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GN pointy blocks

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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Fri Sep 2, 2016 9:52 am

Those do look as though the needles are really squeezed into the available space.

For comparison, there's a photo of a "pointy" block on the Lymm Observatory site, and I think I prefer John's term "mechanical block"
http://lymmobservatory.net/railways/wir ... _block.htm
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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby John Hinson » Fri Sep 2, 2016 2:47 pm

Russell Maiden has kindly sent me some excellent pictures of the blocks at Hertford:

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Photo: Russell Maiden 1971.

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Photo: Russell Maiden 1971.

Of particular interest to me is the Cuffley block, of course. Intriguingly, its over-slung bell is missing although it had re-appeared before it wandered my way. The bell unit to the right of it must have been wired into it in place. I shall need to examine mine closely to be sure it is the original and not another with a false plate screwed on. From memory is has that crude hasp and padlock on the side so I don't think it is an imposter.

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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Fri Sep 2, 2016 5:30 pm

Here's a more recent picture (by me):

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The "From Cuffley" label seems to have been added.
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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Fri Sep 2, 2016 5:51 pm

Stuart Johnson wrote:The "From Cuffley" label seems to have been added.
If it was installed the same way as in John's photos, somebody evidently thought to rescue the label from the shelf at the same time as the instrument itself.
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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby John Hinson » Fri Sep 2, 2016 6:10 pm

So the badge was salvaged off the shelf (aswell as finding a bell for it) - all well and good. I am satisfied it is not an imposter (thanks, Stuart) - I felt certain it had a flat top above the commutator - notice the Langley one is moulded.

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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby StevieG » Sun Sep 4, 2016 12:12 am

Good to see the Hertford Blocks in situ.

A few more tit-bits about the examples already discussed : -

I've looked up some of my ancient sketch / notes of visits, made during 1967-69, in my youthful pre-employment times, but I believe accurate nonetheless.

Both the Blocks at Hertford had the little lock-economiser buttons on the front, and both had an over-slung bell.

Both Blocks at Cuffley were definitely of this type, but without the lock button on the front : At Langley the Hertford line Blocks were separate instruments of the needle type; that for the Down being of the normal drop-handle variety.

The mention of one of these 'mechanicals' with a "Woolmer Green" label on is intriguing.
As I was sure, and have just check/confirmed, there was no such at Welwyn North during the above period, and my sketch of Knebworth's shelf of my one and only visit of about 1970/1 doesn't depict one there either.

[ Richard, I made a detailed coloured sketch-copy of the aforementioned LNER diagram, and this had detailed descriptions of the box's TC and Block controls thereon, which I'm pretty sure bear out what you've said from your circuit diagrams. But let me know if you'd like the relevant ones re-typed into this thread.]
BZOH

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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby StevieG » Sun Sep 4, 2016 3:07 pm

Pete2320 wrote:
StevieG wrote:I think the only other 'pointy' I encountered (my first) was an only one of the six Blocks in 'Barnet South'**, which was for the Down Slow (Rear and Advance sections), but as there was only the single Home about 150 yards away and no berth TC, there were none of the complications of Hertford.

** - [ IIRC those for the Up Slow and Up Goods looked as if they might once have been 'pointys', but on my first seeing them in '68, appeared to have been converted to both having a pair of normal 'needle' indicators (that for the UG, being a Permissive line, had the 'yellow' "Line Occupied"-type faces instead of the normal 'Absolute' 'red' "Train On Line" or Train Entered Section" type).]
Hope all this is of at least some interest.

Like these http://www.signalbox.org/gallery/e/maudfoster.php.

Pete
Thanks for that 'pointer' :roll: Pete.
My 'notes' for New Barnet South seem to have become separated from the rest at present, so I can't consult.

Those at Maud Foster are certainly as I was describing as far as the needles are concerned, but having the 'drop' handles looks strange to me, as if I've never seen that combination of features before.

I'm inclined instead to think that I recall the two at 'Barnet South' having a type of simple rotary knob commutator, similar to or the same as the 'mechanical' Blocks which are the real subject of this thread.
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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby Richard Pike » Sun Sep 4, 2016 3:37 pm

Some interesting information here. The Hertford blocks both had plungers to ecconomise the lock despite what the drawing says. I suspect the Cuffley block may have passed through Mr Waldock's hands at some stage if the label managed to move from the block shelf onto the instrument? I'll see if i can get a picture of the block marked Woolmer Green.
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Re: GN pointy blocks

Unread postby Pete2320 » Sun Sep 4, 2016 11:03 pm

StevieG wrote:Those at Maud Foster are certainly as I was describing as far as the needles are concerned, but having the 'drop' handles looks strange to me, as if I've never seen that combination of features before.
I'm inclined instead to think that I recall the two at 'Barnet South' having a type of simple rotary knob commutator, similar to or the same as the 'mechanical' Blocks which are the real subject of this thread.

So it seems there is at least a third variation of what I'll call GNR Overhead Bell blocks (and not really the subject of this thread).

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