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Principles of locating signal boxes

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Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby nigelrbfurness » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:28 pm

Hi everyone
I'm new to the forum and have had a look around but can't seem to find any information on this particular topic. I am building a 7mm scale layout of a fictitious GER branchline terminus. Whilst fictitious, it is based on track layouts of typical branch termini with coal drops, goods facilities and a private siding. My question is this how do I decide where to place the signal box? I am drawn to the the PECO platform-mounted signal box kit but am uncertain as to whether it would be appropriate. The placing of signals seems fairly straightforward from information on this website. The station throat consists of five points and a double-slip. There are no loco release points, this being achieved by a turntable at the end of the platform as per some NBR stations. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments, please?

Many thanks
Nigel F.
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Re: Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:47 pm

nigelrbfurness wrote:Hi everyone
I'm new to the forum and have had a look around but can't seem to find any information on this particular topic. I am building a 7mm scale layout of a fictitious GER branchline terminus. Whilst fictitious, it is based on track layouts of typical branch termini with coal drops, goods facilities and a private siding. My question is this how do I decide where to place the signal box? I am drawn to the the PECO platform-mounted signal box kit but am uncertain as to whether it would be appropriate. The placing of signals seems fairly straightforward from information on this website. The station throat consists of five points and a double-slip. There are no loco release points, this being achieved by a turntable at the end of the platform as per some NBR stations. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments, please?

Many thanks
Nigel F.


Welcome to the forum, Nigel.

The first question us 'experts' usually ask is to see a track layout. Do you have anything you can post up?
Regards,
S&TEngineer
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Re: Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby nigelrbfurness » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:36 pm

Hi and thank you for your prompt response. I prepared the design using Anyrail5 and luckily exported it to a jpg, but I couldn't quickly see a way of attaching an image so I've popped it up here:

http://classicbristolbuses.thornet.co.uk/tp.jpg

That's assuming I've done it correctly, of course. Let me know if you still can't see it and I'll try something else. Fifty years of working with computers and I still don't know what I'm doing :)

Many thanks

Nigel
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Re: Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:05 pm

We can certainly see it (sorry, we don't do attached images) and it looks fine to me.

Key factors in positioning a signal box are:
  1. That all controlled pointwork (unless power-operated) is within 350 yards* of the box, and the nearer the better
  2. The signalman has the best view of the area under his control
  3. At a terminus, the signalman needs to be able to easily see tail lamps
  4. On single lines the signalman needs to be able to easily give/take tokens.

Yours seems to fit the bill on all counts to me.

John

* - that figure was lower in earlier years
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Re: Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:21 pm

I'd agreed with John that your SB location is OK.

I think your 'Alternative LS' would be much better - the LS off the turntable doesn't leave much room for passengers to access the station and platform. It also leaves the loco stuck in the shed if the turntable fails. In addition, these end of platform turntables were usually made only big enough for the small locos expected to normally use the branch line.

But I'm drifting away from signalling, so I'll stop there!
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Re: Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:29 pm

I do have one non-signalling question about your layout and it concerns your mention of coal drops. If, by "coal drops" you mean a raised structure where coal is dropped through bottom doors in the wagons into cells below track level as was commonplace on the former NER and sometimes found elsewhere too, these weren't a feature of GER stations (although IIRC a few could be found in specialist coal depots very close to central London).

The location for handling coal is fine but it would have typically been unloaded through the side doors of the wagons, bagged, weighed and dispatched immediately to customers. Any coal storage would have been in heaps on the ground but coal stored required capital to pay for it and coal merchants were typically one man bands who lived a hand to mouth existence. This changed somewhat during WWII when there was a desperate need to even out colliery production and this meant that coal merchants had to store coal - the vast majority of the coal pens that many of us remember from the 1950s date from this wartime period but coal pens remained rare at rural stations.

(Apologies for going off-topic.)
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Re: Principles of locating signal boxes

Unread postby nigelrbfurness » Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:51 pm

Thank you all for your interesting and helpful replies. I must confess immediately I'm not a specialist nor particularly knowledgeable, so to read your views is educational. I deduce from John's reply that the position of the signal box as shown is workable whereas a platform-mounted item might not fit the requirement to be able to see tail lamps and other criteria mentioned. Regarding the coal drops, I didn't realise the term applied to a specific structure and had in mind really what David describes in terms of heaps on the ground - though I might have built some sort of bunker structure if I hadn't had his reply, so I won't now. There is a prototype for the position of the loco shed off the turntable, though it is not a GER one and the issue of a failed turntable is pertinent so that is something I will consider. Regarding the size of the TT - modellers license, because I have a garden railway under construction at the moment and it would be convenient for me to have a turntable just large enough to turn my "Duchess" and A3 so that they get a run now and then in winter! Neither of which would ever be seen at such a small terminus, of course, though perhaps a B12 might? I may rethink that yet, as it probably seems inconsistent with trying to get everything to be at least plausible.

Thank you gentlemen for your comments, I certainly got good value for money out of that one question.

Nigel
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