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Murthly

British signalling of the past (UK, excepting Northern Ireland)

Murthly

Unread postby Martin Shaw » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:28 am

I have come across a pic of Murthly, captioned as in late LMS days. The view is looking generally south and shows on the end of the up platform, protecting the level crossing, a standard LQ lattice post signal. Almost immediately beyond the crossing is another signal, what looks like a tubular post with an UQ arm, which controls entry to the single line. The two signals are probably no more than 30yds apart. I can only surmise that increasing train lengths meant there was a need to draw forward across the crossing without needing a tablet, but has anyone a better understanding?
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Re: Murthly

Unread postby Corrour » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:39 pm

Martin, A BoT Report extract I have from 1920 list installation of Up Semaphore Gate Signal as part of changes inspected.
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Re: Murthly

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:42 pm

Martin Shaw wrote:I have come across a pic of Murthly, captioned as in late LMS days. The view is looking generally south and shows on the end of the up platform, protecting the level crossing, a standard LQ lattice post signal. Almost immediately beyond the crossing is another signal, what looks like a tubular post with an UQ arm, which controls entry to the single line. The two signals are probably no more than 30yds apart. I can only surmise that increasing train lengths meant there was a need to draw forward across the crossing without needing a tablet, but has anyone a better understanding?

here is a 1932 plan that shows the arrangements:
https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=1173

Putting two and two together with Corrour's info, I would say it was 16 that was the extra signal, to allow the croossing to be opened while an Up train was waiting to cross a Down one.

The arrangement is still shown on a 1961 plan, but by 1970 the signal beyond the crossing had gone and all trains would have had to be held clear of the crossing.

Best regards,

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Re: Murthly

Unread postby Chris Osment » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:53 pm

What does/did No 10 'permissive lever' do please?

Interestingly (well, to me anyway :-) ) a similar arrangement of two starting signals (worked by a push-pull lever) either side of a LC used to exist at Shapwick (S&DJR), but there the signal in advance of the LC was abolished in 1912. I've often wondered if such an arrangement existed elsewhere, so pleased to learn about Murthly, but curious perhaps that it was a late addition rather than an early removal. Any other examples known?
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Re: Murthly

Unread postby aberbrothock » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:21 pm

It is maybe worth adding that the 1919 alterations, inlcuding the provision of the Up gate home, were the result of abolition of the previous North and South boxes, when they were replaced by a "new" South box and a large ground frame at the North end (as shown in John's 1932 diagram). The pre-1919 South box was small and sited on the south (Stanley) side of the level crossing: the 1901 25-inch map shows it as being only 50 feet or so from the Up starting signal.

The "new" box, the one still currently extant at the north side of the crossing, was in fact second-hand and had spent its first twenty years as the Inverness Station box, according to Alexander & Nicoll. The Up tablet exchanger was subsequently positioned where the first South box had been (see the photo in this earlier thread from Tom, a former Murthly signalman). Signal 15 lasted until the introduction of Tokenless Block to Stanley in (I believe) 1968, after which the lever became the Up shunting key release (as can be seen in Tom's before-and-after pictures of the frame). The points at the South end of the loop were long-bladed, and I am told the 40mph speed limit was often exceeded - most trains were not booked to stop at Murthly.

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Re: Murthly

Unread postby aberbrothock » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:51 am

I put the question regarding Up signal 15 to Tom - still signalling in retirement - who says by e-mail that train length was not likely a factor, since Murthly's loop held 54 wagons, engine and van. His own theory is simply that 15 had a sky background when seen from the north end of the loop, and that 16 avoided closing the crossing to road users for extended periods, thus justifying retention of both (and renewal of 15 with a tubular post in LMS days). Up Distant 18 was similarly renewed.

As to whether the tablet exchangers or manual exchanges came into the picture, I can't do better than provide his description:
"We used the tablet catchers as much as we could. If a down train arrived first the crew dropped off the tablet to you as you stood in the middle of the level crossing. Once its tail cleared the south end points, and the guard had confirmed the train was complete (Rule 147 then) you cleared back to Stanley, then offered the Up, Assuming he took it, you cleared 17,16.15 and 18 Watched for the train/track circuit indicator showing occupied, nipped down to the catcher. Even if you had brought the up train to a stand at 17 it would have gained enough speed for the exchange to be successful."

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Re: Murthly

Unread postby Martin Shaw » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:26 am

Many thanks for the info and explanation chaps.
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