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North Wales resignalling

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North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mike Stone » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:22 pm

I seem to recall having seen somewhere a list of the proposed changes between Flint and Llandudno - can anyone point me to it please?
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Alan Roberts » Sun Mar 2, 2014 10:45 pm

Mike Stone wrote:I seem to recall having seen somewhere a list of the proposed changes between Flint and Llandudno - can anyone point me to it please?


Summary of changes will include closure of Rockcliffe Hall, Holywell Junction, Mostyn, Talacre, Tyn y Morfa Crossing, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Abergele, Deganwy and Llandudno.
There are changes from the original plan which originally should have taken place this year but now been put back till late 2015 early 2016. Modular signalling will apply and controlled from South Wales Control Centre at Cardiff.
Briefly the changes will be - installation of a facing and trailing crossovers at Flint, a new bi directional loop at Mostyn a new facing and trailing connections at Rhyl and abolition of the down loop at Abergele with the down platform extended towards the present down main through the station. All this of course is off the original plan and have been told that there will be changes again when another plan drawn out. All points and crossings at Rockcliffe Hall, Holywell Junction, Talacre and Abergele will be abolished. There are possibilities that the former up fast will be relaid through Rhyl but yet to be confirmed !

The section of line west of Llandudno Junction towards Holyhead including Llandudno Jct SB and the Conwy Valley line will take place approx 2020 up to now - all subject to delay and re schedule of course.
Oh no - Signal wire snapped again !!!

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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mike Stone » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:13 pm

The Network Change proposals are now on line and the responses are quite interesting.
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http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browsedire ... g%20Phase1
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The ATW one suggests that crossing timings sequences will vary according to train headcodes - presumably this means by calling points rather than train type (presumably "not to stop orders" will be banned), while the Virgin response wants trains to be run using the bi-di facility to maintain route knowledge, which to my mind is absolute rubbish. I seem to recall that practice was abolished on the Brighton mainline after an accident when the driver of the train concerned forgot he was going up the down or vice versa?
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby StevieG » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:29 pm

That Brighton line collision (Copyhold?) was long before the advent of TPWS which would now be at least a minimum provision approaching locations of possible train movements' conflict.

I've no idea what is done (if anything) nowadays for practical maintenance of 'wrong-direction' route knowledge. There might even be variation on this between areas/train Operators.

I'd imagine that the type (degree of comprehensiveness: e.g., 'Reduced Capacity' or 'Full', or whatever terminology might now be in use) of bi-di signalling adopted might also possible have a bearing [or is the 'bi-di' referred to already there? - Genuine SIMBIDS?].
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mad Mac » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:11 pm

Mike Stone wrote:The Network Change proposals are now on line and the responses are quite interesting.
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http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browsedire ... g%20Phase1

The ATW one suggests that crossing timings sequences will vary according to train headcodes - presumably this means by calling points rather than train type (presumably "not to stop orders" will be banned)


Appears that they're using headcode to determine Stop/Non Stop crossing operation. Nice idea in theory, but as has been alluded to, it takes away some degree of flexibility.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mike Stone » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:59 pm

StevieG wrote:
I've no idea what is done (if anything) nowadays for practical maintenance of 'wrong-direction' route knowledge. There might even be variation on this between areas/train Operators.

I'd imagine that the type (degree of comprehensiveness: e.g., 'Reduced Capacity' or 'Full', or whatever terminology might now be in use) of bi-di signalling adopted might .

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The signals and speed indicators are there whether they apply to the train concerned not, and if the driver knows which signals to obey when running right line then he must know which ones to ignore because they apply to the wrong line.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby StevieG » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:02 pm

Mike Stone wrote:
StevieG wrote: " I've no idea what is done (if anything) nowadays for practical maintenance of 'wrong-direction' route knowledge. There might even be variation on this between areas/train Operators. .... "
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The signals and speed indicators are there whether they apply to the train concerned not, and if the driver knows which signals to obey when running right line then he must know which ones to ignore because they apply to the wrong line.
One point I was trying to make is that some train Operators might have policies &/or practices in place, perhaps reached in negotiation with trade union(s) (and which relevant NR areas/Routes would then need to facilitate) for drivers to periodically run 'wrong road', which may appear to differ from, or go beyond, what others may see as sufficient and sensible.
Last edited by StevieG on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby edwin_m » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:26 pm

Mad Mac wrote:
Mike Stone wrote:The ATW one suggests that crossing timings sequences will vary according to train headcodes - presumably this means by calling points rather than train type (presumably "not to stop orders" will be banned)


Appears that they're using headcode to determine Stop/Non Stop crossing operation. Nice idea in theory, but as has been alluded to, it takes away some degree of flexibility.


