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Simple Signalling/Section Question - Single Track Line


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1 hour ago, Martin Shaw said:

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.

The current version of the Scottish tokenless block regulations ( no"region" in the name any more) say: "The section may be occupied outside the home signal at both ends at the same time for shunting purposes, provided the release shunting key signal has been sent and acknowledged by both signallers and the shunting keys have been obtained". 

 

The regulations require the signaller to tell the driver "what is to happen, in accordance with Rule Book module S5 section 3.1", which includes how far the movement can proceed. 

 

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6 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

When I visited the Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes had a magnificent lever frame, but everything was worked from switches on the back wall of the box as stage works.

 

I also remember Kingscote before the extension was built while the old "temporary" box that served for so long was still in use.  They had done a beautiful job on the new box which was still being prepared and I was able to climb the box steps to see it contained an immaculate traditional full size mechanical frame.  So I was somewhat surprised to find that frame had been replaced by the L frame, with the (Westinghouse A?) frame presumably never having been commissioned there.

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48 minutes ago, Michael Hodgson said:

When I visited the Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes had a magnificent lever frame, but everything was worked from switches on the back wall of the box as stage works.

 

 

Those switches were the 'stageworks' that along with a separate relay interlocking allowed the lever frame to be completely dismantled for overhaul and a completely new mechanical locking tray fitted. Once that was done everything went back on the levers (even though probably around half are just big switches due to the need to double up on functions) - I presume you visited when the lever frame overhaul was entering its final stages but before the task of recommissioning it took place.

 

48 minutes ago, Michael Hodgson said:

 

I also remember Kingscote before the extension was built while the old "temporary" box that served for so long was still in use.  They had done a beautiful job on the new box which was still being prepared and I was able to climb the box steps to see it contained an immaculate traditional full size mechanical frame.  So I was somewhat surprised to find that frame had been replaced by the L frame, with the (Westinghouse A?) frame presumably never having been commissioned there.

 

The mechanical lever frame (original to the box in its original role as "Brighton Upper Goods") is safely in store (no work having been undertaken to overhaul it / relock it for Kingscote) and it is one of the two options** for a new build box at Sheffield Park.

 

Not entirely sure how the decision to remove it in favour of the L frame came about, but I think the Bluebell got considerable assistance from various people employed in the signalling design world who were fans of L frames and alike who wanted to see one up and running again.

 

Its also a historic artefact* in its own right and although out of place at Kingscote was used fairly extensively by the Southern Railway / Southern Region on 1930s / 1950s resignalling schemes plus represents a significant stage in the evolution of signalling from mechanical signalling up to todays computerised ROC setups.

 

* I say that loosely because its actually an amalgamation of bits from 3 different L frames which had been 'saved' for preservation but were in fact mouldering away in storerooms.

 

** The other lever frame obtained by the Bluebell is I understand older (and thus more authentic for an LBSCR box) but harder to install / look after from a S&T perspective so not sure which will be used in the end.

Edited by phil-b259
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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

I presume you visited when the lever frame overhaul was entering its final stages but before the task of recommissioning it took place.

 

That sounds right.DSC07032.JPG.e8174c25cc5c15f71ab43bb786a22493.JPG

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

I think the Bluebell got considerable assistance from various people employed in the signalling design world who were fans of L frames and alike who wanted to see one up and running again.

 

That would have included LNERGE of this parish who put an enormous amount of effort into restoring one which had been rusting away in the open behind Swithland Sidings box.

 

Is the existing box at Sheffield Park to be replaced then?  I've only seen that from the outside, I must try to wangle a visit some time.

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8 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

 

Is the existing box at Sheffield Park to be replaced then?  I've only seen that from the outside, I must try to wangle a visit some time.

 

 

Yes - and a big part of that* is the recognition that its only a matter of time before we have an incident where overcrowding of the narrow platform (caused by the box) ends up with a nasty incident with someone falling off it!

 

The stationmaster has mentioned ROGS up thread - under them the ORR expect risky situations to not just be mitigated, but to be removed wherever possible. 

 

Its also not authentic to the LBSCR atmosphere  the station tries to project - it was installed in the 1930s by the Southern with just a set of Iron railings round it as a cost saving measure to allow single manning of the station, the wooden structure you see around it today being a preservation era creation.

 

* The other part being its pretty worn out and would need a Horsted style overhaul from the ground up, plus like Horsted it doesn't have enough levers to cope with what we want to do meaning power worked points etc are necessary.

 

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This talk of signal box rebuilds reminds me that for my S&P idea, all the signal boxes will have been demolished, so replacements have either to be imported from elsewhere or built new (that allows me more freedom in choice of models from what's available). I've a feeling my fictional 'owners' will have decided by mid the 2000s to have had them all upgraded to suitable signalling and not need any further work... :)

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25 minutes ago, Ian J. said:

This talk of signal box rebuilds reminds me that for my S&P idea, all the signal boxes will have been demolished, so replacements have either to be imported from elsewhere or built new (that allows me more freedom in choice of models from what's available). I've a feeling my fictional 'owners' will have decided by mid the 2000s to have had them all upgraded to suitable signalling and not need any further work... :)

 

The signal box at Swanage is a preservation copy of the original that was demolished, built on the same site as the old one - and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

 

The signal box at Harmons Cross station is, like the station, a preservation era creation (Before the line closed Harmons Cross was just a nondescript section of plain line on the branch).

