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Banbury resignalling

Current and future British signalling (UK except Northern Ireland)

Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby DaveHarries » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:20 pm

AndyB wrote:My money would be on saving small frames and boxes - fewer than 30 levers, good for a loop and sidings :)

I would be surprised if the Swanage Railway didn't eventually acquire a small frame for use at Furzebrook.

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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby Fay Singpoint » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:03 pm

AndyB wrote:We are running in that strange period where there is a glut of redundant equipment, and preserved railways simply won't have room to store it, while Network Rail will have limited uses for it.


At the risk of going off topic the reality is the opposite. There are a number of heritage railways desperate for redundant signalling equipment which simply goes in the scrap. North Lincs/Barnetby being one good example.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby LowdhamGPR » Tue Aug 2, 2016 2:47 pm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/43709405@ ... 8866731793

Some shots of North box took in June that may be of interest.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Sun Aug 7, 2016 7:50 pm

The bustitution finishes tonight and trains start tomorrow morning if all goes accrding to plan. I have not reported much as I hoped the preservation group would continue to contribute. They have not, but have put much detail on their Facebook page. See:-

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BanburyNorthSignalBox/
Last edited by JRB on Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby actonwells » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:43 pm

For the record the first train under the new signalling was 5U02 0400 Aylesbury to Banbury arriving at 0450 with units 165018 and 165028 on 08/08/16.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby John Webb » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:08 pm

Banbury North - I and another St Albans South member spent today (Sat 20th) at Banbury North acting as guides for the visits being held until the 2nd of October and to see the box for ourselves as well. An interesting experience - 4 tours with about 18 people on each trip, a mix mostly of locals and enthusiasts - some of the latter had come significant distances to visit the box. Visitors on leaving were given a very neat 16 page booklet outlining the recent changes made at Banbury, the history of Banbury and its railways, the need for signalling and the history of signalling - plus adverts for us, Princes Risborough, Epping signal cabin project and the Swindon Panel projects.

The organisers are now expecting some 2,500 visitors over the seven weeks the tours are taking place. Most of the chat was done by NR personnel who worked in the box or others in the locality - we helped answer questions about the levers, indicators and other things during the half-hour when people were being allowed to work the levers. Two video cameras in the locking room relayed images upstairs to show some of the interlocking moving when appropriate levers were pulled. A short video was shown of the box being worked before closure to conclude the tour - the last shot of the video was the final train signalled by the box departing to a traditional detonator fusillade!

In return for our efforts, we had a great opportunity to publicise St Albans South and have left a poster and a quantity of leaflets behind for other visitors. (The Princes Risborough box restoration, the Swindon Panel project and the Buckinghamshire Railway centre also had material on display.)

Edit: Three photos posted below on 8th Oct.
Last edited by John Webb on Sat Oct 8, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby LAMPMAN » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:53 am

I tried to book a visit on the web site for day and time that was shown that suited me due to my travelling and all I got was we would like to move your visit 4 days back from the date I selected or a 1 week forward which I could not make due to work. I found the people who deal with the visits not very helpful at all so I cancelled and I never bothered to try and book another visit after that.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:51 am

They have been surprised at the amount of interest shown and seem to be struggling a bit to fit people in. I may be seeing some of the organiseers in a few days' time.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:45 pm

JRB wrote:They have been surprised at the amount of interest shown and seem to be struggling a bit to fit people in. I may be seeing some of the organiseers in a few days' time.

Mark Bennett, the project manager for the works at Banbury, said that they had expected a couple of hundred visitors, and had indeed been somewhat surprised when booking requests reached the 2,500 mark! Great shame that on three of the four tours we were on, there were some unannounced 'no shows' - hence the average of 18 rather than the 20/22 persons per visit they were aiming for, I understand.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:42 pm

Today part of BBC Radio Oxford's breakfast show came live from Banbury North box complete with block bells and routing codes explained. The BBC Oxford TV news programmes should have included films from the box, but I was not around to check on this.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:52 pm

