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Hessay Road gate box

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Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:01 pm

Here is a photograph of a dwarf frame at Hessay Road, not far from York on the Harrogate line:
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Photo: N L Cadge 18/11/78, collection of John Hinson

I do not think this is a Stevens frame - does anybody have any opinions?

I can see some features that hint that it could be a Tweedy & Co frame but it is a long shot. I know Tweedy supplied dwarf frames to the North British Railway but don't recall hearing of any elsewhere.

A Gook on Loogle Earth suggests there is still a ground frame controlling this crossing but it doesn't look as if it is the same one.

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Sharpey » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:48 pm

John Hinson wrote:A Gook on Loogle Earth suggests there is still a ground frame controlling this crossing but it doesn't look as if it is the same one.


Quick look on streetview looks the same as a photo I have and that is the same frame. It does have a framework above for indicators and what looks like a light. Time to dispatch somebody for a closer look....
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:19 pm

I reckon that it might be a Pease frame, it certainly looks very similar to photos of Pease frames, and the Pease family (of Middlesbrough) are said to have had close connections with the NER.
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Adrian Crafer » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:14 am

I do not have a particularly large LNER drawing holding, compared with my holding of GWR and LMS drawings, but LNER Southern Area drawing LV6785 of 1938 entitled "Standard Ground Frame Fixing of Lever Lock, Circuit Breaker and Plunger Contact with Metal Cover" would suggest that it is an LNER standard ground frame. Whether it was based on any other companies frame I cannot say.

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:21 am

Adrian Crafer wrote:I do not have a particularly large LNER drawing holding, compared with my holding of GWR and LMS drawings, but LNER Southern Area drawing LV6785 of 1938 entitled "Standard Ground Frame Fixing of Lever Lock, Circuit Breaker and Plunger Contact with Metal Cover" would suggest that it is an LNER standard ground frame. Whether it was based on any other companies frame I cannot say.

Thanks - speaking as the world's worst expert on ground frames, this is what I have always considered to be an LNER Standard ground frame:
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Photo N L Cadge, Enfield Town, 11/12/97, collection of John Hinson

Happy to be corrected if this has other origins, but there seems little in common between the two types visually.

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:37 am

Apart from perhaps the frame upright castings which do look very similar.
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Adrian Crafer » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:44 am

Sorry John I cannot see any significant difference between the photograph you have shown and the original one with the enquiry. They both have the "X" style cast end frames; they both have treads held in the frame by long bolts the width of the frame; they both have levers of lengths to be compatable with the height out of the ground; they both have two rear brackets to support locking etc. The only difference is that in your photo the levers are fitted with what I call Saxby and Farmer style spring lever catchs, where as the original had what I call drop box catches. The 1938 drawing I have shows a Southern Area Standard LNER Ground Frame as having all these atributes including the drop box arrangement.

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:57 am

OK, fair enough.

The weighted blocks were one feature I noticed, but most significantly to my eyes the quadrants are at or above knee level (like a "knee" frame) and the levers above them much shorter, although that may be an illusion. At Enfield they look to be at lower-shin level. The Hessay Road lever handles seem shorter, have squared tops and the catch handles are completely different (similar to the Stevens type). Nor would I expect the LNER to provide oval brass plates but again all of this is just my view and these features may not be relevant.

It may be that if this is of the 1938 type you describe, the design was revised/streamlined later into what was at Enfield, which was installed around 1960, I think.

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Pete2320 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:52 am

I think it is a Westinghouse design but often made by many other manufacturers, RSCo, Bullers, Butterworth and Dickinson etc. They were used extensively on the LNER. The short handled gravity catch block type seem to have been a Northern Area standard and so BR(NER) whereas the long levered spring catch type seem to be Southern Area, BR(ER). The northern type seem to have been supplied as complete frames, or perhaps complete kits of parts. The Southern type seem to be built in house (Leyton?) using second hand levers, usually S&F but I've seen one with McK&H levers.
One unusual feature of the Hessay Road frame is that it still has it's lever tails, the only one I've ever seen.
Looking again at the Enfield frame, I think this is hybrid of the two types. Generally the Southern Area type had quadrants bolted to angle irons between the end castings (which although aesthetically similar were neccesarily different castings) whereas the Northern type, and the Enfield frame, the quadrants were mounted on through bolts in a rather Stevensesque manner.

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:38 pm

Also the base of the Enfield frame is hidden by the raised operating platform where as Hessay Road has no such appendage.
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:00 pm

OK, thanks both. So this is nothing particularly exciting and I may come across others. Are oval brass plates common on these?

From a more operational view, I would love to know what lever 6 ever did with its different length stroke but I don't suppose we ever will. But what is up with lever 1? It isn't a three-position or push-pull lever as far as I can make out, as the catch handle is raised. Surely we are looking at a wrong-side failure here as it shouldn't be possible to remove the gate keys withour the lever being either fully reversed or fully normal (depending on how the locking is arranged)?

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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:42 pm

Looking at the crossing gates on Streetview, they appear to be locked across the line by simple bolts dropped into the ground.
Manual gates with wheels.

Courtesy of Google, this photo shows the crossing with instruments behind the frame, not seen on the photo at the top of the thread.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/30324026@ ... 206927875/

This photo shows lever 1 as brown, with its keys as one would expect. Lever normal, signal levers reversed. Also additional electrics above the frame.
http://community.dur.ac.uk/paul.hodgkin ... ossing.jpg

I suspect lever 1 and the keys are redundant and the frame relocked electrically, perhaps something to do with the treadles?

The crossing has wickets - were they perhaps once locked by 6?
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Nicko » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:52 pm

From the photo I suspect the frame has been fitted with Moreton-on-Luggage controls which prevent signaller opening gates with train approaching
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:16 pm

I would suggest that lever 6 used to have an Annetts Key attached which would explain the hole in the 'tread' (for want of a better word). It may have released a ground frame in the past.
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Re: Hessay Road gate box

Unread postby Pete2320 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:01 pm

Fast Line Floyd wrote:I would suggest that lever 6 used to have an Annetts Key attached which would explain the hole in the 'tread' (for want of a better word). It may have released a ground frame in the past.

It has all the aura of once having had an Annetts lock, the shortened stroke is simply so that the plunger of the lock goes into the hole in the frame instead of hanging over the curved edge of the frame. I can't think why this frame would release a ground frame so I suspect that this frame was second hand here. We need to know the full history of this location but suffice to say key locks are a relatively modern innovation. It is possible that the whole installation dates from when the line was singled in the later (?) seventies.
John Hinson wrote: But what is up with lever 1? It isn't a three-position or push-pull lever as far as I can make out, as the catch handle is raised. Surely we are looking at a wrong-side failure here as it shouldn't be possible to remove the gate keys without the lever being either fully reversed or fully normal (depending on how the locking is arranged)?

The lever will be as far reverse as it goes. The same considerations will apply as to lever 6 but it also seems to have been common practice to short stroke the levers for key locks to make it easier for the operator to insert the keys. Whilst this was very useful in boxes equipped with full size McK&H frames, where the levers come very well over when reverse, it is of marginal benefit with this type of frame.
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