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Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

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Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby John Webb » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:17 am

The February 2014 issue of Railway Modeller (Vol 65 No.760) has the first of a new series on "Lever frames, points and signals - Running your railway like the prototype"

The introduction says:
"Tim Rayner shows you how your points and signals can be operated in the traditional manner of a mechanical signal box. In subsequent articles he will cover more complex aspects such as interlocking, and how to construct a fully-functional lever frame using various methods....."

The first article is an outline of the basics, including research, using Churston Junction as an example. He also looks at Highworth (correction), a simple branch terminus. The section titled 'The elements of a signal box' includes pictures of the interior of Yeovil Junction in March 2012. Other parts of the article deal with SB diagrams, facing point locks, lever colours and drawing your own diagram.

There are photos showing the exteriors of Balquidder East, Pensford and Bromley Colliery Sidings, and Scout Green SBs.

The sole reference under 'Further Information' at the end of the article is this site!
Last edited by John Webb on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby Chris Osment » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:34 am

I think you meant 'Highworth' :-)

Whilst I welcome anything that tries to improve the signalling on model railways, I'm a little concerned about the approach of 'tinkering' with a prototype layout - for example, adding the SA arm to the Starting signal seems very unusual IMHO.

One fact not yet mentioned is the extent to which the style signals and signal-boxes etc 'fix' the original railway company. Sad therefore to notice another article in the same issue about a supposed S&DJR layout - apart from the location, there is nothing about it that yells' 'S&D' at me at all, indeed the SB reminds me more of the South Eastern.
Last edited by Chris Osment on Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:26 pm

Modellers using readily available commercial kits have a fairly limited choice of accurate signal prototypes, especially if they want them to operate.
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby Chris Osment » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:54 pm

Modellers using readily available commercial kits have a fairly limited choice of accurate signal prototypes, especially if they want them to operate.

This is true, but.....certainly for the S&D there are RTR and kits for both lattice post and rail-built SR signals (rather than the LMS tubular UQs used in the aforementioned layout) and even now an actual S&D prototype SB model. There are also examples where modellers have scratch-built their signal-boxes etc, but simply chosen the wrong prototypes through ignorance of the subject. Hopefully we can help to improve that situation over time :-)
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby John Webb » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:08 pm

Chris Osment wrote:I think you meant 'Highworth' :-) ........

Thanks - correction made!
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby John Webb » Sun May 4, 2014 6:42 pm

An update:
March 2014 issue covered the use of a (non-interlocked) lever frame and wire-in-tube operation of points and signals.
April covered the use of solenoids and servos to operate points and signals.
May looked at the use of interlocking with diagrams of tappet locking showing how things change as the levers are moved.
The last episode, just published in the June issue, looks at an interlocked lever frame kit by Modratec. It was designed using Modratec's program 'Sigscribe4', and supplied in parts for self-assembly. There are a couple of interesting features of the locking:
a) the tappets alternate between two heights[1], with locking bars having pins top and bottom;
b) the notches have to be cut by the customer, although instructions are given as to where they need to be cut.

[1] The tappets are much broader in width in proportion to their thickness than prototype locking, hence this arrangement, I assume.
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby Chris Osment » Sun May 4, 2014 6:55 pm

I found the latest article rather curious.

Allegedly it takes the layout at Henstridge as its prototype, but then reverses the siding connection and omits the level-crossing, so really it could probably have been better based on many other places instead. Then it uses an odd numbering sequence for the signals.

Now admittedly neither of the above detracts from the gist of what the article is trying to convey, as regards how to construct a frame with working interlocking. I just feel a bit uneasy that someone may take the layout numbering as an accurate example for a prototype and therefore be misled.
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby John Webb » Mon May 5, 2014 8:32 am

Chris - I'm inclined to agree with you. My feeling is that they simplified the layout so that it would fit within a standard Modratec 6-lever module to make construction relatively easy - possibly to keep the costs down as well?

Hopefully if any modeller is building a layout based on a prototype they will look for track diagrams etc. and follow the prototype!

By the way, any comment on the signal arrangements visible several times in the 'Trefor' article photos, particularly pages 424 and 429? Something not quite right....?
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby Chris Osment » Mon May 5, 2014 12:07 pm

By the way, any comment on the signal arrangements visible several times in the 'Trefor' article photos, particularly pages 424 and 429? Something not quite right....?


Do you mean the main and sub arms off together? I wondered about that, as I was not aware that the LNWR followed NER practice :-)
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Re: Railway Modeller - new series on signalling matters

Unread postby John Webb » Mon May 5, 2014 9:26 pm

Chris Osment wrote:Do you mean the main and sub arms off together? I wondered about that, as I was not aware that the LNWR followed NER practice :-)

Yes, that's what had caught my eye!
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