Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

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Highpeak
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Highpeak » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:10 pm

Re pictures of Midland engines in your time period: there are some very good shots from the first decade of the last century in the Foxline book The Railway from Buxton to Bakewell, Matlock and Ambergate (ISBN 1-870119-06-1).

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:46 pm

Highpeak wrote:Re pictures of Midland engines in your time period: there are some very good shots from the first decade of the last century in the Foxline book The Railway from Buxton to Bakewell, Matlock and Ambergate (ISBN 1-870119-06-1).

Neville

Thanks Neville,

luckily I have a copy, along with Bill Hudson's book on the line, both of which are very useful. However, to get a feel for the colour of the track dirt weathering I probably need a few colour photos, and the best I can probably do is to look at more recent images (probably of coaching stock) running on one of the other lines in the area where the track bed/ballast is of a similar constitution.

Tim
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby RobM » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:15 pm

Le Corbusier wrote: Does anyone know if track dirt in white limestone country would have a whitey grey rather than a brownie grey hue? Perhaps I should try and find some more recent colour images that would give me a steer here.
Anyway, that's the plan - so plenty of scope for accidents and mistakes!

Tim......all about unifying the scene, if you have a whitish ballast I would tend towards a whitish/grey only to make the stock sit in the landscape but consideration has also to be given where else the stock has run........as long as there is no definite contrast I think you can get away with a whitey/grey/brown hue.........
The problem I have is that model paints do not have the established PB numbers and colour terms, whereas in the art world paints/pigments are so defined, so my take would be a mix of cobalt blue/burnt sienna and titanium white but what does that equate to in say Humbrol?
I always use artist's colours and pigments because that is what I have intimate knowledge about.......but does it answer your question? As you say, recent colour images may steer you to a more 'localised' colour.
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:33 pm

Tim......all about unifying the scene, if you have a whitish ballast I would tend towards a whitish/grey only to make the stock sit in the landscape but consideration has also to be given where else the stock has run........as long as there is no definite contrast I think you can get away with a whitey/grey/brown hue.........


Thanks Rob,

What you say about unifying the scene is I think particularly pertinent. I will have a shot on the Barney and Clayton coach for practice, but I suspect that weathering the actual stock for Monsal Dale should really wait until the layout is far enough progressed to allow everything to be considered in the round.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:34 pm

I am currently trying to work out/hazard a guess as to the signalling set up at Monsal Dale. I am pretty new to all of this and am only just starting out in understanding how things work generally (let alone specifically relating to a given location). I wondered if anyone might be able to explain in idiot's speak what I am looking at and how to read it?

I have a selection of photos of showing what appears to have been there in terms of the signal posts. I have some map info ... OS from the correct period 1900 plus a track plan. I also have a signalling diagram circa 1960. I understand not a great deal had changed.

The two problems I am having are-

1. Marying up the actual signals as far as I can make out to what appears to be on the signal plan ... perhaps I am not reading things correctly. The plan suggests to me that there should be two sets of signals on each side of the tracks on both the up and down line (signals 2, 3, 10 & 12) and a further signal at the tunnel entrance (signal 13). Signal 13 I assume indicates lights rather than semaphore but I assume would have replaced an older style unit. This all seems to make sense .... though I am still struggling to fully understand how the signals relate to the various sidings.

Signal plan.jpg


However when I turn to the OS & Track plans and the photos, there appear to be only two actual signals not 5. Furthermore from the photos each would appear to have only a single semaphore.

OS.jpg
Monsal Dale two chain plan.jpg
Monsal Dale20160117_10103171.jpg
Monsal Dale 2 HCC 5.1953.jpg

Monsal Dale station 1911.jpg


2. If one accepts that there actually only 2 signals, I am then really struggling to understand how they work from a control standpoint. How can such an arrangement control the various sidings and crossovers?

Any form of lay persons/idiots explanation would be very much appreciated.

As a guide to how basic this needs to be, the limit of my knowledge to date comes from recently embarking upon the reading of 'How to be a railway signalman' by David Walden and I haven't finished the book yet.

Thanks in hope!

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:21 pm

there appear to be only two actual signals not 5.

