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Co-acting signals and their application

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Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby South Western John » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:58 pm

On my layout that is still in an early stage of construction, there is a situation where a road crosses above the railway on a bridge towards the end of a station platform. However the platform end passes through the bridge and just about 100mm or 25 scale feet beyond this bridge. The platform starter signal is therefore not in a good sighting situation. My question is, "Should this signal be co-acting?"

I intend to use MSE signals but Andrew Hartshorne has somewhat indicated his personal antipathy towards co-actors. As I am very much in a "I don't know nuffink, Guv'nor, I'm noo 'ere, see?!" situation, I would greatly value any guidance from you all. Thank you!
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby MRFS » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:21 pm

Would any trains be non-stop and require a long-distance view?
ND: Why is there a door handle on the inside of my airing cupboard?
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: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby AndyB » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:58 pm

Semaphore banner repeater?
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby South Western John » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:00 pm

Thank you for your interest MRFS, YES there would be non-stop trains.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby South Western John » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:05 pm

Thank you Andy B, yes I agree that a Banner repeater is on the cards. However it would mean another operating assembly to set up in line with a tall semaphore. I confess to hoping that the co-actor would get a "green" from you all! My period is pre-BR (1947) and Banner Repeaters were still a new feature then.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby MRFS » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:43 pm

I think you've made the right decision with a co-actor: imagine the sightlines and if you think it needs one, then it needs one.

After all it's your railway, your rules.
ND: Why is there a door handle on the inside of my airing cupboard?
MF: Because it's the fire exit from Narnia.

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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby JRB » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:56 pm

South Western John wrote: My period is pre-BR (1947) and Banner Repeaters were still a new feature then.

Not very new. Someone will doubtless know the day they came in, but it was well before WW2.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:56 pm

It might not be entirely appropriate for your layout, but you could replicate the famous 'twin signals' at Lydford.

Heading towards Exeter the line out of Lydford station made a sharp curve to the left after passing under an overbridge. There were sighting issues with the starting signal so two signals were provided - a short one to the left of the line for trains stopping in the platform and a separate one on a taller post to the right of the line and visible at a distance to Drivers of non-stop trains. They must have been a fairly hefty pull, being both on one lever, but they survived until the line closed in 1968.

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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby kbarber » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:13 pm

Definitely sounds like a co-actor is needed, so that's another vote. Particular configuration is a different matter - as Peter indicates they might not be on the same post or even on the same side of the line, I suppose the lower arm might be hung off a gallows bracket to bring it closer to the line (if the platform only extends 25' beyond the bridge, even allowing for the ramp and a few feet more, that's very close even for a stopping train), or any other configuration anyone can cite or even vaguely remember seeing somewhere.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby Adrian the Rock » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:52 pm

Used to be quite a cute example at Sutton Coldfield: http://www.roscalen.com/signals/WestMids/index.htm#SuttonColdfield.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby dave55uk » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:46 pm

I think a co-acting signal would be well in order - and look nice to boot.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby South Western John » Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:07 am

Thank you all very much. A co-acting signal it shall be!! Thank you Adrian The Rock especially for your "Signals around the West Midlands". I have some memories of unusual signals like the very short railbuilt post down platform starter at Brading I.o.W. and the curious down home gantry at Reading GWR platform four with a short doll carrying the "back-to-front" up through arm for the up centre track. I am shying away from Banner Repeaters as I cannot see how to make convincing models of them. It would be a very "fiddly" business altogether. I also would like to attempt a GWR signal gantry using tubular post and dolls but they have to be scratch built so again I am a bit cautious with that and will probably stick with the older type using wooden post and dolls.

My layout is a mix of SR and GWR as both railways figured in my childhood.

This means that GWR trains will run on third rail alongside 2-BIL and 2-NOL electric multiple units! Reading is the only place where this actually happened.
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Sun Jan 6, 2013 10:06 am

South Western John wrote:This means that GWR trains will run on third rail alongside 2-BIL and 2-NOL electric multiple units! Reading is the only place where this actually happened.


Perhaps surprisingly, this concurrence (with scheduled trains) happened elsewhere.

GWR locos regularly ran to Redhill from Reading and to Portsmouth Harbour from Bristol/Cardiff, so 2-BIL and 2-NOL electric units could be seen on the same tracks between:

Reading Junction and Wokingham (as already alluded to),
Ash, Guildford and Shalford Junction,
Reigate and Redhill,
Portscreek Junction and Portsmouth Harbour
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby South Western John » Wed May 1, 2013 10:50 am

This may be true in the sixties but in the late forties (my period), engines were changed either at Oxford or Reading. Then, the furthest west of conductor rail was at Reading or on the LSWR main line, Brookwood Junction where the Alton line threw off to the south-west. I believe that these trains had divided from the Portsmouth stoppers at Woking.

My railway is an imaginery main line from a joint GWR/SR London terminus that fills the huge gap in Main Line Termini between Paddington and Victoria - Sloane Street Station (Don't it sound GRAND!!). Had to demolish a few embassies - !!! The line goes out through Chelsea, Earl's Court, Brentford, "Feltham South", Staines, Sunningdale, Easthampstead, Eversley, Farley Hill, Swallowfield, "Sherford Town"(not on any Ordnance Survey - !) to Basingstoke and the LSWR main line. Thus the Dorset including Bournemouth traffic is shared between the two railways.

And that's my entire excuse for Castle haukled expresses running on conductor rail!!!

It also allows me to mix wooden post GWR signals with LSWR lattice and rail-built post upper quadrant signals. Did I hear somebody say "What a mess!!!"?
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Re: Co-acting signals and their application

Unread postby Chris Osment » Wed May 1, 2013 12:54 pm

It also allows me to mix wooden post GWR signals with LSWR lattice and rail-built post upper quadrant signals. Did I hear somebody say "What a mess!!!"?


Given that the GWR had quite a few signals of their own with lattice-posts, and in the BR era there were many places in the South West with BR(S) replacement rail-built posts alongside existing GWR signals, not perhaps quite as unlikely a 'mess' as you might think 8)
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