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Black Sheep

questions about white lines on platform edges and Scale scenes platform kit

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Hi,

 

when did white lines painted to mark the platform edge become normal? just trying to decide if it's correct for my layout,

 

if not correct for late 1940's is it possible to build the kit without?

 

thanks

Edited by Black Sheep

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Guest Natalie Graham

During the blackouts of WWII, I believe.

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A BR standard Instruction regarding the whitening of platform edges was issued in July 1949 (the line to be approximately 5 inches wide). In September 1954 a further Instruction was issued stating that the edges of platform ramps were not to be whitened. However what I do not have is a copy of the Blackout Instructions which - I am reasonably certain - were the original source of the requirement to whiten platform edges; there was definitely no such Instruction in existence on the GWR prior to WWII.

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White lines to improve safety during blackout sounds plausible. I think I read somewhere that more people died in London due to road accidents during the blackout than as a result of the bombing.

 

I think too that visibility at night could be atrocious even w/o blackout due to coal smoke pollution. There was a terrible period in 1952 where the smog got so bad that up to 12,000 people are thought to have died. Perhaps the legislation (in 1956) to use only smokeless coal (coke) was felt by BR to make the white lines unnecessary.

 

White lines to delineate the platform edge seem an obvious thing today given our heighthened awareness of EH&S.

 

John

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And there is also the paragraph in the '72 General Appendix that states that platform edges do not have to be whitened if trains do not regularly call there after dark and with the permission of the local manager. I have a copy of said air raid precautions, and there is a piece in there giving instructions about whitening and keeping white, regardless of any previous instruction, which would imply that some didn't. Certainly pre-war photographs do seem to support this.

 

What is interesting as well is the instruction that station nameboards only need be covered if the letters are more than 7 inches high, nothing to do with confusing invading troops, but so they can't be read from passing aircraft.

 

Also, hardly relavant but interesting anyway:

 

http://hansard.millb...mes-of-stations

Edited by Boris

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There is a letter in Railway Modeller for September 1997, where the author points out that when he travelled to school between 1935-1939 on the SR, some platforms had white lines. He describes the sweepers broom modified for working on the platform edge.

 

Perhaps it was a local managers decision?

 

 

Kevin Martin

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Photographs of Cholsey & Moulsford [GWR} clerly show a white painted edge on the up and down main platforms in

 

'1940s'

 

1929

 

1927

 

Further, the lines do not extend down the platform ramps.

 

Whilst this does not answer the particular question posed by the O.P. it shows conclusively that Home Office W. War II instructions were not the cause in this case. :)

 

In contrast, the adjoining Wallingford branch platforms were not so adorned.

 

 

[Apply IMR rules.........(It's My Railwyay) ]

 

Doug

 

Doug

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Knowing the things that were painted white during the war to aid in the blackout restrictions like kerb stones at bus stops, crossing, roundabouts etc, and also corders of buildings and posts both civilian and railway premises, it seems inconceivable to me that stations would be excluded from such considerations.

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Photographs of Cholsey & Moulsford [GWR} clerly show a white painted edge on the up and down main platforms in

 

'1940s'

 

1929

 

1927

 

Further, the lines do not extend down the platform ramps.

 

Whilst this does not answer the particular question posed by the O.P. it shows conclusively that Home Office W. War II instructions were not the cause in this case. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif

Doug

 

One is left wondering quite what was the reason as there was certainly no general Instruction in force on the GWR between 1920 and WWII regarding the whitening of platform edges. It also seems odd that white edges should have been applied to the very lightly used Main Line platforms and not to the much busier (comparatively speaking) branch bay, especially as the coping on the Up Main platform (and presumably the Down Main as well?) was brick with a 'grip' pattern in the surface which was always the most difficult of all to get and maintain a white line on. But the camera doesn't lie so having some evidence is interesting to say the least and on doing a bit of delving I have now found an illustration of Langley in 1919 (assuming the pic is accurately dated) with whitened edges. but can find no examples in any pre 1914 pictures of any GW stations - which raises the question of whether or not it was a blackout precaution introduced during the Great War and not officially continued subsequently as it clearly was not done everywhere?

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I think the OP's question has been answered in that the practice became normal during WW2, and would therefore be correct for his 1946 date.

