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Signalbox diagram - comments, advice please

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A request from me for the signalling gurus* out there (*I’m just an enthusiastic amateur).


The enclosed diagram and pictures are of a model lever frame I have installed at the terminus station of my Dad’s model railway. The station represents Aberdeen, in 1950’s BR (ScR) era. Note the careful choice of the word ‘represents’ – it is in no way an attempt to actually recreate Aberdeen in miniature form (not even in a condensed format). Not how I would have done it but it’s not my railway.

The track layout is complete and all signals that are going to exist are installed and working so I’m not looking for comments over any aspects of the design. If it’s ‘wrong’ then it’s staying wrong!


The whole lot has been connected up to a 36 lever Modratec mechanical frame, fully interlocked (mechanically) and all points and signals work mechanically (signals return to danger using a coil spring as part of the mechanism).




The final touch is the signalling diagram that will sit on the top of the locking frame and THAT’s the bit I’m looking for help, comments on. The Modratec instructions just include a few sample diagrams to give some idea so I have created the attached, which is sized exactly to fit the frame. We’ve had a shot at describing each lever and added the locking information but that was where a few debates and uncertainties broke out!


SO(!) amongst the questions:


The use of the designation ‘home’ and ‘starter’ for the signals in such a situation. I think that the departure signals at the platform ends are not ‘starter' signals as such (even though the trains are ‘starting’ their journey). According to Kitchenside/Williams, the differentiation between home and starter denotes their position relative to the signalbox that controls them. The ‘box for which this frame applies is between the platform ends and the signal gantry (can be seen in the second photos – probably needs indicating on the plan) so that would make all the platform end signals ‘home’ signals and the main (Up) aspect signal on the gantry for a departing train (the taller stop and distant pair) the starter (lever 15). For now we’ve called the platform end signals ‘Plat x departure’.


How would the gantry be shown on the diagram? (I’ve just indicated its position for now but you should be able to make out from the picture and the diagram which signal is which) There are so many signals on it (in both directions) that it would (surely?) look impossibly cluttered positioned over the tracks in its correct diagrammatic orientation. Would it be shown larger, in the otherwise vacant space in the bottom left hand corner, with an (arrowed) line pointing to its position on the plan? And, with signals on both sides, how would the two different directions be shown?




My Dad wants to call the line that I’ve shown as ‘Goods Yard’ the ‘Goods Spur’ (or possibly even ‘Goods Shunt’). This is where a departing goods train is pulled out of the yard by the shunter which is then isolated down at the buffer stops allowing the train engine to back on then depart via the Up/Down goods line. Goods trains also arrive in the latter (hence ‘Up / Down Goods’). He wants to call this the ‘Goods Reception’ – but it is a signalled piece of railway.


Any further comments on better / alternative descriptions of the levers (were there rules or did it just go off what it was best known as in the locale?!), or any other aspect of the diagram gratefully appreciated. I have modest computing skills so my diagrammatic depiction of the trackplan and signals is at the limit of what I can manage! A real one would no doubt look a little more elegant.


Thanks, in anticipation.

Lever frame diagram.docx

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I would call the Goods Reception Line exactly that but as it also serves as the departure line it might be better to refer to it as the Goods Line (it doesn't seem to me to be the goods yard but perhaps I'm missing something?)


I don't know how platform starting signals at a terminus in your (modelled) part of the world would be described but, coming from a western angle I would call them 'Platform 1 (etc) Starting to  Up Main'.  I think in many respects teh naming of signals reading out of dead end platforms didn't subscribe to the 'home in read of 'box, starter in advance' way of doing things and their relative position in relation to the 'box doesn't matter.


However i am not an expert of the LNER/ScR way of doing such things.  Gantries were incidentally drawn as they stood but again such things may have varied.


BTW Signal 10 appears to have come out the wrong way round on your diagram.

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BTW Signal 10 appears to have come out the wrong way round on your diagram.

Oh yeah - it's gone all German hasn't it?(!) Now corrected. Good spot - thanks :good:


The line marked 'Goods Yard' doubles up as the shunting spur for the Goods Yard. To it's left are a fan of sidings (not shown on the diagram as they are outside the signalled area) constituting the goods yard itself. You can see them more clearly on this photo, which also gives a glimpse of the interlocking bars and tappets (only partly installed at the time of the photo)




Thanks for your other comments. I quite like the suggested wording for the platform departure signals.

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