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Automatic Route setting

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Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Following on from the post from Andrew Waugh on panel processors I have to say that whilst JZA 715 looks pretty advanced with automatic route setting it must not be forgotten that automatic route setting was in use at Watford Junction for the DC line panel (platforms 1 - 4 and Watford High Street) from 1965 and Woking had it on the two panels controlling Pirbright Junction and Brookwood station.

The Watford system was quite simple and was based around the magazine train describer which set the departure route from Watford according to a train ready to which start plunger was pressed on the station. this then set the required route at the High Street whilst down trains were worked first come first served at the high street and set towards the highest numbered platform that was empty at the Junction.

The Woking example was also based around the train describer but was capable of routing all booked working timetable trains automatically based on the train description for down trains and first come first served on the up.

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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Andy Overton » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:12 pm

I think that only Woking can be fairly described as automatic route setting, as it takes timetable information into account. Watford Jcn was more properly ARF (Automatic Routing Facility), which is simpler, based on TC occupation and TRS inputs. I got corrected when I wrote the BPSR by a very knowledgeable chap who explained the subtleties of automatic route setting (which shouldn't be abbreviated to ARS, as that stands for Automatic Routesetting Subsystem, and is a trademarked term used by IECC), ARF and JRS (Junction Route Setting).

Even if we discount all of these early systems, automatic route setting in its more modern form was employed very much in London Bridge PSB of 1975. I'm pretty sure this did not use PP technology either to achieve it. Date-wise it knocks the Melbourne system into a cocked hat :wink:
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:20 pm

Woking only routed according to the letter in the head code which is no different to Watford except that there was more variety to be recognised. Woking could handle all of the regular codes used on the line except X and Z but it didn't use timetable information to do it in the same way the ARS does.

As far as I'm aware London Bridge does not have any form of automatic route setting, the only southern panel that did was Three Bridges (now out of use unless it has been repaired since my last visit).

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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:20 pm

Fast Line Floyd wrote:As far as I'm aware London Bridge does not have any form of automatic route setting, the only southern panel that did was Three Bridges (now out of use unless it has been repaired since my last visit).
Graham


Wimbledon panel also had ARS. I don't think that it ever got used in anger though. The SR yellow Book circuits were adapted and an additional 'Route Free' relay detected the availability of the route before the ARS called it. It was a long time ago but I think that the ARS system was manufactured by Westinghouse and was overlayed on the TEML41 system (see separate thread).
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby StevieG » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:51 pm

Fast Line Floyd wrote: " .... As far as I'm aware London Bridge does not have any form of automatic route setting, the only southern panel that did was Three Bridges .... " .

Graham
I am not an expert on large modern 'Southern' power boxes, but like Graham, I had never heard of any automatic route setting in London Bridge box.
I also understood that Three Bridges has(/had?) the first area of ARS (IIRC an area extending southwards from not far south of Three Bridges station, and including Balcombe Tunnel Jn.).
Afterwards, were the next examples of modern automatic route setting to become operational, those which were part of the first IECCs commissioned (Liverpool Street, York, Yoker, Tyneside) ?

Fast Line Floyd wrote: " .... automatic route setting, the only southern panel that did was Three Bridges (now out of use unless it has been repaired since my last visit) "
In case of any dubiety, may I suggest that Graham is presumably referring only to the ARS facility possibly being out of use, rather than the Three Bridges panel itself?
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:00 am

Chris is quite correct Wimbledon box did (does?) have ARS in the Epsom / Leatherhead area but is never used (so I'm told) the same source confirms that London Bridge hasn't ever had ARS and Steve is quite right I was refering to the ARS at Three Bridges as being out of use not the panels.

Three Bridges and Wimbledon both have a system called multiple select auto which was invented by a Three Bridges techician who's name I've forgotten, basically when the auto button is pressed the signal goes into auto and stays there but if the auto button is pressed any more an incramental counter advances (up to 9) and when however many trains have gone past the signal that was selected the auto drops out and the route cancels after the last train past.

In this way the signaller could take their concentration off a signal to do other things knowing that it wouldn't lead to a miss route. Three Bridges has it on a signal at Windmill Bridge Junction whilst Wimbledon has it on a couple of signals. Three bridges use theirs all the time whilst Wimbledon never uses theirs.

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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Bob Davies » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:58 am

Fast Line Floyd wrote:Three Bridges and Wimbledon both have a system called multiple select auto which was invented by a Three Bridges techician who's name I've forgotten, basically when the auto button is pressed the signal goes into auto and stays there but if the auto button is pressed any more an incramental counter advances (up to 9) and when however many trains have gone past the signal that was selected the auto drops out and the route cancels after the last train past.

