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The final stage in the construction of the layout is the signalling.  I have delayed their

construction due to the size when positioned which makes access to the layout difficult.


I have enclosed the attached plan which shows the scale distances when travelling from A to B.

The first set of points gives access to a headshunt parallel to the running lines.  The second (crossover) points

are a scale 100 yards further on, followed closely by the points giving access to the engine shed.


I had thought of positioning a three doll gantry at end A with smaller boards on the two left hand dolls. 

Ground signals would presumably suffice for the crossovers with a signal controlling the exit from the depot.


Please feel free to correct anything I have suggested.  This is the problem with fictitious locations.

Positioning distances for the above  would be much appreciated.




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The Inspecting Officer probably wasn't over pleased with the facing point access to the loco shed, and as for the facing access into a headshunt, well polite words probably failed him, although I can think of at least one who was an absolute master of irony. ('Thank you, Mr 'Smith', for that erudite explanation of how that calling-on signal is intended to be used, perhaps though, I can paraphrase it more simply for you and say that what you basically mean is that you have introduced permissive working on a passenger line. Take it out, NOW!)


However, since you have done it, you want to know how you might signal it. The answer is going to be dependent on which (pre-grouping) company originally built the railway and what period you are modelling. Come back with that information and we will provide suggestions for how the area might have been signalled.

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I will go through the rest of the signalling for the area depicted first and then come back to the running signal at A. To aid description, I will call the running lines "eastbound" and "westbound" where eastbound means left to right - and use the same terms for train movements in those directions even where they are 'wrong road'.


Given that this is the 1960s, I will assume that the area is still mechanically signalled and has some track circuits, but isn't track circuited throughout, and that the signalling equipment has been renewed piecemeal by the LMS/LMR. This would have been typical of much of the former L&YR network around Liverpool and Manchester, etc. Those parts of the L&YR that became part of the NER after nationalisation might have shown signs of York's influence but wouldn't have been very different.


The facing points into the head shunt and the loco depot would both have to have facing point locks (fpl). Originally these would have locking bars around 40 feet long at their immediate approach to prevent the fpl being unbolted while a train was approaching the facing point, but, given that there would be a need to reverse close to both points, it is likely that these locking bars would have been replaced by track circuits covering the points themselves, which would do the same job electrically. I think that there would most likely have been two track circuits in the eastbound running line, one stretching from the toe of head shunt point to the toe of the trailing crossover point, and the second just covering the facing point into the loco depot. There may well have been other track circuits in the area particularly if the signal box wasn't immediately adjacent.


Now for the signals covering these various connections:


For the facing connection into the head shunt, a two disc red shunt signal to the left of the eastbound running line at the toe of the point, the upper shunt would clear for movements into the head shunt, the lower shunt (termed a running shunt - bear with me) for movements continuing along the eastbound running line. There would be a single disc yellow shunt signal at the toe of the point on the head shunt which would be cleared for movements out wrong road on to the eastbound running line but not for movements along the siding (which is why it is yellow).


For the trailing crossover between the two running lines, a two disc red shunt signal in the six foot way at the toe of the crossover point in the eastbound running line (although the signal authorises westbound movements), the upper clearing with the crossover reversed for movements on to the westbound running line, the lower clearing with the crossover normal for movements continuing wrong road west bound along the eastbound running line. At the toe of crossover point in the westbound running line there would be a single disc red shunt signal in the six foot way which would authorise reversing movements from the westbound line back across the crossover.


For the facing point into the loco depot (which would have to have a corresponding trap point in the exit road from the depot), there would be a two disc red shunt signal to the left of the eastbound running line at the toe of the facing point. The upper authorising movements into the depot, the lower (again a running shunt) movements continuing along the eastbound running line. There would be a single red disc at the toe of the trap point controlling movements out of the loco depot.


Since there are necessarily shunt signals permitting wrong road movements along the eastbound running line there would also need to be an illuminated "LIMIT OF SHUNT" sign before these movements reach the controlling signal at point A.


Finally, I will come to that controlling signal which was the subject of your original question. As I explained previously the track layout you have described is unlikely to have existed on the prototype and therefore the precise configuration of the controlling signal requires some informed guess work. I am certain that there would have been a single post home signal with a single disc red shunt signal at its foot, and it is possible, perhaps probable, that there would have a single miniature arm signal on a small bracket fixed to the left hand side of the main post. The LMS tended to confine shunt signals to wrong road movements and miniature arms to movements along running loops, but here it would have been necessary to bend the normal guidelines. If there was no miniature arm signal, the shunt signal at the foot of the main signal would authorise movements as far as the next pair of shunt signals 97 yards further on (and for movements towards the loco depot the lower of that pair would authorise further movement to the next pair of shunt signals where the upper signal would authorise movement into the depot). If there is a miniature arm signal that would authorise the movement towards the loco depot.


Now, I mentioned running shunts. Before the main controlling signal can be cleared, the two lower red shunt signals that will be passed both have to have been cleared. Similarly before the miniature arm signal can be cleared, the two shunt signals which will have to be passed must also be cleared, the lower at the first and the upper at the second. Given the close succession of shunt signals it is also possible that the interlocking might require each of them to be cleared in reverse order for any movement, this is most likely for moves involving the trailing crossover, but might well apply throughout.


I am sorry, but I have probably totally confused you now, but signalling is never easy in a congested area, particularly when the normal rules are broken.

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