Signals

THE SIGNAL BOX


Railway signalling discussion

Cole Green Signal box & diagram

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

Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby KEVIN SMITH » Tue Aug 1, 2017 10:30 am

I thought I would start a new thread but is in fact a follow on from the Datchworth signal box below and related discussion on Molewood museum / Knebworth etc .
I well remember Molewood museum I went to its open days for several years until it closed as I did not live that far away. One item which caught my eye was the diagram from Cole Green signal cabin , I assume Jack bought it when the box closed in 1951/1953 ? . I think I saw it at Knebworth as well for a time until it to closed what happened to after that I do not know has anyone seen it in recent years perhaps in a private collection ?.

So can anyone tell me anything about this box and the signalling it controlled ? .It was the only Block post / passing place on the line Only snippets of info on the line can be found in books . However the fate of the box after closure is interesting as well as readers already will know.
I will recap for those who know nothing about this. The line closed to passengers in 1951 the box then was then reduced to a ground frame, some time between then and complete closure in 1953 the passing loop was removed I assume the single slip in the up line was replaced by a point ( Facing Hertford ) worked by a new outside ground frame was done at the same time ? Readers feel free to correct anything from now on! The box was relocated at Stapleford just a few miles away also mentioned below (More details on this needed ) when it closed again there in the late sixties at some unknown date ? It was then Jack purchased it did he put in his back garden ? or did it go straight to Knebworth as one of the block post up there with another frame ? from here on its fate is much the same as every thing else up there the story goes cold after 2004 . Has any one heard anything about the box since then ?
KEVIN SMITH
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Dec 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram; (& Stapleford, Herts.)

Unread postby StevieG » Tue Aug 1, 2017 11:04 pm

I can say that Cole Green could be switched out while the line was still open : - A Reliefman whom I once met when he occasionally covered New Barnet South in 1968/9, had used to work Cole Green, and said that the switching out process was quite complicated (as most such boxes were) in making it possible to have signals in both directions 'Off' at the same time, and making the change from short to long section working.

Also, Stapleford had been abolished (as a block post at least), I think certainly by 1968; I tend to believe before 1967.
From a couple of B&W photos of Stapleford, seen a few years ago, when the 'box' 'hut' ('single storey', at ground level) was in position (side view only, but giving an impression that it may well have been smaller than I would've expected Cole Green box to have been), the signalman's 5-lever frame was still outdoors in the Up cess close to one end of girder-work of an underbridge (the skew one over the main Hertford-Stevenage road seeming to be the only contender), virtually opposite the 'hut'.

The hut looked a little pristine (so, possibly looking as if not long after it was set up in position), but on the other hand I recall another reliefman I used to know, who covered Stapleford when it was still operational, relating that the Down and Up lines had to be crossed when moving between the Block Insts. & bells, and the levers, as if that's how it had always remained.
Last edited by StevieG on Fri Aug 4, 2017 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
StevieG
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 3013
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:30 am
Location: ex-GNR territory in N. Herts.

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby David Holden » Wed Aug 2, 2017 10:16 pm

This I believe is Stapleford, with its ground frame opposite, looking rather new.
http://www.trainweb.org/singleline/imag ... leford.jpg

This is Mole Wood at the time of the auction at Flegborough, Norfolk.
http://www.trainweb.org/singleline/imag ... orough.jpg

The box and contents (one lot) were purchased by Statfold Barn, however they did not want the box, which I purchased from them.
Mole Wood at the Beacon Hill Light Railway, with new windows fitted, the old were a mixture of Crittal and wooden.
http://www.trainweb.org/singleline/imag ... nitial.jpg

The box was not in good condition when it arrived and had to be extensively restored. The method of construction was not to the standard you would expect of the railways, I expect it was made by Jack from recovered timber, possibly from Stapleford.

For operational reasons it was decided to move the door to the other end.
http://www.trainweb.org/singleline/imag ... 0Final.jpg
David Holden
User avatar
David Holden
Branch line box
Branch line box
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:09 am
Location: Cold Norton, Essex

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram; (& Stapleford, Herts.)

Unread postby StevieG » Thu Aug 3, 2017 12:03 am

Thanks v.m. for those David.
I've a feeling that that first B&W one was one of the very photos which I described : Illustrates my theory that the structure looks possibly too small to have accommodated the length of frame that I would've expected Cole Green to have needed.

In case of interest, the 5-lever frame worked the same functions as the frame at (actually, in!) the other two 'Block Huts' on this line, Bayford and Watton : - Distant (1 & 5) and Home (2 & 4) for each main line, and No. 3 for the one points connection (which had no shunt signals), from one main line to the sidings on the opposite side, crossing the other main line by a fixed diamond crossing - in this case (unlike at the other two), Up line to Down Sidings.

[ Realising that this is now not much about Cole Green, apologies.]
Last edited by StevieG on Fri Aug 4, 2017 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
StevieG
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 3013
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:30 am
Location: ex-GNR territory in N. Herts.

