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Simple Signalling/Section Question - Single Track Line


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4 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Which as an arrangement directly facilitates the potential for a head-on collisions.  Running through trailing points, if they are not bolted by an FPL,  is unlikely to do no more than damage than to the switches and point rodding.  If however the exit points are set for a train arriving at the other end it goes exactly against the lessons of history (which are prob ably what led to the past instructions for crossing loops).

 

Surely if a train is halted before it is allowed to pass the Home Signal not only would it be less likely to pass the Starting Signal at danger than it would have been it had only been checked at the Home Signal and that signal had been cleared before the train came to a stand?  It looks almost as if someone is trying to create what amounts to a full Clearing Point where there isn't really one and has finished up with an unintended consequence as a result - if Driver is going to run through a signal ata. crossing loop of all places there's no guarantee that he/she will bring their train to a stand in the next 440 yds.  Looks like somebody didn't properly think out their risk assessment (if they did one at all?).

 

I'm inclined to agree. Nevertheless, I'm intrigued about the reasons why some heritage railways have gone in that direction. We can speculate as we have done, but someone must have a definitive reason. In the case of the GWR-based railways, it wasn't the norm for the GWR to interlock loops in that way. I've had a look on RSSB, but all I can find on principles of interlocking is GKTR6000, Issue 4. That is marked as "withdrawn", but provides no clues. Neither does IRSE "green book" no.2 , "Principles of Interlocking". 

 

As Nick C has commented earlier,  the outermost home signal wasn't necessarily provided just for acceptance purpose -  it gave operational flexibility with the provision of an advanced starter as well. So which came first? Maybe the outermost home, which then allowed the signal engineers the opportunity to install the locking described to provide what they perceived as improved safety.  But that's definitely speculation on my part!

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4 hours ago, DCB said:

Is this set up for right hand running? 

Toddington on the GWSR is almost identical to Cold Holt apart from the position of the yard etc being on the right rather than the left of the diagram. And they run trains left hand.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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44 minutes ago, Ian J. said:

Is right hand running into the platforms on a single track line a no-no then...?

No, just unusual. Axminster has/had right hand running as I recall, and I think some Scottish loops do, but I am not sure whether they are/were signalled for right hand or bidirectional running. Bidirectionally-signalled stations might well use the right hand road for operational reasons, particularly when trains aren't crossing and the station building is on the right hand side.

 

Trains usually run in to a station on the "straight" road, as they tend to be enter stations faster than they pull away.

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12 minutes ago, Jeremy C said:

No, just unusual. Axminster has/had right hand running as I recall, and I think some Scottish loops do, but I am not sure whether they are/were signalled for right hand or bidirectional running. Bidirectionally-signalled stations might well use the right hand road for operational reasons, particularly when trains aren't crossing and the station building is on the right hand side.

 

Trains usually run in to a station on the "straight" road, as they tend to be enter stations faster than they pull away.

The Scottish lines originally were traditional LH running, but AIUI changed to RH running when RETB was introduced as it was easier then (for some reason) to deal with access to the sidings.

 

The (recently) new 'dynamic' loop at Axminster was indeed RH running originally , apparently AIUI because this fitted better with the geometry of the points at the loop ends by enabling departing trains to leave the loop at speed. Exactly why and when they changed to LH running - and whether that is still the case - is not known to me. Certainly as a 'customer' I found the RH running b***** confusing when waiting for a train at a station that was different from all the others on the line :-(

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37 minutes ago, RailWest said:

The Scottish lines originally were traditional LH running, but AIUI changed to RH running when RETB was introduced as it was easier then (for some reason) to deal with access to the sidings.

Wasn't that because they had automatic points on the loops, and so it's difficult to set back over them into a trailing siding? 

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13 minutes ago, RailWest said:

The Scottish lines originally were traditional LH running, but AIUI changed to RH running when RETB was introduced as it was easier then (for some reason) to deal with access to the sidings.

