 

I could see in a small station the use of a home or starting signal would at least warn everyone that a train movement was imminent although an engine whistle would do that too.  Whoever was working the points when shunting took place would be glad of  little signal box on  wet day. Makes for a nice model though and on a small terminus fiddle yard the starting signal could differentiate between a shunt move and a train setting off.

 

Don

 

Spot on Don - easy enough(ish) to move a wagon or two to a different spot on a siding using a pinch bar but you could hardly do any shunting of vehicles between sidings or forming them up in that way; you waited for the engine to arrive.

 

Loco failure was not really a problem - the Fireman was given the staff and sent off hot foot to the junction or wherever it was to then conduct an assistant engine onto teh failure which had been properly protected with detonators etc before the Fireman started his long march.  So in reality little different from a failure on any other line - somebody had to walk quite a way!

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