Bookings now exceed 3000 instead of the 200 originally expected. It is still possible to book, though choice of dates/times may be limited. Visitors have included a number with past connections with the boxes. The CCTV of the mechanical locking in action and the video of the box when working go down well. Bookings are on: https://banburynorth.youcanbook.me

Moderator Note: Link address correctedThank you Mr. Moderator. Sorry it was necessary.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:00 pm

Maybe this should be in the heritage section now, but here it is initially. There are considerable developments announced as:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SALVAGE BANBURY NORTH SIGNAL BOX - THE PLAN

As the end of the tours approaches, a detailed salvage plan has been evolved with Network Rail, Siemens, the Banbury North Signal Box group and various heritage partners, including the Princes Risborough North Signal Box project.

Banbury North will still disappear from its present site, but if all goes according to plan, its final demise and ongoing legacy promise to be in complete contrast to those of Banbury South.

Essentially NR have agreed to gift to a consortium of the Banbury North project and other heritage groups the following:
• the entire lever frame and interlocking,
• relays,
• block shelf (but not instruments),
• illuminated diagram,
• GWR shelves and cupboards,
• windows, doors and internal toilet / lobby, and
• anything else useful that survives demolition, including any undamaged structural woodwork.

The materials are to be saved for the restoration of Princes Risborough Borth Box, for a planned replica Banbury North at a heritage railway to be announced in due course and for a planned cameo of a corner of the inside of the box for local display.

Because of the 'live' rail environment, all dismantling work will be carried out by a Siemens engineering team. The heritage partners will provide specialist tools and an advisory team of heritage S&T specialists with experience of working on similar fsignal boxes, either on BR in days gone by, or today's heritage railways.

Just as the signal box tours have become an outstanding exemplar of community outreach and collaborative working between Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, local rail staff, the Banbury North Signal Box group and other heritage partners, the plan is that the Banbury North recovery project becomes the template for a new national NR strategy for the recovery of heritage signalling materials for heritage use.

Whilst the planning has involved substantial input in time from all of the partners, Network Rail has generously offered to fund the entire project, including purchase of shipping / storage containers. The principal costs to fall on the heritage partners will be the costs of transport, crates and racking.

Money raised to date will be used towards the transport costs etc. Appeals will be launched in due course for the remainder of the transport costs, the proposed replica Banbury North project, the local cameo and for the purchase at auction, if possible, of items such as the Banbury North and Banbury South name plates for local display.

After a lifetime of keeping our trains safe and after generating so much interest and good will, it will be a great shame to look at the empty space where Banbury North Box used to be. The recovery project nevertheless offers the promise that Banbury North will live on, not just in its physical parts, but also in a legacy of changed thinking about how redundant railway assets can continue to have an active role on today's railway, or in heritage use.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I gather that one factor in NR's action was the reaction of one of their top management (I won't mention the name yet) to news, probably with video, of the Banbury South incident which destroyed not only potential strategic spares but also material promised to and possibly paid for by heritage bodies.

The quoted item is from the Banbury North website and written by their leading member Rob Kinchin-Smith who drew my attention to it yesterday.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Mon Oct 3, 2016 10:45 am

Yesterday afternoon visits ceased and detonators were heard.
A closing ceremony was held starting at 17:00 and including a ceremonial 7-5-5 and handing the key back to NR. Some dismantling started before we dispersed.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby JRB » Fri Oct 7, 2016 9:49 pm

Box largely cleared of signalling items and other furniture/equipment. Mostly being stored carefully in shipping containers. Polished lever handles having protective paint for example. Much is expected to be used in a new box on a shortly to be revived line - location withheld pending soothing of nimbys.

See Banbury North Facebook site for up-to-date details.
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Re: Banbury resignalling

Unread postby John Webb » Sat Oct 8, 2016 2:06 pm

Sorry these weren't posted before - taken during my sessions at Banbury North on 20th Aug as one of the guides for the day.
From the south end of the box during the chat:
Image

From the north end of the box while people were being allowed to work the levers:
Image

And the domestic facilities at the north end:
Image
Note the large TV screen showing a general view of the interlocking downstairs - this could be switched to a close-up of part of the interlocking so it could be seen moving. The video at the end of the tour was also shown on this.
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