 

The (recently) new 'dynamic' loop at Axminster was indeed RH running originally , apparently AIUI because this fitted better with the geometry of the points at the loop ends by enabling departing trains to leave the loop at speed. Exactly why and when they changed to LH running - and whether that is still the case - is not known to me. Certainly as a 'customer' I found the RH running b***** confusing when waiting for a train at a station that was different from all the others on the line :-(

Its to do with sprung points, it's more satisfactory for the train approaching th toe of the point to take the curved road as I understand this forces the point blade against the stock(?) rail.. I believe with taking te straight road there s a tendency for gunge to build p in the gap.  The NB built the West Highland or a straight run in into loops so that means right hand running.  Aviemore was bi directional on the town side and south only against the island platform with Island platform out regular use before the Strathspey started using the outer face.  Now its colour lights and Bi as far I can remember from our visit in June

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1 hour ago, KingEdwardII said:

Toddington on the GWSR is almost identical to Cold Holt apart from the position of the yard etc being on the right rather than the left of the diagram. And they run trains left hand.

 

Yours,  Mike.

Toddington was double track in BR days and the current set up was laid from scratch initially as a terminus as the line extended south before extending north of Toddington 

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The point about Toddington is that it is a station on a preserved line, and it has a layout very similar to that proposed for Cold Holt by the OP here . So Toddington can stand as a prototype for the model layout, which is also modelling a preserved line.

 

Toddington as a preserved station is very different to how things were in GWR/BR days, but this is often the case for preserved lines. All kinds of changes happen to preserved lines, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Preservation often aims at recreating the atmosphere of the original lines, but perhaps at different periods in their history. Often the results don't match what was in a particular place in the past, but they can still be regarded as authentic - e.g. the importation of original buildings and paraphernalia from other locations, or the creation of entirely new structures.

 

The GWSR is nowadays essentially a single track line, but the original line was indeed double track - few preserved lines have substantial sections of double track, simply due to the expense involved. (GCR at Loughborough is an exception).

 

Yours,  Mike.

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16 hours ago, GrahamH said:

 

I'm inclined to agree. Nevertheless, I'm intrigued about the reasons why some heritage railways have gone in that direction. We can speculate as we have done, but someone must have a definitive reason. In the case of the GWR-based railways, it wasn't the norm for the GWR to interlock loops in that way. I've had a look on RSSB, but all I can find on principles of interlocking is GKTR6000, Issue 4. That is marked as "withdrawn", but provides no clues. Neither does IRSE "green book" no.2 , "Principles of Interlocking". 

 

As Nick C has commented earlier,  the outermost home signal wasn't necessarily provided just for acceptance purpose -  it gave operational flexibility with the provision of an advanced starter as well. So which came first? Maybe the outermost home, which then allowed the signal engineers the opportunity to install the locking described to provide what they perceived as improved safety.  But that's definitely speculation on my part!

I think the idea is that by providing an additional Home Signal a long way outtand ensuring there is a quarter of a mile between it and an Advanced Starting Signal you can therefore make shunts onto the single line (without reference to the 'box at the other end of the section??).  Under the old Regulations - as they stood for very many years - you achieve absolutely nothing because the Regulation referred to shunting onto the single line hence and additional Home Signal made no difference at all - you still had to go through the procedure of sending 2-4 and getting it acknowledged before you shunted out onto the single line and beyond/in rear of the Home Signal.

 

I have an idea - although it's a while since I looked at the current Regulations - that the original procedure has been changed and if nothing else it  is no longer permitted to shunt onto the single line at both ends of the section.  What providing the additional Home Signal is presumably seen to do, especially with it being sited 440yds beyond an Advanced Starting Signal, is effectively make it the point at which the single line ends (although it obviously doesn't).  

 

A lot then depends on the Regulations which the Railway concerned has written (or had written) for the working of its single line(s).  For example if, like some preserved/g heritage lines they use the BR 1950 Rules and the 1960 Signalling Regulations and General Appendix they have achieved absolutely nothing by providing the additional signals because the important thing is the stop signal at the end of the single line where it splits into the two loops.  Personally I very strongly disagree with the practice of using massively outdated Rules and Regulations and one volunteer fatally can be directly linked to a failure to take heed of later, let alone contemporary, personnel safety factors.  So presumably in the case of these additional signals the railway)s) involved have framed their Signalling etc Regulations to permit what the additional signals seem to be intended to achieve.   Incidentally I can see a safety benefit in providing an advanced Starting Signal if lots of nmovements are made to/from the single line as it does remind Drivers etc that they cannot proceed and further on the single line - not a bad idea where large numbers of mainly volunteers are driving perhaps only fora few days each year.

