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Wherry lines queries

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Wherry lines queries

Unread postby colin1501 » Mon Sep 7, 2015 7:52 pm

I have one or two queries about signalling on the Wherry Lines (Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft). I hope it's okay to lump them together in one post.

At Brundall, the level crossing is operated by a crossing keeper, being remote from the signalbox. The signalman sounds a bell in the crossing keeper's hut when he needs the gates closed, but I'm interested to know if there's any form of interlocking between the gates and the protecting signals. In a similar set-up that used to exist at Wye in Kent, there was a rodding linkage between the crossing keeper's hut and the signalbox - presumably a mechanical interlocking between the gate lock lever and the frame in the box. There is nothing similar (that I can see) at Brundall, so presumably if there is any interlocking it must be electrical?

At Strumpshaw crossing, the gates are worked by a crossing keeper but there are no protecting signals (not even distants, as at the two crossings at Lingwood on the Acle line). What are the arrangements for protection? Is it a case of the gates normally being closed to road traffic, and only being opened to allow vehicles across provided there is no train in the section?

Finally, I believe the single line between Reedham Junction and Great Yarmouth via Berney Arms is worked by tokenless block, unlike the track circuit block with acceptance levers on the Acle line. Can anyone confirm if this is the case, and perhaps explain very briefly how tokenless block works?

All info gratefully received.

Colin
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby ex Probationer » Mon Sep 7, 2015 9:37 pm

At Brundall, KeyLocks are fitted to the gates. The keys are released when the gates are closed and locked to road traffic, the keys are then placed in the KeyLock unit panel in the Crossing Keepers hut. The Keys are locked by the unit and the signals are released. Alternatively, when no Crossing Keeper is provided the Signaller can operate the gates and has a KeyLock unit in the signal box which operates in the same manner.

Brundall Junction Crossing KeyLock Unit
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Photo taken in July 2010 by ex_Probationer when on duty.

The protection at Strumpshaw is as you describe. The crossing keeper has Block Indicators which show when a train is 'In Section' or 'Approaching the Section'. During this time the gates must be kept closed unless the train has passed and no other train is 'In Section' or 'Approaching the Section'.

The Tokenless Block uses an outdated GEC FDM 1000 Vital Reed transmission system running in cables from Reedham via Brundall to Yarmouth to transfer Block information for the single line between Reedham Junction and Yarmouth Vauxhall. This is a similar system to that in use on the single line between Chippenham Junction and Dullingham.

Tokenless Block Unit at Yarmouth Vauxhall (for Reedham Single Line)
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Photo taken in 2010 by ex_Probationer when on duty.

Edited 08/09/2015 to add photo's
Last edited by ex Probationer on Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby colin1501 » Tue Sep 8, 2015 8:15 pm

Thanks exProbationer - that's really helpful, especially the pictures. Can I ask a couple of supplementary questions?

Presumably there is some form of electrical interlocking between the keylock unit in Brundall crossing box and the relevant levers in the frame in the signalbox? And I assume there is no crossing keeper on the night turn, which is when the signaller will work the gates and use the keylock unit in the signalbox?

On tokenless block, can you tell me a little more about how it works from the signaller's point of view. Is there a similar unit to the one shown above in Reedham Junction box as well, or does the Yarmouth signaller have overriding control of the section? Also, I assume the protecting signals (controlling entry to the single line section at each end) are locked/released by these instruments.

Thanks again,

Colin
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby ex Probationer » Tue Sep 8, 2015 9:06 pm

Yes, the keylock units would be electrically interlocked with the Gate Release lever in the signal box. Unfortunately, I have no idea of the staff shift patterns at Brundall, I only know a duplicate keylock unit is provided for use by the Signaller when required.

Sorry, I don't have a Signallers knowledge of Tokenless Block operation, but I do know that there is a similar Tokenless Block unit on the blockshelf at Reedham Junction. I assume the Tokenless Block units require some kind of mutual operation by both Signallers. It would seem reasonable to expect that the signals controlling entry to the single line would be released by the Tokenless Block.

I'm sure others on this forum who better know the system may be able to provide a more satisfactory answer.
Last edited by ex Probationer on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby colin1501 » Wed Sep 9, 2015 7:31 am

Thanks again for your help.

On shift patterns, I read somehwere about the gate box at Brundall only being staffed on early and late turns, not overnight, and the signaller being provided with a pushbike to travel quickly between the box and the gates! However, a look at the latest Network Rail 'compendium of signalbox opening times' indicates the gate box is staffed continuously.

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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Wed Sep 9, 2015 8:41 am

The original tokenless block system installed in the late 1950s (to improve line capacity to allow the M&GN to be closed IIRC) was controlled by direction levers at each end of the section. I don't know what the current system is.
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby John Hinson » Wed Sep 9, 2015 2:24 pm

colin1501 wrote:On shift patterns, I read somehwere about the gate box at Brundall only being staffed on early and late turns, not overnight, and the signaller being provided with a pushbike to travel quickly between the box and the gates! However, a look at the latest Network Rail 'compendium of signalbox opening times' indicates the gate box is staffed continuously.

You are correct that this was one of many locations on the GE where crossings were not manned on night shgift owing to the small amount of traffic on both road and rail but I'm not sure about the bicycle being "provided".

