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"Cutaway" Bays

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

"Cutaway" Bays

Unread postby euryalus » Thu Nov 2, 2017 8:48 am

The term "bay platform" normally implies a subsidiary platform for terminating trains or parcels traffic. Such platforms are usually dead-end platforms sited in or at the rear of main through platforms. However, in a limited number of cases, bays can be "cutaway" platforms inserted into the outer face of a main line platform - two examples being at Cheltenham Malvern Road and Wellingborough Midland Road. I would like to pose two questions about these "cutaways": do they have a correct technical name? And what was the attitude of the Board of Trade to the use of such platforms (was there, for example, a problem with the lack of a sloping platform ramp on the main platform?)
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Re: "Cutaway" Bays

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Thu Nov 2, 2017 5:37 pm

I don't think this is really a signalling question.

The 1950 "Requirements and Recommendations" said "The descent at the ends of platforms to be by ramps and not by steps", which does not mean that you necessarily had to be able to get off the end, but perhaps it became practice as the companies might see it as an implied requirement. I don't think the BoT favoured ramps in all situations - eg into a tunnel. I can't help wondering why the BoT would want access at all as it seems to be an invitation to trespass. Perhaps it was for the safety of staff whose duties needed them to reach the cess (before the days of PTS and safe walking routes of course), and that just wouldn't arise at your cutaway bays as one would continue at platform level to end of the bay.
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Re: "Cutaway" Bays

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Nov 2, 2017 7:02 pm

Mike Hodgson wrote:I don't think this is really a signalling question.

The 1950 "Requirements and Recommendations" said "The descent at the ends of platforms to be by ramps and not by steps", which does not mean that you necessarily had to be able to get off the end, but perhaps it became practice as the companies might see it as an implied requirement. I don't think the BoT favoured ramps in all situations - eg into a tunnel. I can't help wondering why the BoT would want access at all as it seems to be an invitation to trespass. Perhaps it was for the safety of staff whose duties needed them to reach the cess (before the days of PTS and safe walking routes of course), and that just wouldn't arise at your cutaway bays as one would continue at platform level to end of the bay.

I have seen ramps into tunnels. I think you will find the ramps are nothing to do with access and everything to do with passenger safety, e.g. a passenger being dragged.

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Re: "Cutaway" Bays

Unread postby euryalus » Thu Nov 2, 2017 8:11 pm

I assumed that the question was relevant to a signalling forum insofar as it deals with the nomenclature of station track diagrams (?)
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Re: "Cutaway" Bays

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Fri Nov 3, 2017 2:29 pm

Ramps are currently out of favour because they are seen as (a) an invitation to trespass and (b) expensive. They were originally required to provide a route for the easy transfer of passengers, luggage and goods between platforms. Increases in traffic, train speeds and safety consciousness meant that alternative routes (bridges, subways and lifts) were provided and in due course became compulsory for new works. The safety benefit of having a ramp rather than a drop at the end of the platform was important in the days of trains with unpowered doors, but nowadays there is a presumption that there will be arrangements to stop any door that is unplatformed from being opened.

There are examples (eg Woking platform 3) where a ramp exists at the end of a main platform alongside the buffers of the "cutaway" bay.

I don't think the nomenclature of platforms is something that has ever featured on signal box diagrams with any degree of consistency, and this query doesn't really belong on here.
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