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Amberley block post

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Amberley block post

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:11 pm

I've just learned, via another discussion group, that the block post at Amberley (on the Mid-Sussex line between Pulborough and Arundel) is now regularly switched-in again after several years out of use.

I think that this block post may be a rare survivor in that the 'knee' frame is housed in the booking office. The Southern Railway equipped a number of stations in this fashion but I believe this may be the last one still in use (apart from on preserved lines.)

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Unread postby Adrian the Rock » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:01 pm

Interesting. Now that Arun Valley trains divide/join at Horsham, rather than Barnham, the need for the shorter block sections is no doubt greater.
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Unread postby John » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:41 am

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Unread postby Peter Jordan » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:25 am

Maybe it's not in what is now used as the booking office but I can assure you that it was in the original booking office because I visited it and photographed the interior when it still had 'Brighton' 2-position block instruments.

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Unread postby John » Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:02 am

Peter Jordan wrote:Maybe it's not in what is now used as the booking office but I can assure you that it was in the original booking office because I visited it and photographed the interior when it still had 'Brighton' 2-position block instruments.

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You may be right - I went there looking for the SB not for the TO - station was completely unmanned
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Unread postby Keith » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:16 am

Peter Jordan wrote:Maybe it's not in what is now used as the booking office but I can assure you that it was in the original booking office because I visited it and photographed the interior when it still had 'Brighton' 2-position block instruments.

Looking at John's photographs and remembering a previous thread about signalmen selling tickets (can't remember if it was here or on the old blower), would you say it might be more accurate to say the booking office used to be in the signal box? It makes sense that the booking office would have been moved when the signal box was not being used.
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Unread postby Peter Jordan » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:56 am

No. as far as I can ascertain the building containing the booking office existed before the lever frame was put in there. This was a common expedient used by the Southern Railway to allow staff at lightly-used stations (in terms of passenger and goods traffic) to undertake passenger booking and signalling duties. Similar installations existed at Newton St. Cyres and Tower Hill and also at Wroxall and Haven Street on the Isle of Wight, although in the latter case the building was purpose-designed to fulfil both functions.

If you look at John Tilly's pictures of Amberley they clearly show the wooden extension that had to be built out from the booking office wall to give the staff a view up and down the line when at the lever frame.

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Unread postby Keith » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:08 am

Peter Jordan wrote:No. as far as I can ascertain the building containing the booking office existed before the lever frame was put in there. This was a common expedient used by the Southern Railway to allow staff at lightly-used stations (in terms of passenger and goods traffic) to undertake passenger booking and signalling duties. Similar installations existed at Newton St. Cyres and Tower Hill and also at Wroxall and Haven Street on the Isle of Wight, although in the latter case the building was purpose-designed to fulfil both functions.

If you look at John Tilly's pictures of Amberley they clearly show the wooden extension that had to be built out from the booking office wall to give the staff a view up and down the line when at the lever frame.

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Ahh - that makes sense - thanks.
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Amberley

Unread postby Richard Lemon » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:37 pm

To the best of my knowledge, Littlehaven still has a knee frame, in the (manned) Booking Office. No longer a block post, but a very busy level crossing slotting Three Bridges signals.

Clogwyn on the Snowdon Mountain Railway has a knee frame - and tickets can be issued there - so add that one!
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Unread postby John » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:45 pm

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Unread postby StevieG » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:50 pm

Having at some time seen a photo of a knee frame, at Sheffield Park (I'm pretty sure), once being open but under a platform canopy and surrounded by a railing fence, Amberley looks like it once might have been the same, but possibly later covered in when 'taken in' to booking office control.
I'm no 'Southern' expert so have no idea if this could be correct. Anyone more knowledgeable that can comment?
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Unread postby John » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:55 pm

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Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:42 pm

StevieG wrote:Having at some time seen a photo of a knee frame, at Sheffield Park (I'm pretty sure), once being open but under a platform canopy and surrounded by a railing fence, Amberley looks like it once might have been the same, but possibly later covered in when 'taken in' to booking office control.
I'm no 'Southern' expert so have no idea if this could be correct. Anyone more knowledgeable that can comment?

I believe the structure at Amberley was original and not a later addition.

There were many variations that the Southern created, ranging from open frames on platforms (sometimes railed in) through covered in extensions, to the complete opposite - the booking arrangements moved into the signal box. It is impossible to classify them as there seems to be no "standardisation" at all.

The provision of Stevens' Ground Frames (as "Knee" frames are technically called) was not a requisite feature either - take a look at http://www.signalbox.org/gallery/s/betchworth.htm and http://www.signalbox.org/gallery/s/martinmill.htm for two examples.

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Unread postby Peter Jordan » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:01 pm

From memory the frame at Amberley sits slightly below the level of the platform outside. This would make sense for two reasons - it would simplify the running of the connections to the outdoor equipment and it would allow sufficient room above the frame for the block instruments and bells - remember it was originally Tyers 2-position, instruments that are quite tall.

Perhaps now that it's open again someone can pop down and confirm? But, sorry, the Tyers are long gone!

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Unread postby Chris Osment » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:00 pm

A variation on this theme perhaps would be the non-knee frame installed in the old Porters Room at Corfe Castle in BR days.

However,going back to the booking-office examples, was it not more usually the case that these frames were not actually installed IN the BO, but rather in front of it and then the BO extended out around it?

The GF at Henstridge was also fitted within the station building, tho'sadly I have never seen a picture of the interior.
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