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Southern Region Signals

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Southern Region Signals

Unread postby tony1955 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:47 pm

Hi,
Im sorry if this seems a really basic question. Im modelling a 1940s Southern Region layout. Should the signals be upper or lower quadrant?

Thanks

Tony
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby Danny252 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:24 pm

I think the short answer is "it depends where on the SR"! Lower quadrants from earlier days would've survived on quite a number of lines, even after the Southern Railway started using upper quadrants. Do you have a specific location, area, or route in mind?
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby tony1955 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:03 pm

Not really its a generic SR layout.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby Cotswolder » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:38 pm

It may help if you could be a bit more specific ie. Main Line, Secondary Route or Branch Line.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:00 pm

tony1955 wrote:Not really its a generic SR layout.


In the 1940s (and bear in mind that Southern Region implies 1948 or 1949), the only places that could be accurately described as "generic SR" lay on the handful of new lines built by the Southern Railway (Wimbledon-Sutton, the Chessington branch, part of the New Romney branch, the Fawley branch, the rationalised lines in Thanet and the Allhallows twig, for example - Halwill-Torrington although new hardly qualified) plus the stations completely rebuilt or built new by the Southern Railway (Haywards Heath, Bromley North, Hayes, Seaton and Albany Park being just some examples of these).

Everywhere else was either pretty much a one-off or in a generic style of its pre-grouping owner (and in the case of the SE&CR, that meant the SER and LCDR), and, although there was occasional re-use of portable assets (Ryde St.Johns signal box comes to mind), it would be very rare for these styles to become inter-mixed.

By the late 1940s, most SR main lines had had much of their signalling updated on a piece-meal basis using generic SR items, and signals replaced post-c1930 would have been UQ, but on branch lines and secondary routes much pregrouping equipment, inevitably LQ in the case of signals, remained. There were, of course, pockets of colour light signalling too, for example in south-east and south-west London and on the outer part of the Brighton main line.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby tony1955 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:07 am

Thanks chaps, youve certainly given me food for thought. I can see Im going to have to do a heap of research and planning before I start.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:40 am

tony1955 wrote:Thanks chaps, youve certainly given me food for thought. I can see Im going to have to do a heap of research and planning before I start.

Ha ha - the trouble is the more you look the more you see! I hope we haven't overloaded you with information.

Perhaps the thing to remember that since signalling started, it has been in transition as new ideas have come along. So whatever period of time you choose, there wouldn't be a consistent style, it would have been a mixture of old and recent signal types. So you have plenty of leeway in what you do.

Best regards,

John
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby tony1955 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:41 am

Pardon me Chaps. I realize Ive made an industrial sized faux-pas all through this thread. I meant Southern Railways not Southern Region. What an idiot
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:46 am

No big deal - there's little difference in date so the answers still apply.

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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:56 am

A book that may be helpful to you is "A Pictorial Record of Southern Railway Signals" by George Pryer.

It will no doubt not be in print, but you should not have too much trouble finding it second hand on ebay or perhaps at a trade stand at one of the bigger model railway shows or at one of the preserved lines. It shows all of the signal types referred to above, including pre-group, as well as the corresponding types of signalbox.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby tony1955 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:09 pm

Ive ordered the following books from the library,

The Southern Rail handbook, 1923-1947 /David Wragg.
Variety on the Southern' : 1948-1968 / compiled by Hugh Davies
Mile by mile on Britain's railways : the LNER, LMS, GWR and Southern Railway as they were in 1947 / S.N. Pike
Southern steam in action.3 /[compiled by] Tony Fairclough and Alan Wills
An historical survey of selected Southern stations :layout and illustrations.Vol. 1 /by G.A. Pryer and G.J. Bowring.

and the one you recomend Mike,

Looks like Im going to have a busy time in the coming weeks. You never know I may know what im talking about by the end of the year!
Thanks chaps
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby Chris Osment » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:54 pm

I would suggest that, even by the 1940s, there would still be sufficient pre-Grouping equipment around in most SR locations to make the pre-Grouping origin company immediately obvious. It may be the case therefore that your first objective will have to be to decide on whether you want to model an ex-L&SWR, ex-LB&SCR or ex-SECR location.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:23 pm

Chris Osment wrote:I would suggest that, even by the 1940s, there would still be sufficient pre-Grouping equipment around in most SR locations to make the pre-Grouping origin company immediately obvious. It may be the case therefore that your first objective will have to be to decide on whether you want to model an ex-L&SWR, ex-LB&SCR or ex-SECR location.


That would have been true, except perhaps in the case of actual signals, well into the 1960s - and for the ex-SECR, it would have been obvious whether it was ex-SER or ex-LCDR. So, unless you choose a real (or fictional) location that the Southern Railway built or re-built, you have a four-way choice - and that is before you take into account that even for those pre-grouping lines architecture, for example, tended to be associated with particular periods of construction and therefore lines.

It is a complicated business creating a model that looks right, but there have been plenty of examples of modellers getting it right in the past.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby South Western John » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:23 pm

Hello Tony, It is noted that while you are modelling the railways of the South, my layout is very much in the same idiom. I am signalling my layout at present. It is fictitional and supposed to be somewhere to the south of Reading to enable me to have e.m.u.'s running alongside GWR stock. Also, a GWR branch enters from the north west (just to confuse matters!!!). So I have both upper and lower quadrant signals under construction. However, the lower quadrants will be GWR who retained lower quadrant signals much longer than any other line. I believe for example, the Welsh Marches main line from Newport (Mon) to Shrewsbury was only converted to upper quadrant as recently as the nineties.

If you look at the YouTube video "You are the Motorman" that takes you along the LBSCR main line into Victoria from East Croydon, you will see a mixture of upper and lower quadrant signals. The old LSWR lines, however, were largely all converted to UQ by Nationalisation. My first railway experiences (from the pram) were at Staines SR (Middx). There, all signalling was UQ. However, when in the Autumn of 1944 we moved to Reading and I discovered the GWR, all of their signals were still lower quadrant.

By then, whenever the SR replaced signal arms, they were usually UQ. The GWR clung to lower quadrant right into the 1960's. The numbers of their locos remained unchanged. Being cast brass plates, it would have been too expensive to change them. There is a cartoon somewhere of the change of GWR into Western Region. It is of a GWR railwayman looking very smart and unruffled. He is saying, "Never even blew me cap off!!"

The GWR retained many lower quadrant semaphores until the changeover to colour lights as in the 1960's resignalling of Paddington and approaches.

I hope this answers your question.

I hope this answers your questions.
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Re: Southern Region Signals

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:31 pm

Just to clarify South Western John - the Welsh Marches line still has WR Lower Quadrants, as do many ex WR Lines. Look at the Worcester area, Shrewsbury etc.

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