 

The signal box at Bridgenorth is an ex LNWR one moved from Wem and erected in a different place to the original GWR Bridgenorth box.

 

So plenty of options for your fictional Heritage line - some of which could end up looking like the original box had survived intact

 

 

Edited by phil-b259
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>>>The signal box at Swanage is a preservation copy of the original that was demolished, built on the same site as the old one - and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

 

No, you won't :-) because (a) it is NOT on the same site as the original , but on the opposite side of the line with its frame back-to-track and (b) it is a modified version of the previous Type 3 style.

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21 minutes ago, RailWest said:

>>>The signal box at Swanage is a preservation copy of the original that was demolished, built on the same site as the old one - and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

 

No, you won't :-) because (a) it is NOT on the same site as the original , but on the opposite side of the line with its frame back-to-track and (b) it is a modified version of the previous Type 3 style.

 

Whoops - what about Corfe Castle then?

 

[Note I'm discounting the inside layout as the needs of a modern Heritage railway will inevitably require some alterations and in the case of rebuilds the lever frame will not usually be original to the box].

 

 

Edited by phil-b259
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54 minutes ago, Ian J. said:

all the signal boxes will have been demolished

Yes indeed - a not-uncommon occurrence on preserved lines. For the 5 boxes on the GWSR, only Toddington is a refurbished original structure, although frame and levers had gone and have been replaced with a set from elsewhere.  The other 4 are either moved from elsewhere or (like Broadway) are entirely new constructions inspired by designs from elsewhere.

 

I think this gives you a pretty free hand for the boxes on your model preserved line.

 

Yours, Mike.

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On 03/09/2021 at 00:20, phil-b259 said:

 

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.

The problem with both the 1950 and 1972 Rule Books is that the personal safety stuff is totally inadequate by modern standards let alone not being suitable for use where volunteers are involved.  Large amounts of the 1950 book are redundant and way out of date when contemporary safety standards are applied.  I always use something akin to the sectionalisation idea of the 1972 book but almost invariably write Rules from scratch making sure they comply with and reflect contemporary safety standards and are easy to read and understand without dropping down to the heavily dumbed down level of  the ridiculously massive RSSB book and the even more ridiculous 'balkanisation' of the Rule Book Handbooks.

 

One important point is that much of the 1950 book, in particular, would not get past a well conducted risk assessment process against modern safety standards - and would fail dismally when it come to personal safety especially when applied to a very different sort of labour force from that which existed in the 1950s.  I was deeply involved in the 1980s re-write of the BR Rule Book and even some of the personal safety stuff in that is inadequate, and definitely incomplete, for the 2020s

 

Now back to single lines and one interesting question.  If the various Regulations still refer to occupying the single line for shunting I still can't quite see the point of an additional Home Signal because it is a long way out on the single.  The single line Regulations still do not seem to work on the principle of shunting within Station Limits but appear (I might be wrong?) to occupying the single - and that begins where the track layout comes down to, obviously, single track.  So has somebody  obtained a different iofficial interpretation of what counts as the single line?

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Whoops - what about Corfe Castle then?

 

[Note I'm discounting the inside layout as the needs of a modern Heritage railway will inevitably require some alterations and in the case of rebuilds the lever frame will not usually be original to the box].

 

 

Corfe Castle is on the site of the FIRST, not the second, box at that station. Again, it is a modified version of the original and about a 1/3rd longer in length.

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

 

The signal box at Swanage is a preservation copy of the original that was demolished, built on the same site as the old one - and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

 

The signal box at Harmons Cross station is, like the station, a preservation era creation (Before the line closed Harmons Cross was just a nondescript section of plain line on the branch).

 

The signal box at Bridgenorth is an ex LNWR one moved from Wem and erected in a different place to the original GWR Bridgenorth box.

 

So plenty of options for your fictional Heritage line - some of which could end up looking like the original box had survived intact

 

 

Have the SVR built a new box at Bridgnorth?  the 'box there since preservation and sited on the platform is very much in GWR style and was built on the brick base of the original Bridgnorth 'box the rest of it having been removed by BR.   The only ex LNWR 'box I know of in the SVR is the one at Arley.

 

A major prize for 'new 'boxes should go to the South Devon Railway (formerly known as the Dart Valley Railways where its three principal signal boxes have all been built from scratch  including two at places which never had signal boxes when the line was running as part of the national network.

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10 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

 

Now back to single lines and one interesting question.  If the various Regulations still refer to occupying the single line for shunting I still can't quite see the point of an additional Home Signal because it is a long way out on the single.  The single line Regulations still do not seem to work on the principle of shunting within Station Limits but appear (I might be wrong?) to occupying the single - and that begins where the track layout comes down to, obviously, single track.  So has somebody  obtained a different official interpretation of what counts as the single line?

