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Remote Operator for ETT 6

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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Sun Apr 1, 2018 11:47 am

Chris,

You have sparked an interesting debate!

The Portrush branch was No. 6, but Portrush cabin only opened on rare occasions!

Anyone know how that was worked??
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Mad Mac » Sun Apr 1, 2018 10:22 pm

Richard Lemon wrote:Chris,

You have sparked an interesting debate!

The Portrush branch was No. 6, but Portrush cabin only opened on rare occasions!

Anyone know how that was worked??


At a guess, a similar arrangement to that presently in use at Stranraer?
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Mon Apr 2, 2018 7:41 am

Stranraer is Key Token, Portrush was No. 6 Tablet.
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Mon Apr 2, 2018 8:37 am

The Southern Railway had a number of special arrangements that enabled an early morning down passenger, mails and newspapers train to pass over routes where the intermediate signal boxes weren't manned even though at least some of the boxes concerned didn't have closing switches. Some of the routes were single track, presumably with ETT6 instruments.

IIRC the last up train the previous evening collected a newly issue tablet for each section that it had just vacated, the signals being left off for the down train when each box then closed. The collected tablets were handed to the signalman at the final box, which was manned in time for the down train, and then issued to the driver of the down train as authority to pass through each section in turn under clear signals. That driver took all the tablets through to the end of the line (or next manned box) and they were returned to each intermediate box by the first up train. Again IIRC, the signalman at the commencement of the unmanned section didn't set the route and withdraw a tablet the previous evening but only at the time the train ran - so he must have been able to withdraw a tablet without the far box being manned.

Newport (IoW) to Freshwater was one example of such a line and I am certain that I have read the relevant instructions somewhere, but where?
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Mon Apr 2, 2018 9:34 am

Newport to Freshwater was, I think, Staff and Tickets - with short and long sections. This information from John Wagstaff collection, published by SRS.

I also am aware of arrangements for tokens being left out for the first train somewhere, but I think the tokens were just left in a safe place for the train crew to drop off / pick up. Normality resumed when staff come on duty.
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Pete2320 » Fri Apr 6, 2018 10:41 am

Richard Lemon wrote:Chris,

You have sparked an interesting debate!

The Portrush branch was No. 6, but Portrush cabin only opened on rare occasions!

Anyone know how that was worked??

The simplest way would be for a tablet to be kept out when Portrush was switched out with perhaps a "tablet lock" at the other end (can't remember where) for starting signal release. Alternatively it would not be difficult to arrange a permanent release from Portrush (from the king lever?) so that a tablet could be withdrawn at the other end. That would course prevent another being withdrawn. The tablet can be put back in at any time as this is purely mechanical but it might be necessary to break the line feed when the tablet is put back in to release the lock. A push button could do that or I suspect the contact provided on the back of some machines to cancel the starting signal release when a tablet is replaced could do the job.

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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Andrew Waugh » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:24 pm

davidwoodcock wrote:The Southern Railway had a number of special arrangements that enabled an early morning down passenger, mails and newspapers train to pass over routes where the intermediate signal boxes weren't manned even though at least some of the boxes concerned didn't have closing switches. Some of the routes were single track, presumably with ETT6 instruments.

IIRC the last up train the previous evening collected a newly issue tablet for each section that it had just vacated, the signals being left off for the down train when each box then closed. The collected tablets were handed to the signalman at the final box, which was manned in time for the down train, and then issued to the driver of the down train as authority to pass through each section in turn under clear signals. That driver took all the tablets through to the end of the line (or next manned box) and they were returned to each intermediate box by the first up train. Again IIRC, the signalman at the commencement of the unmanned section didn't set the route and withdraw a tablet the previous evening but only at the time the train ran - so he must have been able to withdraw a tablet without the far box being manned.

Newport (IoW) to Freshwater was one example of such a line and I am certain that I have read the relevant instructions somewhere, but where?


Over carrying the tablets seems a very complicated and error prone arrangement.