If I understand correctly, this just refers to the control that keeps the crossing barriers raised and the platform starter at danger if a train is approaching that is due to stop at the station, and then presumably starts the barrier sequence in time for the signal to be clear at departure time.

It follows that if a train is making an unscheduled stop, the system will lower the barriers and clear the signal as it approaches and the barriers will remain down during the station stop and until the train passes over the crossing. This isn't a major hazard providing it doesn't happen often enough for road drivers to start expecting that the barriers will descend a long time before the train arrives.

In the opposite situation a train not making a scheduled stop would be brought to a stand at the platform starter. Again this isn't a safety issue but it somewhat defeats the objective. However "non-stop orders" should be rare compared with "stop orders" and there is presumably also a manual override for this type of situation, which could also be used in the event of a "stop order".
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:36 pm

StevieG wrote:One point I was trying to make is that some NR areas/Routes and/or train Operators may have policies &/or practices in place for drivers to periodically run 'wrong road' which may appear to differ from, or go beyond, what others my see as sufficient and sensible.


I would have thought that would be difficult to achieve unless the drivers and the infrastructure were under a common corporate/management structure. It's all very well for a TOC to say we want Driver Jones to run bang road today, but NR can't signal him that way when there's other traffic about in the opposite direction. Equally, if NR decide they want their signallers to keep their hand in and practice the bi-di when it's operationally convenient, they don't have any control of who's rostered to drive the services affected.

In any case, if you decide that experience of each available track is needed, you are implying that a driver who has only ever driven the lines he is booked to work is deficient in route knowledge. If you take this to its logical conclusion, there would be no point in having any flexibility in your signalling. You can't have drivers saying "I'm only passed out for running right road" or even "I'll have to run Fast Road - I don't know the Slow"! Though I heard there might have been something of that nature happening just after our brand new flyover was commissioned?
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mike Stone » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:26 pm

Virgin don't seem to bother elsewhere - nothing is booked bang road on the TV, and Sunday possessions are given up before midday, or in the case of the down before the first LM train, so hardly sufficient to maintain universal knowledge.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby StevieG » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:04 pm

(I had since amended that wording somewhat but not to alter the meaning by much.)

I'm sure that suggesting 'wrong road' running for individual drivers according to 'who was doing which diagram' on a particular day would be quite unmanageable unless requested by a TOC at a very quiet time which would not conflict with other traffic. If anything of the kind was to be done I'd think it would have to be a timetabled path, and be deemed something like adequate against any perceived need on the basis of all drivers theoretically working the relevant diagram at some time during the depot's overall roster.

Not sure I follow the point which includes reference to needing drivers and infrastructure under one management, rather than being achievable by inter-company collaboration. Why would that be necessary for that, when the present separate parties directly participating in UK rail operation have to act jointly in other unplanned situations such as recovering services back to normal after unplanned disruption.

Anyway, I don't propose to debate main point further.
I was not stating or implying that I see any modern day necessity for such 'wrong road' running 'practice' measures : But merely, without my having current knowledge of all TOC/FOC views on such things, pointing out that, whatever policies/practices many experienced railway people not involved in modern-day driver route knowledge retention practices may think to be entirely satisfactory, the reality might be different; perhaps even over-prescriptive.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby edwin_m » Thu May 1, 2014 12:22 am

There are various timetabled moves over what would otherwise be diversionary routes for a particular TOC, typically early/late or on Sundays, and these are I believe provided so the operator can rotate its drivers through the relevant crew diagram and maintain their route knowledge.

However I'm not clear why route knowledge should entail having to use the bi-directional facilities - after all it doesn't require using all tracks, connections or signalled routes on a particular section. But would there be an issue if the two tracks separated so the wrong-direction view couldn't readily be seen from the right direction on the adjacent track?
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby yorksman » Thu May 1, 2014 9:02 am

Indeed Edwin. The 2200 Kings Cross to Newcastle runs via Askern daily giving a tour of Yorkshire by night: to name but one.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Thu May 1, 2014 9:59 am

Likewise the Chiltern train to Paddington.
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Re: North Wales resignalling

Unread postby Mike Stone » Thu May 1, 2014 10:38 am

yorksman wrote:Indeed Edwin. The 2200 Kings Cross to Newcastle runs via Askern daily giving a tour of Yorkshire by night: to name but one.

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I haven't checked recently but I understand those Askern routed trains are far from reliable that way - on the other hand XC seem to stick to theirs.
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Having recently had a conversation with a driver who supposedly signed the route and didn't know which line was the up main at Shrewsbury and a VT driver who appeared to be unaware of the raising of line speed between Norton Bridge and Crewe, you do have to wonder.
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