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby KEVIN SMITH » Thu Aug 3, 2017 10:02 am

Many thanks for the info so far . A photo of Cole green box can be found on the disused stations site the box appears a lot longer then Stapelford enough for a 20 lever frame . This means that it was completely rebuilt by British rail to nearly half its original size and what with the work done on it over the years since then one wonders how much of the original Cole green box is still there ! But it good to know it is still around in some form.
Another photo on the same site shows that the up loop starter was ( Because of the sharp left hand bend ) put on the right hand side this means that when the box was switched out this to had to be pulled off as well because all trains would use the down line would this be correct ?
KEVIN SMITH
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Dec 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Aug 3, 2017 11:31 am

The only picture I can see on that web site - http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/c/cole_green/ - would appear to be the in the eighth image down the page and that is such a distant view that it is impossible to judge the architecture. Nor is it possible to judge the length of the box as it is viewed end on but I can tell you that it had a 30-lever frame and not 20.

To be honest, this is the first association I have heard of Cole Green and Stapleford and as there appear to be so many differences I feel I have to ask you your source for this information. It is certainly an interesting hypothesis.

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6801
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby KEVIN SMITH » Thu Aug 3, 2017 1:56 pm

John, try the first photo down below the OS map it might well be that the photo is a recent addition as I think the page dealing with Cole green has been updated ? as it is very old so it would be near the top of the page. As for the number of levers that was a quick guess on my part while I was writing it and I could not see why it would need anymore but now I have checked you are correct that only makes matters worse why so many ? the track layout was not that complex there must have been many spares ! Do you have a diagram some where ?
As for my source I used the signal box directory third edition page 83 note 239 I must admit I have not checked to see if a list of corrections has ever been printed since ! So I could be wrong, but why leave the signal box standing after demolishing the canopy they must have had plans for it.
KEVIN SMITH
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Dec 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Aug 3, 2017 8:44 pm

Thanks - I missed that as I didn't see it neseted inside the canopy! The distant view makes it look much further away than that.

Yes, I do have a diagram but it will take me a while to sort it out. From memory a good proportion of the levers were in use.

Best regards,

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6801
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram; (& Stapleford, Herts.)

Unread postby StevieG » Thu Aug 3, 2017 11:30 pm

John Hinson wrote: " .... Yes, I do have a diagram but it will take me a while to sort it out. From memory a good proportion of the levers were in use.

Best regards,

John "
If it saves you any trouble John, two of your Cole Green diagrams drawn long ago (+ 1 other of the same time, not in your hand, annotated "From GNR Diagram 12.83") show the box with a 30-lever frame : Yours of "Inspected 9-MAR-1892" had 5 levers unaccounted for; the other two quote 2 Spares.

FWIW KEVIN SMITH, the last of the three diagrams [John's "Source N"; "Layout date u" (unknown) ] has the layout consisting of : -
6 point levers
5 FPLs (with lock-bars)
1 Clearance Bar
6 main stop signals [7 levers; the single arm Up Home was worked by two (presumably an 'either or'; one for the Up loop when open, the other to the Down side line when switched out) ]
2 Distants
5 discs
1 gong
1 closing lever
2 spares.
KEVIN SMITH wrote: " .... Another photo on the same site shows that the up loop starter was ( Because of the sharp left hand bend ) put on the right hand side this means that when the box was switched out this to had to be pulled off as well because all trains would use the down line would this be correct ? "
From the above-mentioned diagrams, the Up Loop starter was in the usual left-hand position, but opposite that, there was a right-hand side sited Up Starter for the 'Down' side ('through') road, whose use would presumably have been only when the box was out-of-switch, or possibly if a train from Hatfield/WelwynGC was turned back towards there from the Down platform.
Last edited by StevieG on Sat Aug 5, 2017 9:06 am, edited 5 times in total.
BZOH

/
\ \ \ //\ \
/// \ \ \ \
StevieG
Double-manned box
Double-manned box
 
Posts: 3013
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:30 am
Location: ex-GNR territory in N. Herts.

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby John Hinson » Fri Aug 4, 2017 10:55 am

Thanks for filling in there, Steve - I will sort out the full diagram in due course as I'm sure it will be of interest to Kevin and probably others too.

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6801
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:04 pm

Here is a plan showing the signalling arrangements at Cole Green:
https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=1163

Best regards,

John
Image
‹(•¿•)›
User avatar
John Hinson
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6801
Joined: Thu Nov 8, 2007 1:13 pm
Location: at my computer

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby KEVIN SMITH » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:19 pm

Thanks John for digging this out it was well worth it ! . It is full of interest I do not know much about GNR signalling practice but I think it is rather complex for such a simple track layout not sure why there are trap points at the Welwyn end of the down platform perhaps it is a workable catch point ? (Slotted joint ? ) there maybe a incline here? there is also another set at the Hertford end of the up loop complete with its own disc signal. Of course until we know what kind of shunting moves were required in the station area we can only speculate. Then there is the facing point in the down main not unknown of course but rare as most goods trains backed in to goods yards perhaps it was for down cattle trains . I believe the cattle dock siding was just beyond the down starter . So if anyone has any further comments or theories about Cole green track layout or the signalling please write in.
KEVIN SMITH
Crossing box
Crossing box
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Dec 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Cole Green Signal box & diagram

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:13 pm

Would the Down platform be capable of reversible use when the box was open, or only when switched out, and would Up Distant 17 be released by 2 and 7 as well as by 18 & 19?
User avatar
Mike Hodgson
Main line box
Main line box
 
Posts: 2467
Joined: Fri Nov 9, 2007 5:30 pm
Location: N Herts


Return to Signalling - historical

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests