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Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulations

Signalling on heritage railways

Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Shed 34F » Fri Dec 7, 2012 3:23 am

Not certain if there haven't been some changes over the last 10 years. However i do recall that:

Nene Valley Railway:

Wansford
Orton Mere (former Maxey Crossing [MR])
Peterborough NV (former Woodston Wharf box), but points worked from a ground frame.

Train Staff (Wansford - OM) and Annetts Key (OM - Peterborough NV) When Orton Mere was switched out both parts remain attached together, though are split when Orton Mere is in use. Ticket working (Wansford - OM) was also authorised by the Ops Manager during Special events. The Wansford - OM staff also unlocks the GF at Ferry Meadows when needed.

Train Staff working in use between Wansford and Yarwell Mill GF. That staff is locked into a mechanism on the end of the frame at Wansford.

The Fletton Loop is normally only used for 'special workings' or by engineers trains. If a movement to/from NR metals was to take place that was under the guidance of train staff working - the train staff being held at Peterborough PSB. It's a grandiose title really because the staff used to be kept in the Downside supervisors off at Peterborough (North) and consisted of a length of copper pipe with a hanging loop at one end.

Tyers instruments were also planned to be installed, but never were. Perhaps they may have been by now?
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby trainmad » Wed Jan 8, 2014 3:22 pm

I appreciate I might be bumping an old topic up here, but it seems a bit silly creating a brand new one!

Don't forget about the Midland Railway - Butterley (formerly Centre, of course) and the signalling system there.

There are three signal boxes on the line, Swanwick Junction, Butterley and Hammersmith.

ETB working, using Tyers No 6 Machines is in use between Swanwick Junction and Hammersmith.
Butterley, which is technically a ground frame, has an auxiliary machine which "talks to" an auxiliary machine in Hammersmith. Signalmen obtain permission for a release of the ground frame from Hammersmith.

For most two train working days, ETB working between Swanwick and Hammersmith is all that's required, so Butterley typically isn't used for those. On most event days it is open, however.

The Swanwick Junction - Ironville section of line is worked under the OES principle, with a single tablet released from a Tyers No 6 machine. Additionally, there is another tablet kept in the ground frame at Swanwick Junction, which covers OTW working from Swanwick Junction - Butterley Top Plane and a train staff (although it's pretty much a glorified chair leg!) is kept in Swanwick Junction Box for the Swanwick Junction Colliery Branch.

We can also open up just Swanwick Junction Box if required, as we can operate the Swanwick Junction - Hammersmith section under OTW regulations. A press on a plunger at the side of the frame will release a single tablet for the section from the machine.

Most days we have are OTW days however, when only Hammersmith Box is required. An Ironville - Hammersmith tablet is kept in the ground frame at Swanwick Junction, and locomotive crews usually let themselves off shed using this. None of the boxes are actually "open" as such, but when an run round is required at Hammersmith, then the tablet is dropped off with the signalman there, and Hammersmith is then opened as a ground frame, and then closed once completed.

Additionally, if any shunting is required at Butterley, the Ironville - Hammersmith tablet can be used to open Butterley Box for shunting.

Of course, we're not the longest line in the world, but for a 3.5 mile line, we've got quite a selection of signals and signal boxes!
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby vic south » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:23 pm

Hi Trainmad.

I was one of those responsible for designing and construction the signalling on the MRT (more years ago now than I care to remember). When Hammersmith was opened for OTW between there and Ironville we used to switch the box in with the first train and switch out with the last. Between the first and last the box stayed open. I wonder if this is still possible.

The release for OTW in the Swanwick Junction - Hammersmith section is a later addition. I presume this was introduced for DMU operations where there is no need to run round at Hammersmith.

Just one last (and very pedantic) point. It was always the Swanwick Colliery Branch (not Swanwick Junction colliery). I'm just old enough to remember seeing the trip working to Swanwick pit crossing the road at Leabrooks. Our B7 bus from Mansfield to Ripley always used to seem to get held up there!
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby trainmad » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:25 am

The opening of Hammersmith Box on an OTW day is still possible, although generally speaking people tend to close between every run round.