 

Since ROGS came in, and provided things are properly risk assessed and the Rules & Regulations are drafted by an officially 'competent person' and have been properly peer reviewed,  and then formally authorised by the Railway's management it is quite legitimate for a Railway to prepare and issue its own Rules and Regulations.   A member of the ORR Inspectorate is perfectly at liberty, and legally empowered, to comment on the resultant documents and while he/she might 'look for changes' provided the Railway has properly complied with the relevant legislation it is going to be on very firm ground in resisting any proposed alterations.   Don't forget the role of the Inspectorate changed considerably at the time of privatisation and then far more radically when ROGS came in.  I know from experience that the Inspectors can have their 'hobby horses' and they can insist on things being 'improved' if they are not satisfied however I also know full well from experience that if you can prove to them that an effective, and properly maintained, system or procedure is in place and included as part of your SMS they don't really have a leg to stand on because the Railway is legally compliant and that is what it will always come down to.

 

 

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I suppose then the question becomes are any given set of Rules and Regulations compliant with Legislation? One thing I'm not going to do with S&P is write a set of Rules and Regs, it's just not worth the effort for such a fiction, however making sure if feels authentic is important to me, so complying with Legislation, albeit fictionally on a model, remains relevant.

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On 30/08/2021 at 15:21, Michael Hodgson said:

 

... except in Ireland, where many if not most stations were signalled bi-directionally.  Ireland closely followed British practice (because when semaphore signalling started, it was British of course).  There was good reason for this.  On a long single track main line it is quite common for a passenger train not to be crossing a goods or not to pass another train at all, and it is more convenient for the passengers if the passenger train uses the platform adjacent to the main building and they don't have to use the footbridge.   

Most passing loop single  lines in Ireland were not signalled bi directionally until CIE times around 1960 onwards. Originally it was more common to route the trains into their respective platforms. However as traffic got less and less frequent it made no sense to do this. 
 

Gort is such an example where around 1970 a starter was provided on the main platform and it was made bidirectional. 

Edited by Junctionmad
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10 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

I have an idea - although it's a while since I looked at the current Regulations - that the original procedure has been changed and if nothing else it  is no longer permitted to shunt onto the single line at both ends of the section.  What providing the additional Home Signal is presumably seen to do, especially with it being sited 440yds beyond an Advanced Starting Signal, is effectively make it the point at which the single line ends (although it obviously doesn't).  

Indeed it isn't permitted to shunt on to the single line at both ends of the section. A token has to be withdrawn to "permit the occupation of the single line for shunting purposes" in the current RSSB Electric Token Block regulations, and Blocking Back has been removed.

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On 25/08/2021 at 19:10, Michael Hodgson said:

 

I'm not sure of the current layout at Horsted Keynes - that may well allow trains to enter from both ends.

 

Horsted Keynes is comprehensively signalled today (probably overly so in the Stationmasters experienced eyes) thanks to the work of our resident chief S&T engineer and senior fellow of the IRSE (Charles Hudson MBE) who masterminded a complete renewal in the 2000 - 2015 period of everything, including overhaul and relocking of the frame to replace the hodge podge of signalling which existed up until the late 1990s.


The basic reason two trains may enter the station at the same time is the provision of significant overlaps (50 yards or more) on the platform starting signals which provide a safety net should the train have difficulty stopping (i.e. performing the same function but without the derailment consequences of the trap points which the GWR fitted to the Taunton - Barnstable line previously mentioned on this thread).

 

[Note the following may be easier to understand with reference to this https://www.derekhayward.co.uk/BluebellRailway-1/Photographic-Tours/Horsted-Keynes-Signal-Box/i-NRPVmLs/A

 

A southbound train from Kingscote may enter the double sided (platform wise) 4/5 road (via the 'main' from Leamland Junction) with the onward overlap set into the south yard at the same time as a northbound train enters platform 3 from Sheffield Park with the overlap set to divert any train struggling to stop across the crossover to the 'loop' line heading north  towards Leamland Junction.

