Railway signalling discussion

Globe Road and Devonshire St

British signalling of the past (UK, excepting Northern Ireland)

Globe Road and Devonshire St

Unread postby lemmo » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:16 am

The Disused Railways website has added a detailed entry on Globe Road and Devonshire St station on the GE mainline in inner London:

Some months ago I stumbled on this station in an idle peruse of the NLS online OS maps, and was intrigued by the substantial lower-level goods yard accessed only via a steep incline off the down fast line. There was also an array of coal sidings on the up side of the fast lines, and my first thought was what a difficult working arrangement these must have posed across the fast lines.

So, was this an exceptional case, and were there any particular signalling/working arrangements to cope with multiple short-length goods movements on and across the fast lines?

...the headshunt at the foot of the incline was nowhere near long enough to accommodate a train of more than, perhaps half a dozen wagons.

Clearly this was a busy place:

The station was provided with two signal boxes. Grove Road Junction box was sited above the tracks towards the London end of the station in a similar position to the box at Coborn Road. The box was fitted with a McKenzie & Holland frame and Major Hutchinson’s report recorded that it had twenty levers of which four were spare. To the east of the station there have been four Devonshire Street boxes. The first which opened with the yard was just a block hut. The second 10 lever box was moved c1876. It was renewed again in 1877 and again on 29.6.1884 when the line was quarrupled. This new box was built on infill to the east of the up platform between the new viaduct and the original line and was also fitted with a McKenzie & Holland frame with 21 working levers and nine spare. It was enlarged to 33 levers by 1921 and renamed Devonshire Street West in 1929. The box closed 5.9.1948.

There was also a box at the east end of the yard. Canal Box was moved in 1877; at this time it had 13 levers. It was replaced with a 26 lever box as part of the quarrupling immedialy west of the original site on 29.6.1884. It was enlarged to 32 levers in 1927 and renamed Devonshire Street East in 1929. It closed 6.2.1949.

So, and apologies for asking the most basic questions:
- was this an unsual arrangement to require multiple short-length shunting movements across the fast lines?
- were there specific arrangements for workings direct between a steep incline and the fast lines?
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Re: Globe Road and Devonshire St

Unread postby StevieG » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

I can't help with the questions which you have posed lemmo.
But FWIW, in the OS map extracts lower down on that webpage, the boxes at the east end of the coal sidings in the 1896 and 1950 extracts appear to be of different shapes, so I believe that the SB on the latter (esp. as the larger part of the building looks fairly square) is in fact not Devonshire Street East, but is instead the Mile End power box of the '1949' electrification and resignalling (which definitely stood at that spot), by which time the southern pair of running lines had been renamed from 'Through's to 'Electric's, with the northern pair also changing, from 'Local's to 'Main's.
Last edited by StevieG on Sun Jul 2, 2017 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Globe Road and Devonshire St

Unread postby scarpa » Sat Jul 1, 2017 6:58 pm

In the 80 s the mains at this site were repositioned nearer the electric lines to increase the speed .The main lines now cover the access to the goods yard which had descended between the main and electric lines. Mile End panel box GRS vintage panel had been closed previously .It was not until the 90 s it was demolished and was accessed by vagrants.At some stage the mains water which was metered was cut or lead pipes stolen. The box was next to the canal and months of mains water escaped until discovered when demolition was planned.My understanding was Railtrack did not want to pay the water bill but had to cough up in the end. In the past water and electric services were often overlooked when a box was closed. Rural areas where 240 volts supply signalling I have come across lots of mains meters read by the electric supplier .
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