Jump to content

The Stationmaster

The Stationmaster Looks At Signals At Newton Abbot in 1983

Recommended Posts

 

Excellent essay Mike, thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike

 

Excellent topic. I remember this station back in 1983 but in those days my film was expensive for me in relative terms, having only just started work full time so have very few shots of the semaphores.

 

I also like these topics you are starting. Looking forward to seeing other station locations in new topics from you!!.

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this preserved gantry in NA an amalgam of various bits of signalling?

 

That's something of a bitsa - bitsa this and bitsa that. So possibly misleading to the uninitiated but still having some useful references for those who know how to use it and what to look for (and what to avoid) so definitely worth having around.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike

I also like these topics you are starting. Looking forward to seeing other station locations in new topics from you!!.

Ian

Thanks Ian (and others) - the aim is to both give some nostalgia and - wherever possible - inform (I daren't say 'educate' but in some respects I hope a few of them will do just that).

 

Those who have seen the original Wheeltappers thread announcing the arrival of a scanner chez moi will know that I have a huge amount of ground to cover so these topics will definitely not be appearing at a machine gun rate as progress depends on time for both scanning and editing etc - so apologies in advance for hiccoughs in the rate of delivery. But there will, I hope, be some interesting subject areas emerging as I bash through.

 

BTW I notice that some of the pics above have appeared out of order for some reason and I will try to correct things if I can - duly done.

Edited by The Stationmaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks Mike, more fascinating insights. Could you point out the deliberate mistake alluded to above, please? I'm not knowledgeable enough to be able to spot it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

Keep 'em coming! Most useful photos combined with your commentary...Brilliant, in fact.

 

Gawd, I wished you went to the old GER.

 

Thanks, Pete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a bitsa - bitsa this and bitsa that.

 

:offtopic:

 

My old Gran used to say that expression...when we asked what was for tea sometimes she said 'bitsa'...which basically meant leftovers.

 

Great thread Mike - I always enjoyed to arrive at NA when we took the train west from London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks Mike, more fascinating insights. Could you point out the deliberate mistake alluded to above, please? I'm not knowledgeable enough to be able to spot it.

 

I'll hold fire for a while in case someone decides to have a go Martin but it is pretty near to ground level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The deliberate mistake is the fact that the upper disc of the left hand set technically should not have been blacked out as it was the one that read to the continuation of the platform line, the lower disc orginally read to the crossover road.

 

The rule is that the top disc of a 'stacked' set read to the leftmost route and the bottom to the righthand.

 

So, originally on the left hand pair the TOP was STRAIGHT ON and the lower was over the crossover. For the right hand pair on the other hand the TOP disc was a route over the crossover and the LOWER was STRAIGHT ON.

 

regards

 

John

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think StationMaster was referring to the preserved gantry.

 

One mistake is the distant arms have no method of working, no motor and no slots but that's not what S/M was after (at least I don't think so!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI,

a nice set of photos, takes me back to learning passenger shunting there in 1979. I thought a few more photos may be of interest though most where taken on a couple of fairly dismal days.post-14048-0-87458000-1340876618_thumb.jpg

first the large structure of the East box. There was a plan of this in the Model Railway Constructor once, it would certainly make an impressive model in any scale

post-14048-0-36125300-1340876826_thumb.jpg

The East box diagram

post-14048-0-37392500-1340876887_thumb.jpg

The cavernous interior, note the large proportion of spare levers by this date, June 1985

post-14048-0-90762100-1340877025_thumb.jpg

Looking towards the station from the gantry at the Exeter end of the station

post-14048-0-21685300-1340877153_thumb.jpg

post-14048-0-63716900-1340877203_thumb.jpg

Final shots at the East end taken in 1986 of the view from the box looking either way.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some taken inside West, I might have scanned one or two already, I'll try and find them over the next few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moving to the West end of the station, all the following photos being taken on Tuesday 5th November 1985

post-14048-0-10254700-1340877985_thumb.jpg

The West box

post-14048-0-96632200-1340878025_thumb.jpg

The West box diagram, unfortunately, somewhat obscured by the reflection of the lights

post-14048-0-11872700-1340878105_thumb.jpg

West box interior

post-14048-0-27260300-1340878163_thumb.jpg

The detonator placers for the Down Lines. It was fairly common practise on the Western to put the detonators on a seperate small frame but I would imagine triple as opposed to double lever frames where a relative rarity (someone will now produce a list of triple frames as long as your arm!)