 

Alternatively the Southbound train can be routed along the 'loop' line from Leamland Junction into platform 2 with the overlap set towards the Ardingly spur while a northbound train is routed into platform 3 or 4/5 as it has an overlap along the 'main' towards Leamland Junc.

 

The only platform which doesn't have a overlap is platform 3 going south - if this is used then the interlocking forces northbound trains to be held at the outer home signal until the southbound train has been stationary in the platform for 30 seconds (easily done by a track circuit timer) after which the interlocking restriction is removed.

 

Due to the physical location of the box usual practice is to have southbound trains in first so that the token can be retrieved and processed before being swapped with the one from the northbound service as that rolls in - but in cases of significantly late running its perfectly possible to have the northbound service in first instead.


It should also be noted that 'blocking back' to the box in rear is not a procedure used on the Bluebell, its a practice our 'rules and regs' committee doesn't like and believes far more open to error than if moves are governed by fixed signals / tokens. Obviously the presence of outer homes and advanced starters means that on most occasions all necessary shunting can be done within the outermost home signals but if shunting moves are to take place which need encroach onto the token section beyond the home signal then the 'is line clear' bells must be exchanged and a token obtained in the usual manor, it being kept out of the instrument for as long as anything is beyond the outermost starting signal.

 

In some ways this is perhaps a wise move given the legalistic times in which we live and the 'a heritage train experience with 21st century levels of safety' demands of the ORR. As touched on by the Stationmaster there is something to be said for what might be termed an 'oversignaled' approach when dealing with occasional volunteers without a railway background as a fixed signal is not as easy to miss or get confused about as a bunch of text in a rule book. Its a shame, but with society plus the regulatory bodies getting ever more 'legal adverse' Heritage railways are not immune from needing to react to this.

 

 

Edited by phil-b259
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14 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

 

A lot then depends on the Regulations which the Railway concerned has written (or had written) for the working of its single line(s).  For example if, like some preserved/g heritage lines they use the BR 1950 Rules and the 1960 Signalling Regulations and General Appendix they have achieved absolutely nothing by providing the additional signals because the important thing is the stop signal at the end of the single line where it splits into the two loops.

 

 

Technically, there nothing wrong in using a 1950s rule book as a base / template providing you remove rules which do not apply to your specific Heritage railway, amend the ones that remain such that they are still relevant (and introduce new ones in a similar style if certain things remain uncovered by BRs rules).

 

Where such an approach falls down is the fact that the way we write, speak and indeed use the English language has changed considerably over the years and to some the stuffy formal language of the 1950s can seem a little like studying Shakespeare. That could in turn increase the chances of people today (particularly volunteers with no 'big railway' background) getting confused and making errors (though on the flip side you could also say a proper competency testing and training regime should be able to address that just as with enough effort and help you can make modern school kids understand Shakespeare).

 

Going for something more modern - say a 1970s BR rule book as your base might be more 'reader friendly' but I imagine there will be quite a lot of steam era rules which aren't in it but which will be needed in some form if you are operating steam traction. Nothing to stop an organisation effectively taking elements of the 1950s rules as required and putting them into '70s speak' though.

 

At the end of the day whatever rule book is used must be clear, coherent, written in a uniform style - and preferably have everything you could need to run said railway safely in it!

 

It might sound better to have a swanky newly written document rather than use what went before - but we in the rail industry know only too well its very easy to 'throw the baby out with the bath water' in the pursuit of the 'ideal'! The supposedly 'user friendly' and 'written in plain English' rulebooks / handbooks / pamphlets issued by the RSSB are so dumbed down, confusing / riddled with errors and nonsense they can be downright dangerous in certain situations.

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3 hours ago, GrahamH said:

Indeed it isn't permitted to shunt on to the single line at both ends of the section. A token has to be withdrawn to "permit the occupation of the single line for shunting purposes" in the current RSSB Electric Token Block regulations, and Blocking Back has been removed.

