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Dunragit lever 34

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Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Fri May 19, 2017 5:50 pm

The quadrant of the nearest (removed) lever in this photograph is of different length to the others:
https://433shop.co.uk/index.php?route=p ... t_id=12422
(Click on the image for a larger view, and ignore the carpet).

This diagram shows that it was a ground frame release:
https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=756

Does anybody know why it should differ?

John
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Sat May 20, 2017 11:03 am

In the diagram, the level crossing levers are placed at the end nearest the door as is usual, except that your missing lever is nearer still. Your diagram shows no spares or spaces, although there seems to be space this side of the missing lever in the photo, so the diagram must be at a different date.
The crossing in the diagram shows 4 gates which often goes with a crossing wheel. Could it be the residue of a gate wheel mechanism that been removed?
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat May 20, 2017 4:22 pm

34 is an electric release to a ground frame on that diagram. Seek and ye shall find.

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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Richard Pike » Sat May 20, 2017 6:48 pm

My Ely Station North Stevens frame has had various alerations done over the years. Some levers had extended travel and came over an extra 4 inches or so. At some stage these long travel levers were altered to have a shorter stroke the same as the majority of the other levers. If the catch block had become worn a steel plate was added to the front surface.At least one of mine has had near half an inch added to the front face. The ridge in the quadrant would need trimming back to accommodate this. The same could apply to rear faces of the catch block. Looking down the quadrants the ridges end all over the place but the frame remains tight (ish).
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun May 21, 2017 3:00 am

Thanks - that's possible but of course the Scottish Stevens frames were quite different to the English ones and never had the variable strokes. Although the frame is marked G&SWR, it was installed by the LMS in 1927. It shouldn't have worn to the level of your 1880 frame from a rather busier box.

Although the frame was apparently 34 levers when new, one cannot discount the ground frame release being a last-minute (or even later) addition (given its location outside the gate levers) so it could have been a second-hand part from another frame. I don't think an electric release to a ground frame would in itself wear the quadrant ends with heavy use. When the lever was still there, it would have looked very untidy with a different-sized shoe or different normal and reverse positions. The ScR tended to keep their equipment tidy and neat so there must surely have been a special reason.

34 (or 33) is an unusual frame size to find installed at that time. My personal theory was that it was planned as a 30 lever frame with the gates uncontrolled (as they were with the old box) and levers 31 to 34 were a late addition to the plan. But 31 to 33 correspond with the main frame in size so that theory doesn't answer the question.

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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Mon May 22, 2017 9:29 am

The frame has a strong resemblance to the London Built Stevens frames which Richard refers too and these often had different travels of which the usual but not absolute reason was that the item being worked was close to the box and didn't require a full travel lever to actuate it.
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon May 22, 2017 10:18 am

The short/long travel on an English Stevens frame varied by approximately the size of the lever, whereas here we are talking of a distance of about an inch.

You can see the difference on an English Stevens by studying the pictures here closely:
https://www.signalbox.org/gallery/lm/broadstreet2.php

The long stroke is far in excess of the size of the quadrants on Scottish frames. It may be that this isn't evident from photographs but when you actually see a Scottish frame it is unmistakable how compact they are in size. I do not believe any English-type frames were installed in Scotland.

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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Mon May 22, 2017 2:14 pm

John Hinson wrote:The short/long travel on an English Stevens frame varied by approximately the size of the lever, whereas here we are talking of a distance of about an inch.

You can see the difference on an English Stevens by studying the pictures here closely:
https://www.signalbox.org/gallery/lm/broadstreet2.php

The long stroke is far in excess of the size of the quadrants on Scottish frames. It may be that this isn't evident from photographs but when you actually see a Scottish frame it is unmistakable how compact they are in size. I do not believe any English-type frames were installed in Scotland.

John

Indeed, I was not suggesting that there was a comparison with the English frames as I am well aware that the Scottish frames are indeed compact by comparison, my suggestion is just a suggestion that something similar to the English frames might have been done here at sometime in the past and indeed might be relevant to a ground frame release if done mechanically via a mid way lock.
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon May 22, 2017 3:13 pm

Roger, understood.

(And Graham!)

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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Pete2320 » Tue Jun 6, 2017 11:47 am

I wonder if the ground frame was ever released by an Annets key. I have seen installations where a lever fitted with an Annets lock has its stroke reduced to give the lock plunger somewhere to go. I'm not sure I can see why this would apparently require a shorter stroke at both ends of the quadrant.
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Martin Shaw » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:07 am

There has been this last weekend publication of the long awaited book on the Port Road. It throws some light on this but also raises further questions. The box at Dunragit was opened in 1927, as John states, with a 34 lever frame supplied by RSCo. John's picture shows a quadrant endplate with GSWR Irvine cast therein. The first questiuon is whether RSCo would have supplied a frame to the LMS with that identification, possibly but I think on balance not. It also states that a gate wheel was provided which meant the box was continuosly open, and that Challoch Junc was thereafter switched out at night. It further states that the frame was reduced to 30 levers by 1960 "including 3 operating the level crossing and wicket gates". It says the frame was reconditioned around 1960 when the points at the east end of the loop became motor operated. I wonder whether in fact Irvine constructed a new frame from bits lying around that was installed as a replacement, it could explain the quadrant end, but maybe not.

