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Interlocking Only Levers

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Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby Roger Bell » Tue Feb 7, 2017 5:32 pm

Are there any historic precedents or current standards as to the colour of levers used " for interlocking purposes only". I have in mind levers that will eventually work points and / or fpl's as the installation progresses.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby JRB » Tue Feb 7, 2017 5:54 pm

GWR/WR: TEMPORARY SPARE WORKED TO MAINTAIN LOCKING - White. Usually made spare AFTER other functions recovered. The same considerations reply in the reverse order, of course, but I don't recall ever meeting them. Other railways/regions - don't know.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby Mad Mac » Tue Feb 7, 2017 6:31 pm

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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby Chris Osment » Tue Feb 7, 2017 7:09 pm

As a variation on this theme, I've come across at least two instances in recent years on heritage lines where lever-frames have been installed, painted and labelled in accordance with a proposed 'final' layout, when in practice only part has been commissioned and so some of the signals and/or points do not appear on the box diagram. I find this rather confusing and I am surprised that it gets signed-off in that state.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Tue Feb 7, 2017 8:34 pm

I thought it was usual for levers to maintain locking to be white at top, lower half original colour? The pull plate should be correct, even if it's only a blank plate with dymo tape on it, temporarily. I would expect the diagram to show the actual layout, albeit perhaps the final version with temporary paper covers over points and signals not yet present.

Giving misleading info to the signalman puts S&T in the frame if there's an accident as a result of his misunderstanding. The risk of misunderstanding is probably greater on a heritage railway worked only on high days and holidays by a pool of volunteers than it is in a box manned by a couple of full time resident professionals.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Wed Feb 8, 2017 12:36 pm

On the LM I've seen both green and blue used whilst on the southern I've seen blue top/brown bottom. I guess that each area has done it's own thing in the past but as I understand it the current standard is top half white and bottom original colour.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby HighlandRailwayman » Wed Feb 8, 2017 3:46 pm

I have always worked on the premise of a lever that is a temporary spare (i.e. one that has locking remaining on the lever but it's function is OOU - i.e. It is either secured normal in the frame by a bolt or because of the locking on that lever) should be white over its original colour.
However a lever that is worked to maintain locking (i.e. a FPL where points have been motorised, but no locking alteration has been done) should be its original colour over white, to denote the difference between a lever that is to be worked and one that is not to be worked.
I tried to get this included in the relevant standard a few years ago but I think it got caught up in the standards ban and never went any further, but it was something we tried to do in our old DO and something I will be trying to do now I am in the testing side....
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Wed Feb 8, 2017 6:43 pm

This is how the WR used to do it (1960s):

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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Wed Feb 8, 2017 9:53 pm

Didn't always follow the old rules though. This is Par in 2007 and shows former FPL levers still worked for interlocking purposes only, painted WHITE/BLUE (shortened lever as well):

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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby JRB » Wed Feb 8, 2017 10:51 pm

At the date of that instruction, the temporary leads would have been UNO stencilled on thick cloth backed paper with holes punched top and bottom and thick string looped through ready to tie on to the lever. Caversham Road (Maintenance Section) would have been done by the Diagram Section (Pat, Brenda, Kay, Rosemary). I'm not sure who did the Cheapside (New Works) ones.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby Pete2320 » Thu Feb 9, 2017 1:30 am

HighlandRailwayman wrote:I have always worked on the premise of a lever that is a temporary spare (i.e. one that has locking remaining on the lever but it's function is OOU - i.e. It is either secured normal in the frame by a bolt or because of the locking on that lever) should be white over its original colour.
However a lever that is worked to maintain locking (i.e. a FPL where points have been motorised, but no locking alteration has been done) should be its original colour over white, to denote the difference between a lever that is to be worked and one that is not to be worked.

This has always been my understanding of what should be done.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Feb 9, 2017 5:24 am

As has been demonstrated there is no "standard" for levers no longer in use that are required to be worked for interlocking so there are a zillion ways to do it (I have seen others not yet mentioned!). But the question concerned levers not yet brought into use.

This is a circumstance I have rarely seen - in the few circumstances I have (only heritage railways) the levers have been painted as per their intended use.

The question that really needs asking is whether it is appropriate to fully lock-up a frame for future use if the new work isn't going to be brought into use promptly. It does seem that some heritage railways plan a long way ahead and "temporary" arrangements can last for many years.

But if absolutely necessary, perhaps an SR-type "disconnected" collar (which does not obstruct lever operation) would be appropriate?

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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Thu Feb 9, 2017 9:38 am

I don't see any problem with locking up a frame for a final layout and then bolting levers normal or reverse, or having them worked for interlocking purposes, over an extended period of time. As long as the box diagram gives enough information and shows the OOU facilities at each stage and the lever leads show it as well. After all thats how most modern interlockings are mostly, but not exclusively, commissioned (i.e. designed and installed for the final but backstaged for any interim stagework) and I have known several recent new interlockings that have remained or will remain in an interim state for a number of years :?

Personally I think the levers should be painted white and labelled accordingly until the function operated by them is commissioned, as per the WR instruction given in my post above.
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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby John Hinson » Thu Feb 9, 2017 9:55 am

I have a feeling the "Ministry" have an aversion to new works being installed and not commissioned. I remember some new pointwork at Watford having to be plain-lined to comply. I believe there is a time-limit involved.

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Re: Interlocking Only Levers

Unread postby S&TEngineer » Thu Feb 9, 2017 10:58 am

John Hinson wrote:I have a feeling the "Ministry" have an aversion to new works being installed and not commissioned. I remember some new pointwork at Watford having to be plain-lined to comply. I believe there is a time-limit involved.John

I believe that is actually the opposite of what we are debating. For example, points installed but not detected in the interlocking require them to be subject to risk assessment for not being detected for up to 6 months. After that the rules dictate that they must be detected or plain lined.

One project I was involved in decided to temporarily indicate newly installed points on the blockshelf but not prove them in the interlocking and that was in a Tokenless Block Section!! Suffice to say that it didn't last very long :shock:

I thought we were debating no outside equipment installed but interlocking provided in advance, but I might be wrong.....
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