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Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

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

Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby barhamd » Sat May 17, 2014 9:10 pm

A long shot here but does anyone have any information about the signaling layout for Clare station? I know it had a 25 lever box but no idea of the signaling arrangements. I'm also trying to work out from the large scale OS maps whether the entry into the goods yard include two points toe-to-toe or a slip and if it was a slip whether it was double or single.

I doesn't look as if anyone took any photographs from the right angle looking through all the books I have.

Many thanks

David Barham
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun May 18, 2014 6:59 am

Here's a 1933 plan for you:
http://www.signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=872

It would seem the points concerned were always a double-slip, this is borne out by plans for 1889 and 1903.

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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby StevieG » Sun May 18, 2014 9:08 am

Thanks as usual John.

The absence of shunt signals at the nearest ends of points 8 and 14 is interesting. And having a move out from the back of the yard looks like it included the awkward pulling of 15 between the already-reversed 14 & 16.
BZOH

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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Sun May 18, 2014 11:11 am

The Great Eastern seems to have been one of the (many) railways which didn't provide shunt signals unnecessarily. I imagine that the presence of 11 indicates that it would have been difficult for a driver shunting there to see a hand signal from the box.
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby barhamd » Sun May 18, 2014 3:09 pm

Great! I thought it had to be a slip simply because of the space available.
More to think about while planning a layout.
thanks
David
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby Pete2320 » Sun May 18, 2014 4:24 pm

StevieG wrote:Thanks as usual John.
And having a move out from the back of the yard looks like it included the awkward pulling of 15 between the already-reversed 14 & 16.

I can't see why 16 points are worked from the box at all, but accepting that they are why the adjacent hand worked part of the slip isn't also part of 16. Unless perhaps one of the lines beyond the slip was a refuge siding rather than part of the yard.

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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun May 18, 2014 5:59 pm

Pete2320 wrote: I can't see why 16 points are worked from the box at all, but accepting that they are why the adjacent hand worked part of the slip isn't also part of 16. Unless perhaps one of the lines beyond the slip was a refuge siding rather than part of the yard.

That arrangement isn't exceptionally unusual - I have seen quite a few others on GER plans, also quite frequently on LNWR layouts and a few Midland ones too.

The aspect of it that puzzles me is that a single disc can read out two different sidings with the potential to run through a set of points (16 in this instance). The problem would not arise if 16 had a sprung stretcher but of all the plans I have seen none suggest that this is the case.

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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Sun May 18, 2014 6:29 pm

Surely 16 is a throwback to the days when red discs at the exit from sidings on to a running line only applied, on or off, to such movements and could be passed when on, but with usual shunting caution, when the relevant points were set for a route other than on to a running line. Of course, post c1925 such discs should have become yellow but the process was very long winded and in a few cases never happened.
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby barhamd » Sun May 18, 2014 9:36 pm

Now that is not something I was expecting. So the blades at the platform end of the slip are on two different levers, one from the box and the other handworked? I suppose it gave the signalman the control over which siding is routed to the main line, even if the ground disk actually shows to both routes.

Can I display my ignorance a bit more by asking about the distant signals.

Is there some special meaning to the shaded lower quadrant arm on the up distant? and why did it not have a lever number associated with it. The text doesn't say Nos. 25 was spare so was that the up distant lever?
Also what does the shaded lower arm on the start 3 indicate, was this Stoke's distant, slotted with the starter? Seems unlikely given that Stoke was over 2 miles away.

thanks
David
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Mon May 19, 2014 1:59 am

The shading conventionally means it is not worked by this box. If the signal below 3 is too far from Stoke to be its distant, it was presumably the distant for a level crossing worked by a gatekeeper (unless fixed at caution), and yes it would have to be slotted with 3.

I assume you are correct about 25 being the up distant and that the number was inadvertently omitted from the diagram. Showing the arm in two positions, one shaded the other unshaded means that it is worked by the this box and is also slotted, ie both men have to pull their levers for the arm to clear. This would no doubt be for the same crossing.

Note that no stop arm is shown above this distant, as a stop arm on the same post would usually be shown on the diagram, although it would be shaded since the crossing keeper would work it. So presumably the crossing had no stop signal in the Up direction, reliance being placed instead on red lamp/target on the gate itself. With this arrangement, a driver finding the Up Distant at caution should not only expect to find the Up Home at Danger, but before reaching that, perhaps the gates across the line.
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon May 19, 2014 4:03 am

Mike Hodgson wrote:I assume you are correct about 25 being the up distant and that the number was inadvertently omitted from the diagram. Showing the arm in two positions, one shaded the other unshaded means that it is worked by the this box and is also slotted, ie both men have to pull their levers for the arm to clear. This would no doubt be for the same crossing.

You are absolutely correct on both counts. I'll correct the missing number.

It is my personal style to sometimes show signals and slots worked from ground frames hatched and those worked by other boxes in black for clarity.

Mike Hodgson wrote:Note that no stop arm is shown above this distant, as a stop arm on the same post would usually be shown on the diagram, although it would be shaded since the crossing keeper would work it. So presumably the crossing had no stop signal in the Up direction, reliance being placed instead on red lamp/target on the gate itself. With this arrangement, a driver finding the Up Distant at caution should not only expect to find the Up Home at Danger, but before reaching that, perhaps the gates across the line.
The level crossing was with Ashen Road and an early map shows the signal to be about a quarter of a mile before reaching it.

davidwoodcock wrote:Surely 16 is a throwback to the days when red discs at the exit from sidings on to a running line only applied, on or off, to such movements and could be passed when on, but with usual shunting caution, when the relevant points were set for a route other than on to a running line. Of course, post c1925 such discs should have become yellow but the process was very long winded and in a few cases never happened.

I'm not with you here. I can't see it matters whether you paint the discs sky-blue-pink, you can still clear a signal and run-through the points. By "run-through" I mean the railway term for to trail, burst or smash up the points and in this case the arrangement of the signalling appears to allow this.

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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby barhamd » Mon May 19, 2014 7:18 pm

So Ashen Road crossing would have been between Clare's up distant and starter?
Am I right in thinking that as it was not a block post it would just have had a duplicate of the block indicator for the Clare - Stoke section and the gateman would simply have opened the gates as he saw 'line clear' ? or would there have been more to it than that?
thanks
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby Richard Pike » Mon May 19, 2014 7:24 pm

I doubt very much if there was any sort of indicator though it is possible on both tablet and key token sections. More likely is a bell and gong unit.
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby barhamd » Mon May 19, 2014 8:12 pm

As in just repeating the bell codes in Clare and Stoke boxes or a specific mechanism to say 'close the gates now'?
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Re: Searching for Clare (Suffolk)

Unread postby Richard Pike » Mon May 19, 2014 8:32 pm

The bell and gong unit would, if one was installed at this location, repeat all the bell codes sent on the key token circuit between Haverhill and Clare or latterly on the tablet circuit between Haverhill and Cavendish. Haverhill calling would cause say a gong to ring and Clare calling would cause a bell to ring. This would establish the direction of the train. The is a marvellous picture of Rodbridge level crossing out there on the net but it eludes me at the moment. On the outside of there hut is a large weatherproof box big enough for a bell and gong. We need a picture of the crossing keepers hut at Ashen Road to see if it had something similar.

http://stourline.co.uk/page47.htm

Take a look at photo 36.

Edit to add..

Take a look at the box above the door of the crossing keepers hut..

http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/98971
Last edited by Richard Pike on Mon May 19, 2014 8:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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