There is a picture of the block shelf and diagram dated 1965, unfortunately deciphering detail is all but impossible, but it shows a standard LMS illuminated diagram, with the creamery sidings intact and the GF on the up line, which the SA states as being electrically released from the box, apparently "Ministry sidings". The supplements from 1943 onward have removed reference to "Food Products Siding", yet they are still there on the diagram.

More interestingly the block instrument for the double line to Castle Kennedy is a LNWR Fletchers instrument, alright it's in the middle of the war but the LMS had by that time replaced all the 2 position instruments on the WCML with Tyers F type so I would have though that a more logical choice. Also puzzling is what looks like a L&Y block with the bottom window blanked out. I suspect this is part of the direction lever operation to Glenluce.

So I think the photo shows the replacement frame installed by BR in 1960ish, of 30 levers and that the quadrant length of the last lever is a red herring. The last actual lever is 28 which is at least partially brown with an economiser working both N and R positions, so is the gate release lever for the barriers which were installed in 1989. Logically the removed levers would have been the wickets and gate locks. Comments welcome
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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:12 am

Hi Martin,

Thanks for that.

Is there supporting evidence that the frame was provided by the Railway Signal Company? My assumption is that the frame was a reconditioned/bitzer when installed in 1927. But the SRS SB Register shows a Stevens Glasgow New Pattern frame of 34 levers provided in 1927, replaced by a Stevens/Railway Signal Company Caledonian pattern frame of 34 levers in 1943. I am afraid I will need a lot of convincing to believe that, given what is written on the end of the frame!

The points at the east end of the loop were motorised by (or from) 1943.

The frame was definitely numbered up to 34 in 1995 - Norman's photographs show an entry on the diagram for Barrier Control Lever - 32, as does a close-up view of the frame.

My own records show the gate levers as having earlier been:
31: Gate Stops
32: Gate Locks
33: Wickets
which leaves 34 vacant - as I said earlier this was an electric ground frame release in (or from) 1943 which is an odd place for such but prior to its provision this could have been a space (in typical Scottish style) or even not there and the frame extended for the purpose. Referring to Pete's comment concerning an Annetts key on that lever - that is indeed a possibility as the normal position varies only marginally from the others whereas the reverse is more significant.

What further photographs do show is that at some date (probably at the c1960 reconditioning) levers 1 to 10 have been removed, including their quadrants, so the frame has actually been reduced from 34 to 24 levers in size, but numbered 11 to 34.

Concerning the double-track section, the implication from your post is that the photograph showing the LNW instrument is 1965? If so, this could be a replacement/upgrade, although I can't see why that section of line should be prioritised for such. The SRS show the section to be worked by GSW blocks 1942-1970 - clearly the latter date is wrong though. The whole entry could be wrong, of course - for the LMS adopted the LNW pattern block as standard and that type may have been easier to provide in 1942 that a Tyer F block or two. Always more questions . . .

Best regards,

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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby Martin Shaw » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:13 pm

John

I have no evidence other than what the book states, that the new lever frame was supplied by RSCo, and refurbished in 1960. Quite what is meant by refurbishment I don't know, however it would not include removal of levers 1-10. They were essentially Challoch Junc and and obviously in use until closure of the Port Road in June 65. I wonder if the frame shortening occurred when the gates were replaced by barriers. I certainly don't understand the reference to removal of 4 levers, I can find no logical reason, nor do I understand why the book gives a date of approx 1960 for motor operation of the loop points when you clearly have it earlier, probably 42 by my reckoning.

The photo of the interior is certainly 1965, I know the photographer, and a couple of weeks prior to closure of the Dumfries route is a logical enough explanation to be in the area. There is a picture in the sparse chapter on signalling, which states "Three position block instrument at Dunragit installed when the line was doubled". It is the Fletcher instrument with an engraved brass nameplate, adjacent to which can be seen screw holes so the instrument has been reused from a previous location. It is possible that the author has made an assumption but I agree with you that it is most likely the SRS are wrong. I can't see the LMS willingly installing 2 position instruments in 1942. I have a couple more contacts that may shed more light.

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Re: Dunragit lever 34

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:33 pm

Thanks.

Martin Shaw wrote:nor do I understand why the book gives a date of approx 1960 for motor operation of the loop points when you clearly have it earlier, probably 42 by my reckoning.


It could be erroneous reference to the West end loop points, which were the old crossover adapted when the line singled towards Stranraer (1970) or when converted to motor operation (some time between 1977 and 2000). Both would have involved locking alterations - the first would have been quite major.

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