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Drawing signaling diagrams

For railway modellers to discuss and share ideas on realistic signalling arrangements.

Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby MRFS » Sun Dec 9, 2012 9:08 am

I use Adobe Illustrator [1]; my good friend Harsig uses Microsoft Paint.

Some people also use Inkscape, but I've never got on very well with that program.

[1]that's what I used to draw the artwork for the Northern Heights.

Each program has its quirks and advantages, AI is probably the most flexible in terms of size output: able to produce book-size or box diagram-size.

Is this for the Canonbury area? :mrgreen:
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MF: Because it's the fire exit from Narnia.

I like David Lynch films. I don't consider incomprehension to be a barrier to enjoyment.
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Sun Dec 9, 2012 10:04 am

I always use Inkscape for a wide variety of drawing purposes including signalling diagrams, and find it easy to use, robust and very flexible. Like most computer software, practice makes perfect, but it has two major advantages - it doesn't come from Microsoft and it's free. It is designed to run on Linux, if, like me, you have a Mac, then you will probably need to download an X11 Linux emulator (it comes pre-packaged with some versions of OSX but not Mountain Lion) but that isn't a problem. I believe a Windows-compatable version exists but have no experience of it.

One useful tip is to spend time creating a library file of standard signalling symbols including, for example, typical p&c layouts and then copying them across to your working document as necessary.
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby JRB » Sun Dec 9, 2012 11:44 am

There are such libraries of symbols available to download for a small fee if you shop around.
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun Dec 9, 2012 12:38 pm

I must admit that my desire to reflect the situation geographically as well as show the signalling detail* cannot be achieved at all easily by any computer process and I still find pen and ink the most satisfactory and satisfying process!

John

* Reason? Because the configuration of many signals is dictated by the geography.
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:06 pm

My choice is Microsoft Visio which produces a professional drawing and which is capable of producing drawings up to A2 size (if you have a printer that can cope) and if you need larger then just save as a PDF and then scale up when you print.

Also if you have the patients and time it is capable of producing just about any style of drawing but is a quite expensive program. I use it also for electrical and electronic circuit diagrams and again this produces a very professional looking drawing.

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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby South Western John » Sun Jan 6, 2013 11:15 am

I am modelling a "free-lance" Southern Railway cross-country line, with some GWR thrown in, supposedly south of Reading and around Basingstoke but not the LSWR main line!!! I am using Mr. George Pryer's wonderful book "A Pictorial Record of Southern Signals" as my bible. In fig.8 on page 31 there is a signalling diagram entitled "Typical S.R. Country Station Layout". It is numbered up so that points and signals are all jumbled up. Up Distant, up home, up platform starter and up advanced starter are nos. 1, 2, 3 & 4 respectively. Seems logical. But then 5 is a disc on the DOWN line controlling backing movement over a trailing crossover 6/6 into "Down Sidings West", 7 is another disc releasing a shunting train from Down Sidings West on to the Down Main while 8/8 is a trailing crossover Up to Down Mains. But then Down Distant, Down Outer Home, Down Inner Home, Down Platform Starter and Down Advanced Starter are 24, 23, 22, 21 & 20 respectively.

The philosophy here would appear to be to start numbering at the Down end of the station giving the inevitable result that the main line signal levers are at each end of the frame with points and discs jumbled up together somewhere in the middle!

To be fair to Mr. Pryer (who I am given to understand was a Southern signalman for many years) he adds a note to say that the diagram is typical and not of any particular location.

Does anybody have any Southern experience and might care to comment?
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby Chris Osment » Sun Jan 6, 2013 11:58 am

As George said, it is a 'typical' Southern layout and very much as one would expect. It is usually a straight-forward case of numbering from the left end (which may be Up or Down, depending upon the location), and in essence - dare I say - not much different from the GWR practice.
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby South Western John » Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:56 pm

Many thanks, Chris, It is now my intention to follow George's lead. Somewhere in a file I have a diagram drawn by Stephen Clarke much along the same lines. Stephen was a work colleague at Westinghouse Brake and Signal. While I was on the Railway Brake side, he was one of the signalling commissioning engineers and such a valued friend. He was passionate about signals and signalling. Stephen's first ever job was commissioning the signalling at Bekonscot Railway at Beaconsfield, Bucks. But he went on to much greater things that culminated in first commissioning The Hong Kong Metro signalling and then likewise on The Singapore Metro. That is when I lost contact with him - They asked him to stay on in the capacity of Line Engineer. Stephen was incredible, I believe he had flanged feet!! Thanks agaon, John
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby South Western John » Thu May 9, 2013 8:41 am

In reply to lemmo, get yourself a copy of "TRAX3" Signalling and Lever Frames by Jeff Geary published by Noodle Books ISBN 978-1-906419-61-5. Included is a CD ROM to produce signalling diagrams and locking charts. Hope this answers your query.
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Re: Drawing signaling diagrams

Unread postby South Western John » Tue May 21, 2013 10:15 pm

The book "Trax 3" Signalling and Lever Frames by Jeff Geary published by Noodle Books ISBN 978-1-906419-61-5 includes a CDRom that gives you complete instructions and guidance.
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