John Hinson wrote:davidwoodcock wrote:Yes, John, it probably requires more staff in total but the point is that none of those staff have to be signalmen passed out for the relevant boxes. I assure you that it happened and sometimes for weeks on end, the boxes concerned were at locations where no trains were booked to pass (in the thinner timetables imposed prior to "Beeching" closures) but which had no provision for the introduction of long-section working.
Weeks on end? Holy smoke. I wonder how they got away with that without HQ finding out. A person qualified to act as Responsible Officer or Pilotman should be able to train and pass out a branch line box in a day. This sounds like an urban myth to me.
The implication of this is that the boxes in question were unable to switch out, otherwise they would have done so. Without a closing lever, the opposing signals could not be cleared so this in turn means passing a lot of signals at danger. Also, one of the FPL's would be needed to lock in the 'wrong' position so unless you were lucky and there happened to be a bothways lock, there would be unlocked (but undoubtedly clipped) facing points in the route. Both of these could of course be overcome with the cooperation of the local S&T lineman but whether he would be willing to put his name to it if something went wrong is another question.
However, this method of working might explain the YouTube video (which I cannot at the moment put my finger on) taken from a train in the very last days of the Carmarthen - Aberystwyth line. In it the train does indeed go past a lot of signals at danger (without stopping) at at least one passing point and I always wondered why this might have been.