Typically speaking, we only tend to use the OTW release for DMU galas and the like. It does also enable us to run a two train service using a signalman who is only qualified to do Hammersmith Box OTW, as the Swanwick - Hammersmith tablet can be used to open Hammersmith in the same way that the Ironville - Hammersmith does.

Swanwick Junction Colliery was a slip of the keyboard I'm afraid! You're correct in what you say about it being 'Swanwick Colliery Branch!
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Jack30A » Fri Jun 5, 2015 9:45 pm

Alex - re. the East Lancs. Rly.; you've omitted the crossing box at Townsend Fold (just east of Rawtenstall West).

This has manually opened gates, locked by a lever in the frame, and protected by two signals for Up and Down trains.

The northern section is controlled by the signalman at Ramsbottom, and normally works with a key token / Annett's Key - the key being used by the loco crew to work the running round ground frame at Rawtenstall - issued from a Tyer's No.9 instrument at Ramsbottom.

There is, however, another Tyer's No.9 instrument in the box at Rawtenstall, which can be brought into use for special events, allowing a Down train to run to Rawtenstall, and then be locked into the bay platform road / head shunt. Once there, the key token can be returned to the instrument at Rawtenstall, so that the Ramsbottom bobbie can issue another key token for the next Down train. At the end of the day, once the section is clear, the Ramsbottom bobbie gives a release to Rawtenstall, allowing the signalman there to let the train out of the bay platform, and return to Rammy.

On the East Lancs, the staff or token is always carried by the leading engine, whether the train is double headed, top and tailed, or banked.

Re. Rawtenstall West, it currently has manually operated gates without lever locking, and trains are authorised past the stop boards and over the crossing by flags / lamps. There are now flashing red lights, as it is in the process of being fitted with lifting barriers which will be worked from inside the box - though, until the massive re-signalling work is done, trains will still be flagged across.

As I understand it, once that is complete, the Tyer's instruments will be taken out of use, the section from Rammy to Rawtenstall will be fully track circuited, and trains will be worked by use of direction levers, as they are now between Rammy and Bury.

HTH.

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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Jun 6, 2015 2:43 am

Jack30A wrote:On the East Lancs, the staff or token is always carried by the leading engine, whether the train is double headed, top and tailed, or banked.

That's intriguing. How do the other crews know the train is carryinng a valid token or even has one at all?

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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby MRFS » Sat Jun 6, 2015 9:23 am

Jack30A wrote:As I understand it, once that is complete, the Tyer's instruments will be taken out of use, the section from Rammy to Rawtenstall will be fully track circuited, and trains will be worked by use of direction levers, as they are now between Rammy and Bury.


Does that mean that the instruments will be returned to the Talyllyn Railway?
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Danny252 » Sat Jun 6, 2015 3:27 pm

John Hinson wrote:
Jack30A wrote:On the East Lancs, the staff or token is always carried by the leading engine, whether the train is double headed, top and tailed, or banked.

That's intriguing. How do the other crews know the train is carryinng a valid token or even has one at all?

John


Assuming this works similarly to the SVR regulations, where there is no requirement to show other crews the token, they don't. (I had a note here about the second crew probably seeing the token exchanged, conveniently forgetting that an extra loco might be at the back!)

However, given that a single crew is trusted to handle the token correctly the vast majority of the time, I can see why the belt-and-braces approach for multiply engined trains has been deemed unnecessary.
Last edited by Danny252 on Sat Jun 6, 2015 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Jun 6, 2015 4:45 pm

Danny252 wrote:However, given that a single crew is trusted to handle the token correctly the vast majority of the time, I can see why the belt-and-braces approach for multiply engined trains has been deemed unnecessary.

I can't. When the lead driver hands it in, the banker might still be be in section.