 

In previous incarnations of RMweb we've discussed WW1 blackout precautions, and IIRC there was some evidence that white lines on platform edges appeared then, but rather sporadically, and probably mostly in urban areas threatened by Zeppelins such as London. We've also seen evidence of one or two photographs purporting to be taken during the late Victorian/ Edwardian period, but these are likely to have been highly localised instructions. However, I've a note here that another discussion on RMWeb brought up the earliest example (presented so far!) of an official notice by the Great Eastern Railway dated September 12th 1913. (Instruction No. 1110, 1913.)

 

Edges of Station Platforms To Be Kept Whitened During Foggy Weather.

 

Notice to Station Masters, Inspectors, Foremen-Porters and others concerned.

 

In future, as a precaution during foggy weather the edges of Station Platforms must be kept whitened with whitewash; the work to be perfomed by the Station Staff, as required.

 

F.G. Randall

Superintendent of the Line.

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I have a query regarding the platforms kit. We are constructing an urban terminus at the Club using largely Scalescenes buildings beacuse they are so good, and also it means everyone can have a go at building something.

 

The platform edging shows two sets of slabs, one dark, other lighter with the white line down the centre and a fold line. Is the idea to choose one shade of colour and cut to the edge of the white line on the spare piece so that the white line can be folded over the platform edge? I assume the two colours are provided to cater for earlier and later periods.

 

Steve

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I have a query regarding the platforms kit. We are constructing an urban terminus at the Club using largely Scalescenes buildings beacuse they are so good, and also it means everyone can have a go at building something.

 

The platform edging shows two sets of slabs, one dark, other lighter with the white line down the centre and a fold line. Is the idea to choose one shade of colour and cut to the edge of the white line on the spare piece so that the white line can be folded over the platform edge? I assume the two colours are provided to cater for earlier and later periods.

 

Steve

Hi Steve

I think its to give you enough material to rap around edge before fastening the platform top down. The white line on mine is from top over the edge with some of grey showing near bottom lip as if paint had worn away.

Make sure you give plenty of support for platform top if using cardboard, as shown in kit, i didnt use as many and had a problem with it bowing,My own fault really, resting tools and bits on it why doing some other scenic work. I ended up relaying platform base with wood with card on top.

Tel

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He describes the sweepers broom modified for working on the platform edge. Quote much edited

 

Kevin Martin

 

Hi Kevin

 

I can recall the white edges at Bedford Midland Road being freshened up by one of the porters using an "L" shaped head on a broom handle. It would make quite a nice scenic item a part done platform edge in fresh white and the rest in light grey with the porter chatting to a colleague with his L shaped broom in hand and bucket of white wash at his feet.

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White lines at the platform edge eventually ended up in the HMRI "requirements" but I don't know when this started.

Keith

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dont forget if being prototypical there would be runs and over splash down the platform face up untill the late eightys when the brush and bucket were replaced by a spary can in a special contraption that was to put it lightly a pain in the harris to use

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Hi Steve

I think its to give you enough material to rap around edge before fastening the platform top down. The white line on mine is from top over the edge with some of grey showing near bottom lip as if paint had worn away.

Make sure you give plenty of support for platform top if using cardboard, as shown in kit, i didnt use as many and had a problem with it bowing,My own fault really, resting tools and bits on it why doing some other scenic work. I ended up relaying platform base with wood with card on top.

Tel

 

Thanks for that Tel, I have since read the instructions :no: and realise the kit is intended to make the platforms as well as cover them, so the wrapping of the edge before the surface is stuck down makes perfect sense, we bought it mainly for the surface papers. We have already made our platforms using mount card well braced on a box-work foundation, unfortunately ours are well and truly stuck down, so we will have to improvise.

 

Thats cleared that up!

 

Steve

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Black Sheep, There are lots of pictures of platforms from various dates at www.disused-stations.org.uk.

 

My interest is an old MR station at Bakewell on the London - Manchester line, and a quick look through the images shows there was no white line on the platform edges until the beginning of the 1960s

 

Here's one from 1957 showing no sign of edging:

 

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/b/bakewell/index76.shtml

 

and here's one showing the painted edges from the early 60s:

 

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/b/bakewell/index60.shtml

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