Graham - This sounds so unlikely for so many reasons that I think you may have been spun a line, unless it is a reletively recent feature about which I have never heard anything. (Waits to be surprised!) When I was writing the SR Testing Instruction, there was no suggestion from those doing testing on a day-to-day basis that anything as complicated as this needed to be built in, neither so far as I am aware does Yellow Book or Wespac have such a facility. I wait with interest to see what Chris Bellett has to say about its application on Wimbledon ASC because he was far closer to the action there than ever I was.

The only thing that I can think of which may be causing confusion is that the Sothern Region's policy on signal automatic working was different to others (certainly the LM). On the LM, only a route which did not have approach release could be put into auto working while on the Southern any route that the operators specified could have auto working applied. Certainly Windmill Bridge is one of those places where a 'diverging' route could well have automatic working, but so is Stoat's Nest and lots of other places.

I wait to see how this sub-thread progresses with interest.
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:32 am

Bob,

I was first introduced to the system by Barry Cornick who had been the Signalling Manager at Three Bridges, Barry took me to both Three Bridges and Wimbledon ASC's to view the system.

I last saw it in Three Bridges on the day it was demonstrated to me, that would be around 1999, it was a non safety system powered by the feed to the auto button and occupying the tile next to the auto button. The circuit board was manufactured by Joyce Loebl in Gateshead who also refurbish SPT's (and they come out better than when made new) they also modified the panel tile for the digital counter. Joyce Loebl are now owned by Petards see http://www.petards.com/transport/index.aspx

I visited Joyce Loebl as I could see many applications on the West coast Mainline where I worked at the time. Unfortunately I failed to persuade my bosses of the advantages.

I have somewhere in my vast collection of paperwork at home a copy of the safety case, the instructions on it's operation and the full history of it's developement which I now must go hunting for..........

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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Andy Overton » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:20 pm

Oh dear, I'm not at all sure how the reference to London Bridge getting ARS got into the BPSR but it can only be my fault :oops: It did see the first major application of TORR and perhaps I got a bit befuddled one day and that transmuted into ars (not ARS, trademarked term). I have found a reference to the Charing Cross interlocking having ars as an overide function (Railway Signalling, by Nock) but that is what should more properly be termed ARF and is the same system as Graham described at Watford.

Yes, Three Bridges was the first application of modern ars that considered timetables and regulation strategies, the software code of which became the basis for the IECC's ARS software (then written in Coral)

Westinghouse did claim in the literature that Woking used ars but I suppose if we are defining ars for modern usage as the integration of both routing, timetabling and regulating then we should perhaps nowadays amend that claim to ARF or JRS (TBH I'm not sure what the difference between those two is, probably nothing).
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:22 pm

The auto button facility that Graham has described at Wimbledon is news to me. If it was installed then it was after the Wimbledon scheme was fully commissioned (post 1992ish). It is certainly something that the TEML41 BP could do (see separate thread on Panel Processors).

I seem to recall that the ARS on Three Bridges was for the Haywards Heath area. However, the little grey cells may be playing tricks here.
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Fri Jul 1, 2011 8:01 am

The MSA as it was called could be retro fitted to any auto button as it interfaced between the existing button and existing wiring to the interlocking.

Chris is quite right in saying that it wasn't installed at commissioning, it was a later addition in the same way that Three Bridges was and came about for the same reasons thet Three Bridges did - a significant number of miss routings of trains because the signaller missed taking the signal out of auto!

Both boxes had it by the time I visited but that wasn't until the late 90's.

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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Bob Davies » Fri Jul 1, 2011 11:51 am

OK - Just call me surprised of Kidderminster then! Since it dates from the late-90's, that is well after my time so perhaps it is not a complete memory failue on my part.

My recollection of (not) ARS on Three Bridges is that it covered the Haywards Heath interlocking area (only). However, if someone has knowledge that it covered Balcombe Tunnel Junction as well, which is of course north of Balcombe Tunnel and not part of Haywards Heath, then I will stand corrected.
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby StevieG » Fri Jul 1, 2011 12:05 pm

Bob,
My earlier...
StevieG wrote:(IIRC an area extending southwards from not far south of Three Bridges station, and including Balcombe Tunnel Jn.).
... may have been inaccurate. I was trying to remember back 20-odd years to what I recall from having once visited not too long after opening, to see an ex-colleague who had become Regulator there. I thought that I remembered ARS including Balcombe Tnl.Jn. as it seemed a good idea for it to govern a 4-track / 2-track junction as part of trialling it.
BZOH

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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby Andy Overton » Fri Jul 1, 2011 3:58 pm

I'm pretty sure I read during my researches that indeed the ars was only for Haywards Heath and I'll see if I can find the reference. Anyway, I know someone who worked the box so I can probably get us the answer.
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Re: Automatic Route setting

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Fri Jul 1, 2011 5:49 pm

....make that Copyhold Junction to Haywards Heath....

My little grey cells not so bad as I thought then :shock:
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