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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Danny252 » Sat Jun 6, 2015 6:53 pm

John Hinson wrote:
Danny252 wrote:However, given that a single crew is trusted to handle the token correctly the vast majority of the time, I can see why the belt-and-braces approach for multiply engined trains has been deemed unnecessary.

I can't. When the lead driver hands it in, the banker might still be be in section.

John


I think you're getting at one of two things:

a) That the rear of the train, with banker coupled, has not completely left the section when the token is surrendered - e.g. it is halfway past the home signal. This is no different to normal procedure, save the slightly different type of vehicle on the rear.

b) That the banker is no longer attached to the train. If intentional, this would go against the SVR rule book (to the best of my knowledge, at least!). If unintentional, it would be similar to a divided train. Additional security is provided through the use of the 2-2 bell signal, which informs the signalman that the tail lamp on the last coach no longer indicates the last vehicle on the train.

Edit: Looking at the rules, the tail lamp must always be placed on the "rearmost vehicle", which implies to me that it should be placed on the rear of any locomotive on the end of the train. Therefore, should that engine not arrive at the end of the section, I would expect there not to be a tail lamp.
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Is Line Clear » Sat Jun 6, 2015 7:41 pm

On Bluebell the Bank Engine, on the rare occasions where this is used, is coupled to the train and only leaves the train at a token station. Also we keep to the Reg. that the Token is carried by the rearmost engine, having been exhibited to and this acknowledged by the Driver of the leading engine, before it is delivered to the Driver of the Banking Engine. 'Crows' follow.

Thus, as a Signalman if you don't get a Token delivered from the rearmost engine (with suitable tail lamp displayed), then your section is still occupied.

Obviously some of the preceding messages relate to a Banker not being coupled, but these cases would be covered by Banking Engines only leaving at the authorised point (or even carrying a Banking Staff in appropriate cases).

I would be interested to learn what Heritage Railways operate with Bankers not coupled?

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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Stevoid » Sat Jun 6, 2015 11:01 pm

Jack30A wrote:Alex - re. the East Lancs. Rly.; you've omitted the crossing box at Townsend Fold (just east of Rawtenstall West).

The northern section is controlled by the signalman at Ramsbottom, and normally works with a key token / Annett's Key - the key being used by the loco crew to work the running round ground frame at Rawtenstall - issued from a Tyer's No.9 instrument at Ramsbottom.


To be clear, there is no Annett's key attached; it's an ordinary Tyer's key token, and a token lock on Rawtenstall ground frame.
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby John Hinson » Sun Jun 7, 2015 6:17 am

Danny252 wrote:I think you're getting at one of two things:

a) That the rear of the train, with banker coupled, has not completely left the section when the token is surrendered - e.g. it is halfway past the home signal. This is no different to normal procedure, save the slightly different type of vehicle on the rear.

b) That the banker is no longer attached to the train. If intentional, this would go against the SVR rule book (to the best of my knowledge, at least!). If unintentional, it would be similar to a divided train. Additional security is provided through the use of the 2-2 bell signal, which informs the signalman that the tail lamp on the last coach no longer indicates the last vehicle on the train.

Edit: Looking at the rules, the tail lamp must always be placed on the "rearmost vehicle", which implies to me that it should be placed on the rear of any locomotive on the end of the train. Therefore, should that engine not arrive at the end of the section, I would expect there not to be a tail lamp.

What I am "getting at" is that the Rules & Regulations of the Main Line railways were built up over many years in the light of experience. In most cases more than one mistake needs to be made for an accident to happen, so one can easily critique arrangements as appearing over-protective and unnecessary. However, taking away long-established safety arrangements takes away that double-error security.

In your words: "Belt and Braces".

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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby guard_jamie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:37 pm

The reasoning behind the rule change that the leading locomotive now carries the token was brought in to maintain uniformity between double heading with two crews and double heading with diesel locomotives worked in multiple by one crew.
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Re: Preserved Railway Signal Boxes and Signalling Regulation

Unread postby Pete2320 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:00 pm

It is also conforming to current practice on Main Line railways.

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