The method I'm more familiar with (using ES, but that's not relevant) uses locked boxes at the intermediate (unstaffed) tablet posts. Before going off duty, the signalman withdraws a forward section tablet, places it in the locked box, and then clears the signals. When the train arrives the Guard collects the rear section tablet from the driver and swaps it for the forward section tablet in the locked box. The train then departs. When the signalman resumes duty, he obtains the rear section tablet from the box. He checks that the train arrived complete at the next staffed station. If so, the rear section tablet is returned to the tablet instrument and Train Arrival given to the box in the rear. Normal working then resumes.

This simple system can be made more sophisticated. Instead of a simple locked box, it was possible to provide an interlocked box which required the guard to insert the rear section tablet before the forward section tablet was released. You could have several unstaffed tablet posts in a row.
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Chris Osment » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:31 pm

Andrew Waugh wrote:
This simple system can be made more sophisticated. Instead of a simple locked box, it was possible to provide an interlocked box which required the guard to insert the rear section tablet before the forward section tablet was released. You could have several unstaffed tablet posts in a row.


Such a system used to exist at Ashwater for the Halwill - Ashwater - Launceston sections (in the days when Tower Hill had ceased to be a block-post). IIRC there was an article about it aeons ago in the SRS Journal.
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby GrahamBowring » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:54 pm

Hello all, recently joined.

I have a reprint of the Southern Railway WTT Appendices, Western Section, 1934 which confirms the above regarding Ashwater and gives very detailed instructions regarding signalling of the early morning goods and mail train between Halwill and Launceston while Ashwater box was closed out for the night.

For example, that after the last trains at night have cleared the Halwill - Ashwater section, the "Signalman at Halwill must send the appropriate Is line clear signal to Ashwater, and the Signalman there must release a tablet at Halwill for the Halwill - Ashwater section" etc and similarly at Ashwater for the Ashwater - Launceston section. Before leaving duty at night the Ashwater signalman was to set the points and lower the outdoor signals. At Halwill the tablet was kept in "safe custody", at Ashwater the signalman placed it in the slot in the top of a special tablet exchange box fixed on the front of the signal box. When that train arrived the driver was to hand the Halwill - Ashwater tablet to the Guard who placed it in the slot in the side of the special box which enabled him to withdraw the tablet for the Ashwater - Launceston section from the top of the box by lifting a plunger underneath the box, hand this tablet to the driver, etc. When the signalman at Ashwater arrived at work he had a special key to unlock the box, take out the table, replace it in the instrument and give Train out of section to Halwill. If the train broke down, or had an accident or if the Guard could not obtain the tablet from the box, the Guard or Fireman was to proceed to Ashwater and call out one of the signalmen. (detailed instructions summarised) I hope the train crew knew where the signalmen lived in the village.....

There are no similar instructions for any other location on the Western Section in this Appendix.
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby AndyB » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:40 pm

The nearest I know of to remote operator with No.6 ETT is what NIR did with Coleraine-Portrush, which bypassed the question altogether.

A token was withdrawn at Portrush when the box closed, which was used as the OTS. The frame was (and still is) locked with an Annetts Key, which was then inserted into a lock in Coleraine cabin and bypassed the Line Clear release on the branch starter.

And that's my tip - forget remote operator, just lock the remote frame with an Annetts' key and use it to bypass the Line Clear requirement.
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Re: Remote Operator for ETT 6

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:12 am

GrahamBowring wrote:When that train arrived the driver was to hand the Halwill - Ashwater tablet to the Guard who placed it in the slot in the side of the special box which enabled him to withdraw the tablet for the Ashwater - Launceston section from the top of the box by lifting a plunger underneath the box, hand this tablet to the driver, etc. When the signalman at Ashwater arrived at work he had a special key to unlock the box, take out the table, replace it in the instrument and give Train out of section to Halwill. If the train broke down, or had an accident or if the Guard could not obtain the tablet from the box, the Guard or Fireman was to proceed to Ashwater and call out one of the signalmen. (detailed instructions summarised) I hope the train crew knew where the signalmen lived in the village.....

There are no similar instructions for any other location on the Western Section in this Appendix.


It sounds as though this tablet box wasn't a Tyer's product but a home-grown mechanical design fabricated as a one-off by the railway company. Would have been an interesting museum piece if it survived.
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