 

Interesting

 

Presumably if the RSSB think its a good idea, so will the ORR - and this could well have an impact on new Heritage Railway operations in future years...

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20 hours ago, Ian J. said:

however making sure if feels authentic is important to me

Yes, that's the thing.

 

Also, in some ways, the tendency of heritage lines to over-signal (compared with the original lines they have inherited) is fun for the modeller in that there is more to see and operate on the layout. Although the creation of a GWR/WR bracket junction signal with a pair of subsidiary arms looks rather a challenge (!!) - the GWSR has multiple of these. I followed the creation of the prototype one for the south end of Broadway station and it took them long enough to put it all together. Perhaps lots of ground-sited disc shunting signals are not so bad after all, even working ones :O.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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I have no desire to over-signal any of my layouts, but making sure they can be operated in an authentic way, according to legislation, regulation and safety standards of the era (in this case probably mid 2000s or later) is important to me. So I wouldn't be trying to operate to 1950s standards as it's obvious from replies here that doing that would not be tolerated by modern safety inspectors.

 

There is an argument that I should create a set of viable Rules and Regs for S&P so there is a settled basis for the operation of the models that could be referenced, but while I'm not conversant with the effort required for such, I'm fairly sure it would take quite a bit of time and more that a bit of knowledge and experience and therefore cost, as Mike ( @The Stationmaster ) would likely confirm. So in the absence of that, I think I pretty much have to try and do the best I can to understand things simply enough in my head (which is no mean feat with the mess it feels like it's in).

 

Each station is of course unique and will require individual assessment, but when it comes to loops I think most will probably work on the 'occupy rear/advance section' principle, even though that's more work for the 'fictional' signalpersons in communicating between boxes and is less operationally flexible. Occasionally, like with Cold Holt, there will be points to either sidings or a redundant spur that 'removes' (?) that need. I think employing the GWR/WR trap point method looks like it's not favoured so won't be done. Other times there may be advance starters and outer homes, but I'm not going to use them as a rule.

Edited by Ian J.
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9 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

It might sound better to have a swanky newly written document rather than use what went before - but we in the rail industry know only too well its very easy to 'throw the baby out with the bath water' in the pursuit of the 'ideal'! The supposedly 'user friendly' and 'written in plain English' rulebooks / handbooks / pamphlets issued by the RSSB are so dumbed down, confusing / riddled with errors and nonsense they can be downright dangerous in certain situations.

The language of rule books does tend to be rather turgid, repetitive and long-winded and there is a lot to be said for greater clarity.  However I seem to recall a "plain English" version that wanted to replace "Distant Signal" with "signal far away"!  I don't think it helps anybody to remove technical terms from technical documents, especially when those terms are well understood and have been in use for a long time.  The general public are not the target audience of rule books, so the objective should not be to make them intelligible to a layman with no knowledge whatsoever of railway operations .   It is important that they aim to be comprehensive and unambiguous.  This does tend to lead to subordinate clauses such as "except in fog and falling  snow"

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1 hour ago, Ian J. said:

Each station is of course unique and will require individual assessment, but when it comes to loops I think most will probably work on the 'occupy rear/advance section' principle, even though that's more work for the 'fictional' signalpersons in communicating between boxes and is less operationally flexible. Occasionally, like with Cold Holt, there will be points to either sidings or a redundant spur that 'removes' (?) that need. I think employing the GWR/WR trap point method looks like it's not favoured so won't be done. Other times there may be advance starters and outer homes, but I'm not going to use them as a rule.

It isn't really a problem for most modellers.  For most layouts the Outer Home an Advanced Starter if they do exist will be off-scene and you only have to model the signals that are visible.  In practice, the problem is more the difficulty of getting semaphores to work, especially the more fiddly shunt signals or complexities of numerous arms on a bracket or gantry.   

 

So all you are worrying about is whether you have an accurate signalbox diagram showing the signals that "should be" present but are the other side of the scenic break.  Preserved railways do however tend to have a signal for every possible movement rather than historical practice of providing them only for movements for which there would be a regular traffic demand.

