Signals

THE SIGNAL BOX


Railway signalling discussion

Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

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

Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby Bob Davies » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:03 pm

Further to my post above, both of the following clips are taken on the Carmarthen - Aberystwyth line in its dying days. While neither of them is the clip I was thinking of (which I think was in black and white), both show stop signals being passed at danger with impunity -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_8i_7XxgdY at 0.15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd0iWHZhQ2Y at 0.10

I will continue to look for my original clip but at least they raise the same issue.

Moderator warning: Both of these clips must come from B&R Videos - I recognise Michael Clemens' voice. I did not post them myself and since they are freely available on YouTube I regard them as being in the public domain. However, while no breach of copyright is intended on my part, I will leave it to the Moderators to decide if these links can stay in place.

Also, this thread is drifting considerably from its original subject, but it does raise an interesting matter so it might be worth carving out the relevant posts and starting a new topic.
Bob D
User avatar
Bob Davies
Branch line box
Branch line box
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Nov 9, 2007 8:32 pm
Location: Kidderminster

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:17 pm

Interesting indeed!

Just to clarify on the matter of copyright, it is the posting of copyright material in this forum that is prohibited (because the law is that regardless of who posts in the forum, I am responsible for the published content). It is up to the owners of other sites to deal with material on theirs. Therefore there is no objection to links to other sites such as those above. Many thanks for your concern/interest.

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6648
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:31 pm

Oddly, I have read an article this very afternoon in the current Bylines magazine which confirms the use of pivotman working on the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line.

It wasn't, however, the only line where it happened. It seems that Traffic Apprentices were often used as the pilot men because it has more than once been the topic of conversation at old lag gatherings, usually along the lines of "the first couple of days were interesting, but after you had been doing it day after day (admittedly with Sundays off) for several months you began to question whether you had chosen the right career". [By the way, I wasn't a TA, although I have taught them and I have been a graduate selector in my time.]
davidwoodcock
Rest-day relief
Rest-day relief
 
Posts: 916
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:58 am
Location: Champlon, Belgique

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby John Hinson » Wed Feb 1, 2017 9:01 am

If (and there is no evidence from the film extracts that this is the case) pilotman working was in operation there are too many irregularities going on to list. For that matter, whatever was going on numerous serious irregularities can be identified in those short clips.

It beats me. Removal of signals and conversion to OES working would have been both more manpower-efficient and legal. It certainly doesn't say much for the WR's usually claimed high standards.

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6648
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby Pete2320 » Wed Feb 1, 2017 6:58 pm

No evidence of a Pilot man in either ofBob Davies clips but equally, no evidence of any signalmen!
Pete
Pete2320
Main line box
Main line box
 
Posts: 2096
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:50 pm
Location: Barton on Humber

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby Bob Davies » Wed Feb 1, 2017 8:19 pm

I have started a new thread to continue from GWR GF lock terminology (http://forum.signalbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7846) as it is becoming increasingly detached from the original theme.

I have now found the whole video of the September 1964 trip from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth from which the two clips in my post in the previous thread were taken. It is at https://vimeo.com/103641050 and it shows a complete journey over the line, including its branches. It is interesting in its own right, showing as it does full-sized staffs with Annett's key in use and some very ancient McKenzie & Holland signals, but in relation to the use of pilotmen it starts to get relevant at 18:30 at Strata Florida.

Up to that point everything has been entirely as you would expect with every appropriate signal being worked and the use of staffs/tokens much in evidence. You see the train run into Strata Florida station with the home signal in the clear position but it then leaves past the loop starter at danger. After that, every signal that is shown is in the on position until the train gets to Aberystwyth at which point normal working is resumed.

This northern section of the line closed (prematurely due to flood damage) in December 1964 but the rest of the line followed in February 1965 so in September 1964 the closure must have been a certainty. I wonder if some catastrophic signalling failure (destruction of the pole route in several places for instance) meant that it simply was not worth repairing things in view of the imminent demise and that extended pilotmen working was the chosen solution? However, as has been pointed out, that would not explain the complete absence of signalmen at any of the intermediate boxes, nor why some better method of working is not in use (Train Staff and Ticket for example if the timetable did not permit OES to be used). The length of line involved was not that great so a single Sunday's work could also have seen all the signal arms removed, particularly in the knowledge that they would never be put back. Altogether, very peculiar!
Last edited by Bob Davies on Tue Feb 7, 2017 2:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Bob D
User avatar
Bob Davies
Branch line box
Branch line box
 
Posts: 321
Joined: Fri Nov 9, 2007 8:32 pm
Location: Kidderminster

Re: signalling oddities Carmarthen - Aberystwyth

Unread postby JRB » Wed Feb 1, 2017 10:56 pm

At that time, surely there was a regional boundary between Carmarthen WR and Aberystwith LMR. This would have slowed making any working arrangements.
JRB
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 3170
Joined: Sun Dec 9, 2007 10:12 pm
Location: GWR

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Thu Feb 2, 2017 9:10 am

Since 1963 the part of the line closest to Aberystwyth had been part of the LMR (Stoke Division) so it would surely have been that region that put pilotman working into operation. (Which isn't to say that the WR didn't do it elsewhere.)
davidwoodcock
Rest-day relief
Rest-day relief
 
Posts: 916
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:58 am
Location: Champlon, Belgique

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby GarthTilt » Sun Feb 5, 2017 11:56 am

In June 1964 the Divisional Manager, Cardiff wrote to the traffic Headquarters, Paddington: "Owing to an extreme shortage of signalmen, Trawscoed Signal Box was unmanned and all trains between Strata Florida and Llanilar were being worked by Pilotmen. It was proposed to close Trawscoed Signal Box and reintroduce Electric Token working between Strata Florida and Llanilar."
As the estimated rewiring of the Motor trolley System of Maintenance instruments was £650, the expenditure couldn't be justified regarding the uncertain future of the line. With the manning of the boxes becoming so acute it was intended to amend the regulations in the Regional Appendix regarding maintenance and the working of the trolleys and extend the principal to other sections of the line. By September to ease the position further it was proposed to close several Boxes and to introduce amended instructions to the working of the Motor Trolleys. It was scheduled to be brought into use on 5th October, brought forward to the 28th September. On the 15th September the Minister of Transport approved the withdrawal of passenger services and the approved alterations to the working cancelled! No doubt the shortage of staff persisted to the withdrawal of passenger services, being relieved by the premature closure after flooding between Strata Florida and Aberystwyth.
GarthTilt
Branch line box
Branch line box
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:52 pm

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby Chris Osment » Sun Feb 5, 2017 5:10 pm

IIRC the late John Morris had sets of both Electric Staffs and Electric Tokens from the same sections on one of the lines in that area, where apparently the EKT were produced in readiness to replace ETS but never actually brought into use before the line was closed. Was that Carmarthen - Aberystwyth or elsewhere - my memory is not clear on that point?
Chris Osment
West Country Railway Archives
http://www.railwest.org.uk
User avatar
Chris Osment
Main line box
Main line box
 
Posts: 2205
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:32 am
Location: Somewhere in the West Country

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby GarthTilt » Mon Feb 6, 2017 10:55 am

Chris,
He certainly had an EKT for Cardigan Junction - Llanglydwen a section that remained ETS until the whole line Cardigan Junction - Cardigan was made 'One Engine in Steam' in Sep. 1962. I believe that the token is in the Gwilli Museum.
GarthTilt
Branch line box
Branch line box
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:52 pm

Re: Signalling oddities - Carmarthen-Aberystwyth

Unread postby michaelh » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:01 pm

I have an EKT for Aberystwyth - Llanilar
User avatar
michaelh
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu May 1, 2008 7:15 pm
Location: Droitwich Spa


Return to Signalling - historical

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest