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St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 2012

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St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 2012

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:30 pm

First report of the new year!

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A new shelf to expand the display area for our various objects. (And at the far end to provide a permanent location for that all-important kettle!)

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The Chiltern Model Railway Association in the past three years at their annual exhibition in St Albans have been good enough to include a mention of us in their show guide and put up posters advertising the box's extended opening in parallel with the show. This year they were kind enough to invite us to set up our display boards as part of the show, as you can see above. As we were manning the box we didn't have enough people available to man the stand as well.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:01 pm

Colour Light signal demonstration - minor item from last year - we fitted the controller for these (which is inside the box) with a radio-operated reset function, so that someone outside by the gate can reset the display to the start of the sequence whenever they need to.

Midland Ground Signal and LNWR ground frame:
Now set up so that the red lever works the ground signal - a general view:
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However, to get the right pull on the ground signal's crank when the bottom of the lever moves towards it, we have a pulley under the platform in front of the frame and another pulley behind the signal, as seen here:
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This also helps us to show people how signal wires were 'taken round corners'.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby StevieG » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:53 pm

Like it, John.
Effective, education-wise, in its simplicity ; and very neatly presented.
BZOH

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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:30 am

StevieG wrote:Like it, John.
Effective, education-wise, in its simplicity ; and very neatly presented.

Thanks for the compliments - in this case others have done the work, I've just recorded it. The vegetation will need a bit of adjustment so that the wire and chain run clear of it!
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby Keith » Tue Mar 6, 2012 9:39 pm

Apart from the whole thing being excellent, I have to say I like the juxtaposition of "Shut & fasten ... Moorgate". :roll:
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Wed Mar 7, 2012 10:48 am

Keith wrote:Apart from the whole thing being excellent, I have to say I like the juxtaposition of "Shut & fasten ... Moorgate". :roll:

Pure chance, I think. Most things have been fitted (a) where there is the room and (b) where there is a solid fixing for the item. We're also at last getting labels made up for most things. Our membership of the Hertfordshire Museums Group paid off here, as at one of their quarterly meeting a year or so ago we had a session on labelling and were presented with a 'starter' kit, which proved most useful.

Since the picture was taken, we have had most of the stuff off the walls, filled in cracks and chinks where the cold winds came in, and repainted the wall. The floor has also been treated to a make-over with the cracks being discretely filled, with the result we (and our visitors) have been rather more comfortable this year without the wind whistling in where it will.

It having been four years since the exterior paintworks were done, that will be another area for our weekly working party to look at this year, particularly at the South end of the box which gets the worst of the weather, good or bad.

There will soon be an expedition to York to collect the items the NRM has agreed to let us have. The lattice signal will then be moved to leave room for the 'new' lower-quadrant Midland stop signal and re-erected a short distance behind the MR ground disc, fitted with a distant arm and connected to the yellow lever of the LNWR frame. The LQ MR signal will then be the one worked from the spare lever 32 in the box.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:32 pm

The latest addition to our garden exhibits:
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Still to be painted white - we've been waiting for the better weather to arrive, which it did today. But we were open this afternoon and visitors and wet paint don't mix!
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:12 pm

Much work has been going on 'behind the scenes' in particular to complete the new simulator ready for a formal launch on Sunday 13th May. (Any SRS members attending the Society's AGM on Sat 12th May close to the box will have a private preview in the afternoon - I shall be around so do make yourselves known!)

But last week saw the long-awaited delivery of items that the NRM are letting us have.

The major item was a Midland Railway signal, ex-Treeton Colliary we've been told.
Here it is being lifted off the lorry:
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Over the fence into the garden:
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and then moved by around eight of us to a temporary resting place:
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(And the top arm is deliberately mounted at an angle to the front of the post!)
Last edited by John Webb on Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:26 pm

More about the delivery from the NRM.
A bench - origins unknown:
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We're considering connecting this up to our 4-lever Midland ground frame to demonstrate the use of cranks etc.

A cage pallet with a quantity of various electrical switches, pulleys and other signal items:
Image

A signal ladder:
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:30 pm

Finally the smaller items passed on by the NRM.

A block shelf, lever plates and a brass plunger:
Image

And two MR signal Finials:
Image

It wasn't quite everything we'd asked for, but nevertheless they are all welcome additions to our collection.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Wed May 2, 2012 9:36 am

Research by a couple of members has revealed that the block shelf delivered to us from the NRM last week used to control the Waterloo and City line. The associated lever frame is preserved on the Great Cockrow railway.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Tue May 15, 2012 9:48 am

The Expanded Signalling Demonstration - photos taken on Sunday 13th May during the "Enthusiasts' Day" when some 80 visitors called in - so with the SRS visit on Saturday the weekend saw some 100+ visitors.
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Trains on the Down Slow and Down Fast lines - the latter a non-stop express. Our signalman is waiting to give Harpenden "Train entering section" when this train has passed through the station.

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A goods train is entering the station on the Up Slow Line and a train has been accepted on the Up Fast line; Hence all the appropriate levers on both up lines have been reversed. The train in the previous photo on the Down Slow has left for Harpenden. Note the various block instrument indications.

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The (long) goods train is passing through the station on the Up Slow line - note the number of Track Circuit lamps lit! A stopping passenger train on the Up Fast is just arriving in the station. Our signalman is poised to give TES to Napsbury for the goods train.

The demo, 7 trains in 20 minutes, gives the equivilent of 21 trains an hour - the third busiest hour in our analysis of the 1975 Working Time Table.
Last edited by John Webb on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Tue May 15, 2012 10:13 am

Did anyone take any video of the event that could be placed onto 'YouTube?' It would be nice to see things happening for real.

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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby John Webb » Tue May 15, 2012 1:00 pm

Peter - once we're settled into the new system I hope we'll do some videoing and post on 'YouTube' for all to see if they can't reach us. (I was busy concentrating on the demo and didn't notice if any SRS members were videoing - several people did on the Sunday demos - one can be seen in the middle of the three pictures above!)
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Re: St Albans South Signal Box - work and other things in 20

Unread postby DaveHarries » Tue May 15, 2012 1:54 pm

John,

Interesting to see that box. The whole setup looks fantastic and I hope I will get to see it sooner rather than later. A bit difficult coming from Bristol though! Out of interest, are the workings of the diagram controlled from a source within the grounds of the signalbox (probably a silly question, but then again I am slightly prone to asking them....!) and, if so, by what means?

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