 

I would imagine that to most folk these days the 'single line' would be considered to be the section for which the train would have to be in possession of a token / key / staff to enter.

 

This conflicts in the mind with the situation where shunting takes place via the use of the blocking back procedure (or behind a departing train) as a token / key / staff is not available.

 

It is further muddled where you have advanced starters but no outer homes as when a railway has both (or neither) its easier to define where the token section starts and finishes.

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1 minute ago, The Stationmaster said:

Have the SVR built a new box at Bridgnorth?  the 'box there since preservation and sited on the platform is very much in GWR style and was built on the brick base of the original Bridgnorth 'box the rest of it having been removed by BR.   The only ex LNWR 'box I know of in the SVR is the one at Arley.

 

 

I was talking to a SVR loco chap the other week who was moaning about the location of the box and thought he had said it had been put somewhere different to the original with a non GWR top.

 

Is Arley the ex Wen one then?

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12 minutes ago, RailWest said:

Corfe Castle is on the site of the FIRST, not the second, box at that station. Again, it is a modified version of the original and about a 1/3rd longer in length.

 

Where was the second? A Southern Railway economising job put in the station building / on the platform?

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30 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

So has somebody  obtained a different iofficial interpretation of what counts as the single line?

 

Good question.  One change in practice at least on some single lines is that Commencement/End of Section signs have now been erected, such as these.   Depending on exactly where they're placed, it may make a subtle difference, though I haven't seen any sited on the single track proper

 

https://www.railsigns.uk/sect26page1/26_18.gif 

https://www.railsigns.uk/sect26page1/26_4.gif

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11 minutes ago, Michael Hodgson said:

 

Good question.  One change in practice at least on some single lines is that Commencement/End of Section signs have now been erected, such as these.   Depending on exactly where they're placed, it may make a subtle difference, though I haven't seen any sited on the single track proper

 

https://www.railsigns.uk/sect26page1/26_18.gif 

https://www.railsigns.uk/sect26page1/26_4.gif

Yes, I know the signs you mean as I have seen them at crossing places on NSKT lines - usually worded 'Commencement of Token Section. Obtain Token before proceeding. I too have never seen any sited on the singe line itself which I must admit would be a slight contradiction in terms as it implies you could occupy the single line without a token.

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56 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

I was talking to a SVR loco chap the other week who was moaning about the location of the box and thought he had said it had been put somewhere different to the original with a non GWR top.

 

Is Arley the ex Wen one then?

Bridgnorth box is the wooden top from Pensnett South mounted on the brick base of the 1923 Bridgnorth box. The frame came from Windmill End box. All GWR. 

 

Arley box is the LNWR box from Yorton (near to Wem), with the GWR frame from Kidderminster Station box. 

 

(Information from the "Signalling Atlas and Signalbox Directory", Third Edition, by Peter Kay.) 

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Where was the second? A Southern Railway economising job put in the station building / on the platform?

A BR-era job with a frame put in the former Porter's Office on the Up Platform

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7 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Now back to single lines and one interesting question.  If the various Regulations still refer to occupying the single line for shunting I still can't quite see the point of an additional Home Signal because it is a long way out on the single.  The single line Regulations still do not seem to work on the principle of shunting within Station Limits but appear (I might be wrong?) to occupying the single - and that begins where the track layout comes down to, obviously, single track.  So has somebody  obtained a different iofficial interpretation of what counts as the single line?

Ah, therein may lie the difference. Ours refers not to the single line, but to the block section.

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OK, here's another diagram, this time for Penmouth Waterside. In the fiction it's a station that didn't exist originally when it was the site of a two loco engine shed and turntable with no loop, and just a single line through.

 

In heritage era a sizable expansion was undertaken onto empty adjacent port land. The turntable was moved and a decent sized engine shed put in, plus a locomotive works. The area immediately offstage below the bottom of the layout is supposed to be a service road and sea front so nothing practical can go there, which is why the signals are all 'inside' the layout. The two lines to the left are both bi-directional, and all three roads through are also bi-directional.

 

From a model and running perspective, the two central boards already exist from a previous layout build attempt, and as I only have 8 feet of operational scenic space where I currently live they have to be viable on their own without the two outer boards. Some of the track layout of that previous build is in situ and can't be moved (mainly the turnouts across the central board join) but the tracks below the shed (station and extra road) will be newly arranged (although it's going to be fun trying to lift and relay the C&L turnouts).

 

Once again, apologies for image quality, the files get compressed by RMweb's upload process and there's nothing I can do about it (it seems to be something to do with their width, not their actual file size).

 

Edit: note that some of the track (notabley the shed access Y) is not joined up - this is because the available track objects in AnyRail don't fit with what's actually in place, which was hand-built C&L points with some subtle curves in them. There was no suitable Y so that's just a placeholder Peco Y.

 

1146671789_A16PenmouthWatersidev1b.png.f8cb7ffc28d3bf8779d6388afcac52f3.png

Edited by Ian J.
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