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3 hours ago, Ian J. said:

I have no desire to over-signal any of my layouts, but making sure they can be operated in an authentic way, according to legislation, regulation and safety standards of the era (in this case probably mid 2000s or later) is important to me. So I wouldn't be trying to operate to 1950s standards as it's obvious from replies here that doing that would not be tolerated by modern safety inspectors.

 

 

Please remember than railway infrastructure has a long service life and as such its quite possible for things which would not be permitted as part of 'new works' to remain in service subject to mitigation in the rules / SBIs / SMS where the risks posed are perceived as to high for comfort.

 

For example although frowned upon by modern standards the provision of trap points at the end of loops could well be tolerated by the ORR inspectors (particularly if there is insufficient space to extend the loop due to a bridge abutment say) if the risks of a derailed train fouling the adjacent line and causing a crash being mitigated by the SBIs only allowing one train into the station at a time*.

 

Naturally this might in turn prove to be a tad restrictive as the heritage railway grows and becomes busier, so the railway may subsequently decide to add additional signals or change the track layout to remove this constraint. The Mid Hants is a good example of this where the rather basic setup installed in the 1970s / 1980s at Ropley and Medstead has been significantly expanded to cope with the intensive service levels the railway wishes to run these days.

 

You can also get the case where there is no change to the physical signalling - the removal of the ability to use 'blocking back' on the national network for shunting is such an example, no changes are necessary to the signalling BUT the risks associated with such a operation have been addressed by mandating the use of the single line token for ALL moves which  go beyond the relevant home signal.

 

 

 

* Yes I know that defeats the point of them being installed - although as demonstrated on the GCR a few years ago the would provide a measure of protection from a train moving away from rest and SPADing a signal.

Edited by phil-b259
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6 hours ago, KingEdwardII said:

Although the creation of a GWR/WR bracket junction signal with a pair of subsidiary arms looks rather a challenge (!!) - the GWSR has multiple of these. I followed the creation of the prototype one for the south end of Broadway station and it took them long enough to put it all together. Perhaps lots of ground-sited disc shunting signals are not so bad after all, even working ones :O.

 

Yours,  Mike.

 

One potential option here is to model the situation where the railway is undertaking a resignalling scheme. Unlike on the national network, Heritage railway schemes tend to take a while to commission and there is more chance for temporary arrangements to be needed.

 

When there was the need to renew the inner home bracket signal at Sheffield Park (the woodwork on the upper part being rotten) a temporary colour light rig was set up so as to allow movements to continue while the rebuild happened.

 

An alternative could have been a single arm semaphore with a route indicator (think 7 segment display in model terms)

 

When Horsted Keynes resignalling was in progress on the Bluebell, mechanical shunts / call on arms were replaced by modern LED units till the work was completed.

 

You could also envisage the situation* say where a Heritage Railway startup went for the quick and simple expedient of 2 single arm signals mounted side by side rather than build a bracket - which could be modelled as being in the course of construction.

 

* This method has been employed by British Rail too (as a cost saving measure) where sighting  permits

Edited by phil-b259
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Phil makes some very useful and pointed comments about Horsted Keynes and the Bluebell Railways approach to signalling. I too think the railway is over signalled, but rather more concerning is that it now has very little to do with preservation other than in it's broadest consideration. Both HK and Kingscote have a proliferation of semaphore signals which visually give the appearance of the SR, those at HK are largely power worked and could easily be replaced by colour light heads, similarly the controls at Kingscote would I suspect meet modern standards. Now these choices are ones that have to be made, and are no less the worse for being modern, Phil touched on the basic reason,

Quote

its a practice our 'rules and regs' committee doesn't like and believes far more open to error than if moves are governed by fixed signals / tokens.

