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St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Signalling on heritage railways

Re: St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Unread postby John Webb » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:14 pm

I recently spent a couple of days in 'The Search Engine' at the NRM looking at the Midland Railway Weekly Notices (WNs) for items concerning our box.
This is the original image (photo on a digital SLR) of the part of the WN for week ending 18th June 1892 announcing the erection and opening of the box on the 12th of June 1892:
Image

And this is the same image after it had been put through Photoshop to improve the contrast and label it with the source details
Image
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Re: St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Unread postby davidwoodcock » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:30 am

It is interesting to note the provision of shunt signals for movements FROM a running line into sidings at a date as early as June 1892. However, the new box was a big one (by the standards of the day) with four running lines and is probably typical of locations where the reliance of hand signals for such moves was proving unsatisfactory.
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Re: St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Unread postby John Webb » Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:57 pm

There is a fourth part of this notice which comes from the next page of the WN and which lists a further three ground signals, one of which controls from a running line into a siding, one from the siding onto a running line and the third controls trains over a crossover between the up and down goods lines.

The provision of these disc signals (and indeed of the whole new box) was most likely to have been in anticipation of the works in 1894 when the up and down goods lines were bought into use south of St Albans through to Elstree. In 1895 these became the 'Slow Lines' after a new tunnel was opened at Elstree. The resultant signal arrangements are shown in John Hinson's 1896 diagram: http://www.signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=147
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Re: St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Unread postby John Webb » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:02 am

When we started setting up signals in the garden about 5-6 years ago, and wished to light them electrically, as well as light up the access path leading to and passing in front of the box, we set up some simple cable ducting around the edge of our garden using featheredge fencing boards. This was a quick and simple method. But with the passage of time and nailed rather than screwed construction, the stresses of weather and vibration from trains have taken their toll:
Image

So we decided on a replacement ducting, which can be seen in the above picture, sitting on the ground awaiting installation. And this is it in place:
Image

At the top of the garden a 'kinky' bit was needed to connect the new duct to the older trunking across the top of the garden:
Image

The recovered featheredge boards from the old duct are to be reused in due course to reinforce the older duct where it runs across the top end of the site. The construction will be screwed together for a longer life.
Last edited by John Webb on Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Unread postby John Webb » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:15 am

I thought a more general view of the box and garden, as seen from one of the higher floors of the multi-storey car park, would make a change:
Image

Note the large pile of cut-up track bottom left from recent track works by NR!

Inside the box all the lever catch handle pivot pins have now been secured by split pins - see http://forum.signalbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6836 for a brief discussion on how they should be fitted.
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Re: St Albans South - Works etc. in 2014

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Jan 4, 2015 8:22 pm

The final picture of 2014, taken just before Christmas:
Image

It shows our older trunking reorganised to make a stouter version. The top is an inverted 'U' shape which goes over and outside a further 'U' shape forming the base. So our cables are better protected from the weather.

Be a bit of a pause in reporting events in 2015 as we're busy with four open days in January.
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