post-14048-0-51446500-1340878441_thumb.jpg

Aview from around the back of the box nearing sunset both literally and figuratively

post-14048-0-42216900-1340878540_thumb.jpg

A view of the gantry at night. note that it has lost a few more arms since Mike's photo. Indeed it seemed, at times, that their was some alteration (removal) of signalling equipment at Newton Abbot appearing in the notices almost monthly on the long run up to complete resignalling.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent a couple of years working at Newton Abbot (this century!) and it's very interesting for me to see where everything was. I did quite a bit of study into the station's long term history for some display boards which were intended to replace the Brendan Neiland Intercity prints (which I had my eye on!) in the end they never got finished because the station manager wouldn't release me to finish them off and I had already spent a lot of my own time on them. What I didn't know was how the place looked in the 80s.

 

It always used to sadden me that, stood on platform 1, looking at the industrial estate, I was never able to picture what sprawling railway vista met you from there. Likewise it was hard to visualise the through road and platform 4 when parking your car on the formation and climbing up onto the platform ready to start work!

 

A few things of interest, from a more recent era.

 

The old office at the east end of plat 3/4 still retains a beautiful parquet floor, and a fireplace if I recall. The barrel safe hidden under the floor is still there, but alas nobody can find a key for it these days.

 

Platform 1/2's buildings were of course predominantly replaced after the station was bombed. That story is a fascinating one, with stories of a rail from platform one flying as far as the bowling lawn at the top of the park, and a 'King' with a strafed tender tank.

 

Asbestos is the reason the buildings are not used, and their fragility. The problem is that they would be a nuisance (and expensive) to take down under the roof and without possessions.

 

Platforms 1/2 suffer from no longer having toilet facilities (the chargeman's 'shed' has one, famous throughout the WR as the place for train crew to leave 'gifts' for the station staff, which the poor bloke then has to cope with for the rest of the night) but the originals were never taken out - there is even some interesting period graffiti in there! The waiting room also still has a beautifully tiled mosaic floor, doubtless original from 1927.

 

Final bit of NTA trivia - the signal gantry outside the old D&C office stands on small patches of land donated to the local council, maybe a yard square under each foot. This was the reason the site was never developed into a Lidl as was at one time anticipated - they couldn't accommodate the gantry in the plans!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A view of the gantry at night. note that it has lost a few more arms since Mike's photo. Indeed it seemed, at times, that their was some alteration (removal) of signalling equipment at Newton Abbot appearing in the notices almost monthly on the long run up to complete resignalling.

I think there very nearly was - we rewrote and reissued the Signalbox Special Instructions several times during the run up to the changeover weekend but as we were reissuing stuff for Exeter MAS on almost a weekly basis it turned into something of a blur at times!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm.... it's funny actually. The Cornish crews thought they were good at that game, and would often brag about it, but the Bristolians were much, much worse, and never said a word!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great selection of nostalgic images from all contributers, they're bringing back many happy memories of how NA used to be...!

 

Looking forward to the next instalment Mike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also some preserved items at the museum in NA. Pulling the levers actually works the signals.

 

Well worth a visit if you're down that way.

post-6880-0-12515900-1340907365.jpg

post-6880-0-31959000-1340907407.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Superb photos everyone, thanks for posting them. I think I've got some photos or slides pre-MAS myself, which I'll have to dig out sometime. It is indeed hard to visualise the former extent of track these days, such is the redevelopment of the old loco sidings area. I mourn the loss of sidings in Hackney Yard, as well, we are now down to four only, and more would certainly have been useful now. One minor plus point recently, of course, is the reinstatement of former Platform 9 road for stabling the Colas Rail timber train loco (the siding having previously been clipped out of use for some time).

Edited by Captain Kernow
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.