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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby ex Probationer » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:56 am

colin1501 wrote:
On tokenless block, can you tell me a little more about how it works from the signaller's point of view. Is there a similar unit to the one shown above in Reedham Junction box as well ......


Following some research, I've prepared the following which is a much simplied explanation extracted from the book 'Railway Control Systems-1980, pages 97&98'. See also my earlier post showing the photo of the Tokenless Block Unit provided in the signalbox at either end of the single line section.

BR Tokenless Block Operation

Consider an UP train to pass through a single line section between signalbox Y and signalbox Z.

At X, the Signaller should have placed the commutator to ACCEPT.(With no trains - Generally considered as the normal position)

At Y, the Signaller places the commutator to NORMAL, and presses and holds the OFFER button.

At Z, the system system checks that the Up Home, Up Distant and Down Starting signals are normal and places the block indicators at both boxes to TRAIN ACCEPTED.

At Y, the system maintains the the initial offer, enabling the Signaller to release the offer button. The Up Starting signal may now be cleared for one train only.

At Y, the occupation of the Up Starting signal overlap track circuit causes the system to place the block indicators at both signalboxes to TRAIN IN SECTION.

At Z, the action of the train occupying and releasing the berth and overlap tracks of the Up Home signal and operating a treadle prepares for the normalisation of the block. The Signaller after ensuring the train is complete places the commutator to NORMAL and presses and holds the TRAIN ARRIVED button which causes the block indicators at both signalboxes to be placed at NORMAL, enabling the Signaller to release the TRAIN ARRIVED button.

The Tokenless Block is now normalised for the next movement.

With no trains, the commutator may be placed to ACCEPT. (This is considered as being the normal position)

Edited 10/09/2015 to take account of the corrections suggested by Pete2320
Last edited by ex Probationer on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby Pete2320 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:22 am

Just to add a couple of points to ex Probationers explanation of Tokenless Block:
No bell signals are used. The normal position of the acceptance switch is actually "Accept" so the first thing the signalman wishing to send a train must do is place his switch to "Normal"! There is no requirement to communicate with the box in advance, indeed the system was designed to allow the signalmen to engage in other duties between trains.
This is the BR standard system and the instrument shown up thread is the BR standard instrument. The so called Western Region Tokenless Block is actually the same but put into a WR style instrument (THe TB instruments at Barrow in Furness and Park South are, uniquely I think, an adaption of the BR standard block instrument).
Scottish Region Tokenless Block is a completely different system and involves the conventional exchange of bell signals, ILC, TOL and TOS.

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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:20 am

Yes, as Pete says. Also, in emergency situations the position of the acceptance switch was moved from Accept to Normal and the Train Arrived button was not to be used.

BR issued a 16-page supplement to the "apple green" in March 1968; this applied both to the all regions except WR and to the WR only versions of the book, entitled Regulations for Train Signalling on Single Lines by the Tokenless Block System. At the same date the ScR issued a 62-page book; their instrument included an indicator showing Normal/Train going to/ Train Coming From positions, and a commutator with Normal/Reverse positions, and the man in advance could not leave it at Accept, as he had to hold the ringing key to accept a train. Operation of ScR TB was therefore much more akin to using a key token instrument.

Advantages of TB over EKT were of course that there were no keys to issue and possibly lose down the embankment, no need to rebalance if there was a directional bias to traffic flow, no need to slow down for token exchange as you drove to signals, and that because there were no key configurations to worry about, you could provide switching out facilities without needing another set of instruments for long section working.
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby ex Probationer » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:08 pm

Pete2320 wrote:Just to add a couple of points to ex Probationers explanation of Tokenless Block:
No bell signals are used. The normal position of the acceptance switch is actually "Accept" so the first thing the signalman wishing to send a train must do is place his switch to "Normal"! There is no requirement to communicate with the box in advance, indeed the system was designed to allow the signalmen to engage in other duties between trains.
This is the BR standard system and the instrument shown up thread is the BR standard instrument. The so called Western Region Tokenless Block is actually the same but put into a WR style instrument (THe TB instruments at Barrow in Furness and Park South are, uniquely I think, an adaption of the BR standard block instrument).
Scottish Region Tokenless Block is a completely different system and involves the conventional exchange of bell signals, ILC, TOL and TOS.

Pete


Pete,

Thanks for your input. I have corrected my original post accordingly.

Regards,
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby Jumble Lane » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:44 am

See: http://www.trainweb.org/railwest/gen/signal/tkblock.html for some background and operating information.

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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby scarpa » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:01 pm

An annunciater is generally provided at the receiving boxes which operates when the train at the sending box operates the overlap track of the Starting signal, in effect the train entering the section.
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby KEVIN SMITH » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:23 am

Hi- I think Tokenless block came into use somewhat later between Reedham junction and Yarmouth don't forget Berney arms signal cabin closed around 1966 ? and permissive block was in use , was it Tyers 5A ? and then proper key token came into use until Breydon junction closed then Tokenless block was brought into use I could be wrong on some of it any comments ?
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Re: Wherry lines queries

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:58 am

The regulations for the Reedham-Yarmouth line sold on ebay the other day - for £92, more than I've seen for any other set of regs.
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