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Level-crossing gate 'cups' ?

Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 2, 2017 5:27 pm
by Chris Osment
[Mods – I pondered whether to put this in ‘Historical’ or ‘Level Crossings' or even 'S&T Technical’, so feel free to move it as you see fit.]

On the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway there was a level-crossing at Braunton Road, between Barnstaple Town station and Pilton yard. The gates were worked on the ground by a local crossing-keeper, but bolted by a lever in the nearby Pilton signal-box. Pilton also controlled the signals protecting the crossing. Over the 1909/1910 New Year the L&BR’s contractor (unnamed) responsible for maintaining the equipment had removed some of the ‘cups’ {sic} from the gate “locking gear” in preparation for fitting new parts. The crossing-keeper was informed, but apparently not the signalman nor the railway’s Manager. As a result, when the signalman operated his lever to bolt the gates (which he could not see from his location), he was able to pull off the protecting signal for a Down train even though some of the gates were still across the the railway. The train struck the gates, which in turn struck the crossing-keeper, who sadly died later that day from his injuries.

From my reading of the inquest report the ‘cups’ were part of the ‘locking’ at the gates themselves, rather than in the signal-box. But what would they have been?