davidwoodcock wrote:When I first noticed - in the 1960s - that SR rail-built signal posts didn't seem to have a classic bullhead rail profile, I started taking a closer interest. A rough survey of perhaps one hundred posts didn't find one with the classic profile, and none of those posts showed the signs of wear that one might expect had they been secondhand (or almost certainly third or fourth hand) double-headed rails, hence my suggestion that they had been rolled for the purpose. Photos which show the profile well are rare but, by chance, the front cover of the November 2012 issue of Backtrack has an excellent almost side on view of the up-from-Brading home at Smallbrook Junction in 1964; by comparison with numerous photos of bullhead rail in situ in the same issue, it will be seen that the profile was quite different.
Double-headed rails had become quite unfashionable a decade or so before the end of the Victorian era so any surviving into SR days would have been in sidings. The Southern initiated a programme of route upgrading to enable heavier locos to be used, so there would undoubtedly have been a cascade effect which would have rendered remaining d-h rail in sidings totally redundant. Certainly some of this ended up supporting signs and it may well have inspired the concept of the rail-built posts (ironically, perhaps triggered by the presence of the rail-built posts on the S&DJR), but I doubt whether much of it actually found its way into actual signal posts, other than perhaps the early "funnies".
South Western John wrote:I also note the remark about "the distant needing to be in the fiddle yard", but because I am working in OO gauge there is sufficient room to put a distant arm at a reasonable distance, certainly more than a train length from the Down Home gantry for the station.
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