I played a very small part in the development of this thinking and approach, albeit unwittingly. One Sunday the summer of 1975 I was signalman at Sheffield Park and at the end of the day I had a light engine (27) on the pit to go to shed, and another LE (488) arrived from HK and stationery at the upside water column, which too was to do pit work and then shed. A rake of coaches were parked in the down platform obscuring my view of everything. 27 was signalled off the pit, so when I heard a whistle I reversed the road. Unfortunately the whistle I heard was 488 moving up the platform and I had reversed the trailing end points under 27. Fortunately I think the only damage was a bent drive rod that we straightened next Saturday. The late Bernard Holden held a formal enquiry which quite rightly placed the blame firmly on my shoulders and I held both my hands up, I still remember it with a shudder. The interesting thing is that at the time there was virtually nothing that could easily be done or afforded that would have mitigated the situation, so nothing really was done, and nearly 50 years have elapsed before any formal indication has arisen that the signalbox at SP is life expired and completely unsuitable for the current level of operation. Despite the desirability of a replacement the last Blue News had a letter desirous of retaining the 1933 ground frame in it preservation era box. It is I suspect the one part of the Bluebell S&T empire that its engineers would be happy to see the back of.

 

Phil also said,

 

Quote

including overhaul and relocking of the frame to replace the hodge podge of signalling which existed up until the late 1990s.

 which is a tad disingenuos. HK had a major relocking and other alterations in the 70s to remove the vestiges of the former junction arrangements and fit it as the then northern terminus of the Bluebell Railway. When the Northern extension was first reopened additional signalling was required and these additions caused the mish mash especially as the frame then became too small. Whoever called for HK signalbox to be listed cause a major problem, the box structure needed major repairs and I belive the thinking was to rebuild it with a larger frame. As it is the L frame currently at Kingscote would have better suited HK. and a mechanical frame at Kingscote as originally planned would have suited the period ethos better. There is no doubt that Charles Hudson and his staff have engineered high quality safe installations that stand as markers for how things should be done, however as historical statements about mechanically signalled railways it's a mess. There is a major and probably insoluble dichotomy between preservation and safety, inevitably safety will overshadow anything else, despite the limitations of a 25mph light railway.

 

On the matter of shunting into single line sections, I wonder whether the prohibition also applies to ScR tokenless blocks where a specific shunting token is applicable, although I think the regulations as originally drawn wouldn't have prevented two shunts meeting in the middle.

 

All very interesting stuff.

Martin

Edited by Martin Shaw
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37 minutes ago, Martin Shaw said:

Whoever called for HK signalbox to be listed cause a major problem, the box structure needed major repairs and I belive the thinking was to rebuild it with a larger frame.

 

And this is the cause of all the power worked equipment. To mechanically work all the points (most of which need FPLs) and separate out the signals  onto separate levers requires something like an extra 20 levers to be added to the 40 lever frame. Yes you could go for a simpler layout I suppose but I understand the flexibility comes in really handy on gala days or when the C&W department need to do a big shunt.

 

Early on thought was given to rebuilding the former North signal box (reduced to a ground frame by the LBSCR before grouping then demolished by the Southern in the 1930s) - but that requires two signalmen on duty and with volunteers becoming harder to attract due to lifestyle changes in society its probably wise to not go down that route.

 

45 minutes ago, Martin Shaw said:

As it is the L frame currently at Kingscote would have better suited HK. and a mechanical frame at Kingscote as originally planned would have suited the period ethos better.

 

I agree - although when East Grinstead gets added to the L frame it will look a bit better.

 

Also while a mechanical lever frame is undoubtedly a better 'fit' with Kingscote, given their widespread historical use on the SR generally and the fact that there is only one other still in use on the national network (Maidstone East) its nice to have one being deployed in preservation doing the work (even if greatly slimmed down) it was intended to do.

 

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1 hour ago, Martin Shaw said:

 

 which is a tad disingenuous. HK had a major relocking and other alterations in the 70s to remove the vestiges of the former junction arrangements and fit it as the then northern terminus of the Bluebell Railway.

 

 

Obviously there had been tweaks over the years - but it strikes me that stuff like the south yard being accessed from platform 3 rather than 4/5 and the track layout at the north end of the station were obvious hangovers from the pre-preservation layout which I suspect (I was only 2 years old in 1980 so naturally its a guess) were less than ideal, but manageable when HK was the northern terminus.

 

As you say the demands of the Northern extension were thus the straw that broke the camels back as it were and the opportunity has been taken to start from scratch including full provision for the Ardingly branch should that ever be rebuilt.

Edited by phil-b259
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