The 1966 plan shows 6, distant home and starter on each line. The distants, 1 and 12 would have been converted from semaphore to colour light sometime between the 1930s and the date of the plan. Conversion of isolated distants to colour light was LMS/LMR policy to mitigate the effects of fog.
Its possible that the starters were added at some time and that only the distants and homes were original but more likely IMHO that the starters are just not shown on the OS plan. The Down starter would be off scene anyway on those plans.

Shunting would be controlled by hand signals/flags out of the box window.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:43 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:
there appear to be only two actual signals not 5.

The 1966 plan shows 6, distant home and starter on each line. The distants, 1 and 12 would have been converted from semaphore to colour light sometime between the 1930s and the date of the plan. Conversion of isolated distants to colour light was LMS/LMR policy to mitigate the effects of fog.
Its possible that the starters were added at some time and that only the distants and homes were original but more likely IMHO that the starters are just not shown on the OS plan. The Down starter would be off scene anyway on those plans.

Shunting would be controlled by hand signals/flags out of the box window.
Regards


Thanks Keith,

Fully understand the signals marked 1 and 12 now.

The use of hand signals and flags is also interesting, though beyond my knowledge level to understand exactly how it would work at this moment in time.

What I am struggling with is the other signals. There is clear photographic and plan evidence for signals 10 and 11. However I can find no evidence for either signal 2 or 3. I have a very good Midland official photo blown up to AI curtesy of the NRM from 1911 and there is definitely no signal 2 in the picture.

MR Official 1911_Monsal Dale Station 1.jpg


signal 3 is more difficult to be certain about, but given that 10 and 11 are clearly visible in photos of similar distance and quality It is hard to explain why it can't be made out.

Would it be at all workable if they were missing?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Noel » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:22 pm

Is that not no. 2 above no.10 on the same post in the MR signalled photo? Or am I seeing things? Given the curve, I would expect no. 2 to be on the 'wrong side' of the line, for maximum visibility, despite what the signalling diagram appears to show. The LMS signalling photo is not at all clear, but seems to show a similar arrangement, but with no. 10 above no.2. Arms for opposite directions on the same post is not that unusual, especially where there are sighting problems.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:21 pm

Noel wrote:Is that not no. 2 above no.10 on the same post in the MR signalled photo? Or am I seeing things? Given the curve, I would expect no. 2 to be on the 'wrong side' of the line, for maximum visibility, despite what the signalling diagram appears to show. The LMS signalling photo is not at all clear, but seems to show a similar arrangement, but with no. 10 above no.2. Arms for opposite directions on the same post is not that unusual, especially where there are sighting problems.


Noel,

I think you are right ... I have looked at the larger copy of the MR official photo which I have and though fuzzy it does appear that there is an upper signal facing towards the track (No.2?) and a lower facing out from the track (No.10?). I have also enlarged the following picture...
Monsal Dale detail.jpg
Monsal Dale detail.jpg (63.83 KiB) Viewed 6913 times
which clearly shows the relative positions reversed? Why would that have been done?

I have also found signal No. 3 indicated on the 1899 25" OS plan.... so it would appear that it is just not visible in any of the photos. Am I right that this would be a single Semaphore.

I am going to have a bash at shortening/condensing the track plan for the purposes of modelling which I hope will then include all but the two distants (Nos. 1 & 12).

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Noel » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:33 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:which clearly shows the relative positions reversed? Why would that have been done?


My suggestion would be that it was for reasons of visibility again, following the change from LQ to UQ signals, given that no. 2 has to be sighted either through or over the bridge.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Noel » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:54 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:I have also found signal No. 3 indicated on the 1899 25" OS plan.... so it would appear that it is just not visible in any of the photos. Am I right that this would be a single Semaphore.


That is what the signalling diagram shows, although the possibility that the situation changed between 1905 and 1966 cannot be ruled out without background knowledge which I do not have.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:17 pm

Thanks Noel,

much appreciate the input

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:50 pm

which clearly shows the relative positions reversed? Why would that have been done?
I would agree with Noel, when the signal was renewed as UQ there would have been a new sighting committee.

I have also found signal No. 3 indicated on the 1899 25" OS plan.... so it would appear that it is just not visible in any of the photos. Am I right that this would be a single Semaphore.

Again, yes just a single arm as Noel said, that is the starter into the block and well out past the Ground Frame hence not being on the photos.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby John Palmer » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:01 am

I think the Down Starting Signal, No.3, may be visible adjacent to the tunnel mouth, as shown on the edited shot attached.
Monsal Dn Starter.jpg
Monsal Dn Starter.jpg (175.6 KiB) Viewed 6839 times
It appears to have a white sighting board attached to the post, or alternatively there is a white panel serving the same purpose painted on the tunnel portal. The shape of the sighting panel/board suggests a LQ arm, so the signal may well be substantially similar to No.11, which is closer and more clearly seen in the picture.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:37 am

John Palmer wrote:I think the Down Starting Signal, No.3, may be visible adjacent to the tunnel mouth, as shown on the edited shot attached.Monsal Dn Starter.jpg It appears to have a white sighting board attached to the post, or alternatively there is a white panel serving the same purpose painted on the tunnel portal. The shape of the sighting panel/board suggests a LQ arm, so the signal may well be substantially similar to No.11, which is closer and more clearly seen in the picture.


John,

I wondered about that. However for the starter signal on the diagram it is shown as being a little beyond the siding and quite a way from the tunnel. Also on the enlarged 1892-1905 25 inch map the starter signal is also located in the same position. This would I think suggest that the position is correct because I would be surprised if the OS if the show a signal would then position it incorrectly - and the other two OS signals are certainly correctly positioned.
Monsal Dale Signal Positions.jpg


If this surmise is correct, then presumably any signal at the tunnel mouth would be the distant signal and from my limited understanding wouldn't that be on the other side and viewed towards the station?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Noel » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:51 pm

Distant signals were intended to act as an 'early warning' for the home. The signal would, unless circumstances made it impossible, be far enough away from the home for a driver passing it at danger to be able to stop easily at the home it protected. It would normally be expected to be clearly visible before, often well before, the driver reached it, to maximise the stopping distance available to the home. I assume that passenger trains on this line could be travelling at 60+ at least.

The signal by the tunnel, identified by John, could be the distant for the next box, but if it is not no. 3, then where is no. 3? No. 3 is essential, to allow the signalman to control the departure of trains after the g/f has been restored, and to prevent shunting trains fouling the next section. If it was the distant for trains approaching from the tunnel towards the camera, there are sighting issues, as it would not be visible until the very last minute. I would have expected it to at least be on the other side of the line, where it would be seen earlier; more likely is that that distant would be the other side of the tunnel, I think.

The OS survey would have been carried out some time before the map was published, so it is possible that the signal was moved before the photo was taken. Shunting at the ground frame end of the sidings would have to be within the starter, or the signalman would have to offer the train to the next box, have it accepted, and then cancel the acceptance when the move was finished. Moving the signal up to the tunnel would reduce the need for this, make life easier for all concerned and speed up the shunting. The signalling diagram should not be taken as being to scale; it shows the relative positions of points, signals and track circuits, but plain line may well be significantly shortened, as it is not relevant to the purposes of the diagram.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:11 pm

I suggest you look on the 1922 OS map, which shows the signal much closer to the tunnel mouth.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:16 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:I suggest you look on the 1922 OS map, which shows the signal much closer to the tunnel mouth.

Given the white mark near the tunnel entrance and the 1922 map, I assume you believe we can be pretty certain that number 3 signal was located in this position.

Do you think that the position was moved (impossible question I know) between the earlier (I think larger scale) map and the later? The white mark at the tunnel entrance is from the 1911 official photo so it suggests it would have been at the tunnel position by this stage. I am sure I read somewhere that the signal box was replaced around the turn of the century ... perhaps the positions were moved at this time? Come what may perhaps the 1922 position is perhaps the most likely for my period of 1902? given that the earlier survey was I assume carried out in the early 1890s?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:54 pm

Sorry, meant 1923 (typo)

The 1:10,560 1923 OS map shows the signal right next to the tunnel mouth, not at the site on earlier maps. That suggests to me that the detail may not have been updated on the 1922 1:2500 map and the signal could well have been moved earlier. Such 'errors' are not unusual.

