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Drakelow Power Stations

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

Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Wed Aug 2, 2017 9:58 pm

In his book A Railwaymans Odyssey ,Stanley Hall writes that the internal railway at the Drakelow power stations was so complex that the CEGB had its own power signalbox. What is known about this box?
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Sun Aug 6, 2017 10:07 pm

http://www.powerstationsrevisited.org.u ... side04.jpg
Above is a link showing the layout at Drakelow. Being a web site that is only concerned with the power station itself the railway operating side of things is not mentioned.
For those that have a copy of Stans book the box is mentioned at the bottom of page 221.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Nick Allsop » Wed Sep 6, 2017 2:45 pm

Yes, there was a panel operated by power station staff, from memory it controlled the trackwork and unloading signals around the bunker for Drakelow C Station. I've got a photo somewhere.
There was also the little Drakelow Power Sidings Frame - LMR type 15 that controlled the triangle between the east and West arrival and departure roads. It later gained a couple of switches too when 'B' station was upgraded for MGR working, at the same time another small switch panel opened in the new unloading bunker for 'B', a similar setup to that provided at Willington.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Wed Sep 6, 2017 3:17 pm

Ashley Hill wrote:In his book A Railwaymans Odyssey ,Stanley Hall writes that the internal railway at the Drakelow power stations was so complex that the CEGB had its own power signalbox. What is known about this box?

Quite a few power stations had their own CEGB (for our younger readers: Central Electricity Generating Board) signalling panels for the internal portion of the railway network. Drax, Rugely B and Didcot come immediately to mind.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Wed Sep 6, 2017 7:10 pm

Thanks for you're replies gents. Were these panels off the shelf products from known manufacturers? If so, were they IFS or NX etc. Would CEGB have had a standard? Likewise were the operators classed as signallers or qualified operators? So many questions!!!
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby RDNA » Wed Sep 6, 2017 8:33 pm

Post by Ashley Hill » Wed Sep 6, 2017 7:10 pm

..... Likewise were the operators classed as signallers or qualified operators? So many questions!!!


I visited Ratcliffe Power Station coal loop and control room on a DMU special organised by the divisional manager Birimingham as part of a 'Modern Railway Operating' course in 1973/4.

The visit reached Ratcliffe on a Saturday afternoon and the control panel was in a large room along with lots of equipment cabinets as I recall.

It resembled a railway signalling panel with the coal and ash loops shown diagrammatically but also showed the network of coal conveyor belts with numeric counters clicking away as the operator moved coal stocks around the site.

I hope this brief description is of some help in understanding how these installations worked.

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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Danny252 » Thu Sep 7, 2017 9:06 am

John Tilly's site has photos of the control panels at Ironbridge and Rugeley (links at bottom of page): http://www.tillyweb.biz/gallery/misc/misc.htm

I believe the BPSR has some information on the CEGB installations?
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Thu Sep 7, 2017 4:25 pm

Thanks. Yes some excellent shots. Trying to figure out Ironbridges manufacturer. Enlarging the photo distorts it but it appears to say Integar Systems.
I first thought the cctv screens at Rugeley were associated with the crossing on the panel but it appears to be for random cameras around the site hence the map beside it.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby MarstonMoor » Thu Sep 7, 2017 7:15 pm

It was not only the CEGB that had signalling panels for their internal rail network, the NCB did as well.

When I was at Gascogine Wood mine doing my Student Apprenticeship I was trained on the then new NX panel controlling the Loading Bunkers and run rounds in order to assist with the commissioning. The panel included east and west slots to the adjacent Gascoigne Wood SB. Full 3/4 aspect CL signals, position light GS, Toton signals for the loaders and full track circuiting.

There was also an associated relay room on the Colliery site, owned by the NCB and maintained by BR.

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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby RDNA » Thu Sep 7, 2017 7:27 pm

Post by Ashley Hill » Thu Sep 7, 2017 4:25 pm

Thanks. Yes some excellent shots. Trying to figure out Ironbridges manufacturer. Enlarging the photo distorts it but it appears to say Integar Systems.


I think it's Integra Systems Ashley, there was a small blockshelf mounted panel of very similar construction, with the same logo on a corner tile, in Stafford No 1 when I went there at the end of 1971, it was for the Penkridge area. When No 1 closed in 1974 it went to Stafford No 4 for a while until replaced by buttons on an enlarged 'down man's diagram'.

Purely a guess, was 'Integra Systems' the supplier of the 'domino tiles' used to make up the panels?

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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Thu Sep 7, 2017 7:31 pm

Hello Tim, I wasn't aware the NCB had such panels although I've seen mechanical boxes. I suppose that opens up a whole new subject! Was Gascoigne Wood a newish colliery?
Did/does BR/NR maintain all such installations that this topic discusses?
Thanks DB, the tile suggestion seems logical.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Romsey » Thu Sep 7, 2017 9:21 pm

Gascoine Wood "super mine"was built in the late 1970's and the ECML was diverted due to fears of subsidence affecting the old route from Selby to Colton Jn south of York. It was heralded as the future of deep coal mining Yorkshire.

I think that the National Coal Board paid for much of the cost of the new line via Hambleton Jns.

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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby Richard Pike » Fri Sep 8, 2017 9:41 am

Danny252 wrote:John Tilly's site has photos of the control panels at Ironbridge and Rugeley (links at bottom of page): http://www.tillyweb.biz/gallery/misc/misc.htm

I believe the BPSR has some information on the CEGB installations?


The Rugeley panel was renewed around six years ago. I have the old one.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Fri Sep 8, 2017 3:59 pm

Richard Pike wrote:
Danny252 wrote:John Tilly's site has photos of the control panels at Ironbridge and Rugeley (links at bottom of page): http://www.tillyweb.biz/gallery/misc/misc.htm

I believe the BPSR has some information on the CEGB installations?


The Rugeley panel was renewed around six years ago. I have the old one.


The old panel is of ML Engineering Manufacture. It used a clear front plastic sheet called DARVIC with reversed LETRASET for the text and track lines etc. applied to the back. Once this was applied it was sprayed grey (or in some cases, green) to complete it. I still have some of the reversed LETRASET somewhere :roll:

Rugely B power station is closed now, I believe.
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Re: Drakelow Power Stations

Unread postby left » Fri Sep 8, 2017 4:48 pm

RDNA wrote:
Post by Ashley Hill » Thu Sep 7, 2017 4:25 pm

Thanks. Yes some excellent shots. Trying to figure out Ironbridges manufacturer. Enlarging the photo distorts it but it appears to say Integar Systems.


I think it's Integra Systems Ashley, there was a small blockshelf mounted panel of very similar construction, with the same logo on a corner tile, in Stafford No 1 when I went there at the end of 1971, it was for the Penkridge area. When No 1 closed in 1974 it went to Stafford No 4 for a while until replaced by buttons on an enlarged 'down man's diagram'.

Purely a guess, was 'Integra Systems' the supplier of the 'domino tiles' used to make up the panels?

DB


Definitely yes, it's the Swiss company's logo.
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