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BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

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

BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Adrian Crafer » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:25 pm

We have had previous discussions on the BR(W) Upper Quadrant Signals of the Oxford pattern. Does anyone know whether any upper quadrant independent discs were ever installed. Drawings were produced as part of the 5530 series which covered most of the Disc Signal Parts. Though originally designated 5530/A through to 5530/G (the column and other parts being common to the lower Quadrant version) the drawings may have been renumbered at a later date as 5530/201 etc; I have omitted the MA etc prefix as that relates to mechanical and paper size, the later as yet I have to confirm

Does anyone know if any signals were actually constructed or installed? The casting patterns for the associated parts look to have had little or no use. Possibly only a trial assembly for proving purposes at Reading Works?

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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:27 pm

Would this have been designed for situations where replacement of a disc signal on a former LNER (presumably ex-GC) line was required? The SR and LMSR both used lower quadrant discs as standard (as well, of course, as the GWR) but the LNER used UQ ones.
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby JRB » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:17 pm

The WR had more ex-LNW than ex-GC lines and odd bits of MR, LSWR &c. There again, Reading could have been asked for discs for another region.
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:08 pm

JRB wrote:The WR had more ex-LNW than ex-GC lines and odd bits of MR, LSWR &c. There again, Reading could have been asked for discs for another region.


I realise that but the L&NWR used LQ semaphore dollies, I don't know about the MR (but doubtless JH does - and the LM&SR certainly used LQ discs), and the L&SWR used Stevens "flaps" until 1903-ish when I assume that the replacement semaphore dollies were LQ as the SR's Westinghouse ones certainly were.

The L&NER, and some(?) of its constituents seem to have been the only users of UQ dollies.

The reason I raised this was that I understand that the WR developed UQ main signals for use on "acquired" lines that already had UQ signalling.
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby John Hinson » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:52 am

davidwoodcock wrote:The L&NER, and some(?) of its constituents seem to have been the only users of UQ dollies.

I concur, David.

If the WR produced "mimicks" of the LNER type I would not have noticed them but if the discs being discussed were basically of the WR pattern but upper quadrant to use on ex-LNER lines I think they would have been obvious enough to be noticed, and I certainly don't recall seeing any.

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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:09 am

John Hinson wrote:If the WR produced "mimicks" of the LNER type I would not have noticed them but if the discs being discussed were basically of the WR pattern but upper quadrant to use on ex-LNER lines I think they would have been obvious enough to be noticed, and I certainly don't recall seeing any.


And that would seem to match precisely the premise of the original question. The WR produced drawings in case replacement UQ dollies were required at any locations on the very small parts of the former LNER system that the region became responsible for but, in practice, either that potential requirement never became a reality or, if it did, other ways of solving the problem were found.

Given that we know that the WR decided to design, and then manufacture and install, UQ signals to their standards for acquired lines already equipped with UQ signalling, it does seem likely that the same decision would have covered dollies and the now known existence of drawings would seem potentially to support that. I wonder how the drawing numbers and dates fit?
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Adrian Crafer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:18 am

John Hinson wrote:
Given that we know that the WR decided to design, and then manufacture and install, UQ signals to their standards for acquired lines already equipped with UQ signalling, it does seem likely that the same decision would have covered dollies and the now known existence of drawings would seem potentially to support that. I wonder how the drawing numbers and dates fit?



The 5530/A etc drawing series are dated 20/9/51 for the dolly components. I only have one drawing for the WR UQ signal and that is 5686/4 dated 9/3/53 The Spectacle Plate. Though I have catalogued drawings in the same series for the related components. This Spectacle is for a fabricated or pressed steel version, not clear from the drawing, whereas I have a pattern for a cast version for which I have no drawing, and as yet have not found a reference in my transcribing of Reading Records.

Just to clarify the upper quadrant dolly would have been essentially a Reading tubular post dolly with an upper quadrant disc, revised lamp bracket, with the push rod drive amended to give the correct action.

Incidentally on Dollies I have drawings for a Lever Plate slot casting, first version MB5530/3A/A dated 16.5.55. Redrawn as MB7942 and MB7943 of 12/5/58 this followed Reading practice of redrawing diagrams to separate casting and machining information. I also have a drawing MB5785/1 undated and unsigned which is for a wire crank to fit the small diameter tubular post of the Dolly. A hand written note on the drawing and other information I have been provided with says this was for a double elevated disc at Swindon East. So it is likely that these two components were related. Presumably as Swindon East was well photographed there must be a photo somewhere of that particular installation.

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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby John Hinson » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:21 am

Adrian Crafer wrote:
John Hinson wrote:Given that we know that the WR decided to design, and then manufacture and install, UQ signals to their standards for acquired lines already equipped with UQ signalling, it does seem likely that the same decision would have covered dollies and the now known existence of drawings would seem potentially to support that. I wonder how the drawing numbers and dates fit?

Pssst! I didn't say that.

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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Chris Osment » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:40 am

davidwoodcock wrote:Given that we know that the WR decided to design, and then manufacture and install, UQ signals to their standards for acquired lines already equipped with UQ signalling, it does seem likely that the same decision would have covered dollies and the now known existence of drawings would seem potentially to support that. I wonder how the drawing numbers and dates fit?


Just a wild thought here, but....given that the new Portishead station and SB in 1954 was signalled with UQ (and a couple of C/Ls), might the WR not have decided that it would be logical to provide UQ dummies as well? Sadly, I can't find any suitable pix at the moment....
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:26 pm

Chris Osment wrote:
Just a wild thought here, but....given that the new Portishead station and SB in 1954 was signalled with UQ (and a couple of C/Ls), might the WR not have decided that it would be logical to provide UQ dummies as well? Sadly, I can't find any suitable pix at the moment....



Not such a wild thought, perhaps Chris, I must admit that I had forgotten that "New" Portishead had UQ signalling, paid for by whatever the CEGB was known as at the time, IIRC. Certainly, the fact that at least one of the drawings has a significantly different date on it suggests that it wasn't just a design exercise, and that 1953 date could fit well with "New" Portishead.

It would be a touch ironic if both the SR and the LMSR saw no problems in having LQ dollies and UQ main signals, but that the WR thought they should be matched in their one "home grown" UQ installation.
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:43 pm

Having trawled the internet the only photo of Portishead showing a disc ive found shows what is certainly a lower quadrant one on the run round adjacent to the colour light platform starters. Can't make out it's number on the SRS diagram. Having looked at the previous posts about BR (W)) UQ signals from 2014 we have an UQ western shunt arm on the SDR at Bishops Bridge. If i remember correctly it is ex Neasden. The main castings are BR(W). Will try to remember to photograph it when I'm there again.
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Adrian Crafer » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:27 am

I rechecked the casting patterns and contrary to what I said before, the rapping mark would suggest that quite a few disc castings were made. The pattern is marked "K" which means it was cast in Swindon. Unfortunately I have no Swindon records of patterns used for iron castings so cannot say how many castings were made.

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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Bob Davies » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:50 pm

Neasden South was a place that came into my mind as a possible location because it certainly had GW discs with upper quadrant main arms. Unfortunately, although I visited the box and did an inspection of the site, I cannot recall if I saw any upper-quadrant discs. (Since I did not know that such things existed, I would certainly not have been looking for them but a GW disc with its spectacles round the wrong way would certainly have looked odd.)

I have had a quick trawl on the internet for pictures of Neasden but I have not found anything which is clear enough to make a positive identification. Maybe someone out there has some better photos?
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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:10 pm

Bob Davies wrote:Neasden South was a place that came into my mind as a possible location because it certainly had GW discs with upper quadrant main arms. Unfortunately, although I visited the box and did an inspection of the site, I cannot recall if I saw any upper-quadrant discs. (Since I did not know that such things existed, I would certainly not have been looking for them but a GW disc with its spectacles round the wrong way would certainly have looked odd.)

I have had a quick trawl on the internet for pictures of Neasden but I have not found anything which is clear enough to make a positive identification. Maybe someone out there has some better photos?

I worked there and am pretty sure I would remember if there were any.

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Re: BR(W) Upper Quadrant Disc Signal

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:32 pm

I suppose the GW/GC joint line would be a good place to start looking for such a disc.
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