Railway signalling discussion

Train reporting pre-TRUST

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

Re: Train reporting pre-TRUST

Unread postby Ashley Hill » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:40 pm

We had the ATR at Totnes. The first reports on the down were from South Liberty and Castle Cary.
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Re: Train reporting pre-TRUST

Unread postby StevieG » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:44 pm

In the London / Herts. area of the ECML in the late 1960s (which was firmly pre-ATR), the signalman (or train recorder if there was one) at specific boxes reported batches of trains at intervals to the relevant Section Controller in King's Cross Divisional HQ Control at Great Northern House (opposite Somerstown Goods Depot) : These regular reports were required from, IIRC, King's Cross (I think; John ?), Potters Bar, Welwyn Garden City, Hitchin, Sandy, Huntingdon, etc. . Any delays unaccounted for would be investigated by the Controller enquiring of each intermediate box over his dial-selector Control telephone circuit (with signal boxes needing to speak to the Controller initiating conversation merely by lifting the receiver, holding down the speak key and talking on the circuit, for which the Controller would either be continually listening on his headset, or if not, normalising his concentrator's key for the circuit put any speech on the circuit onto his concentrator-top speaker.

While, on the WCML in the period 1972-74, also still pre-ATR, in Euston PSB the 'back desk' had a receive-only teleprinter between the Area Controller and train recorder (graded Assistant Controller) positions, which also received Rugby and Bletchley passing times of Up Class 1s and 2s - probably those already mentioned by S&T Engineer - [from Rugby Telegraph Office? (on Rugby PSB's ground floor), and via the STRAD system ?], plus Watford passings direct from the PSB there : Useful for not only assessing approaching train punctuality (and possibly platforming planning), but also gave the train recorder the means to update the station concourse large Solari train indicators' arrivals panels (and their 'slaves') for expected arrival times.

By the same period Euston Divisional HQ Control (Euston House ground floor, Doric Way side) may have been receiving the teleprinter reports which S&T Engineer mentioned earlier; afraid I don't recall, either way.
But staffing there included, for the WCML and MML, three particular desks (staff also graded Assistant Controller) named Down, and Up, Records (WCML), and Midland Records (presumably the duties of the Controllers for the North London, West London, and Euston-Watford DC lines included this function), whose task seemed to be only to manually record on sheets the passing times of trains at specific locations (possibly received by teleprinter - see above; otherwise...) reported by (or sought if not received frequently enough) the relevant signal box-located train recorders or Area Controllers*; and chasing and recording delay reasons obtained.

* - ( The WCML to Rugby was all PSB-signalled with an Area Controller in each, except for the four-signal box Northampton area : Whereas the MML was signalled by numerous small-area boxes, so I believe that reports and delays amongst these had to be obtained via the Area Controllers, who were in St.Pancras and Bedford North boxes, as certainly did the Northampton A/C, who was in No. 4 Box.)

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