Why it was moved and when I could not say. I am not an expert. I just looked at the OS maps on the NLS and Old-Maps site out of curiosity whilst I was on there for information about something else.

Whatever, don't get too obsessed about it. Model railways are supposed to be fun.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:14 pm

Noel wrote:Distant signals were intended to act as an 'early warning' for the home. The signal would, unless circumstances made it impossible, be far enough away from the home for a driver passing it at danger to be able to stop easily at the home it protected. It would normally be expected to be clearly visible before, often well before, the driver reached it, to maximise the stopping distance available to the home. I assume that passenger trains on this line could be travelling at 60+ at least.

The signal by the tunnel, identified by John, could be the distant for the next box, but if it is not no. 3, then where is no. 3? No. 3 is essential, to allow the signalman to control the departure of trains after the g/f has been restored, and to prevent shunting trains fouling the next section. If it was the distant for trains approaching from the tunnel towards the camera, there are sighting issues, as it would not be visible until the very last minute. I would have expected it to at least be on the other side of the line, where it would be seen earlier; more likely is that that distant would be the other side of the tunnel, I think.

The OS survey would have been carried out some time before the map was published, so it is possible that the signal was moved before the photo was taken. Shunting at the ground frame end of the sidings would have to be within the starter, or the signalman would have to offer the train to the next box, have it accepted, and then cancel the acceptance when the move was finished. Moving the signal up to the tunnel would reduce the need for this, make life easier for all concerned and speed up the shunting. The signalling diagram should not be taken as being to scale; it shows the relative positions of points, signals and track circuits, but plain line may well be significantly shortened, as it is not relevant to the purposes of the diagram.


Noel,

Thanks for this detailed response ... very helpful. I think I am finally getting my head around things.

Also, having just re-read your thoughts I see that you suggest that the signal was probably moved. I can also see why the distant signal would most likely have been on the other side of the tunnel.

My thinking for compressing the track plan to make it suitable for layout purposes was to bring the tunnel forward much closer to the siding. I am now wondering if this scenario would be at all realistic or workable? Do you need a distance of at least the length of the loop beyond its end prior to the tunnel? If you do, then presumably I should omit the loop and make it a simple siding? Would that ever have happened. Or should I simply ditch the idea of bringing the tunnel forward and think another way of moving off scene?

I see no point at all in modelling something that either couldn't work in reality or that would never have been done even if workable.

Tim

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:38 pm

Rather depends on what the siding is used for, ideally you need to keep shunting within station limits, ie inside the starter, It saves having to bell every shunt move onto the next box.
This suggests that signal 3 was moved out either because,
a). The ground frame was added to allow use as a lay-by, previous access having been only by the crossovers next to the box.
b). The signal was moved to eliminate the need to shunt into the forward section as use as lay-by was increasing.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:27 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:
My thinking for compressing the track plan to make it suitable for layout purposes was to bring the tunnel forward much closer to the siding. I am now wondering if this scenario would be at all realistic or workable? Do you need a distance of at least the length of the loop beyond its end prior to the tunnel? If you do, then presumably I should omit the loop and make it a simple siding? Would that ever have happened. Or should I simply ditch the idea of bringing the tunnel forward and think another way of moving off scene?

I see no point at all in modelling something that either couldn't work in reality or that would never have been done even if workable.

Tim

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Looking at the maps, the loop was a long headshunt for the siding in earlier days, so not much shorter really. Have you got Bill Hudson's book on the line? There are several other possibilities you might consider in there.

The Midland had a huge variety of stations from tiny termini to huge city stations, so you have plenty of choice really, especially if you consider sites away from the Peak District. There were a number of lines proposed, but not built - including one from Hassop northwards to Grindleford. There have been some very successful 'might-have-beens' in model form.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:58 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Looking at the maps, the loop was a long headshunt for the siding in earlier days, so not much shorter really. Have you got Bill Hudson's book on the line? There are several other possibilities you might consider in there.

The Midland had a huge variety of stations from tiny termini to huge city stations, so you have plenty of choice really, especially if you consider sites away from the Peak District. There were a number of lines proposed, but not built - including one from Hassop northwards to Grindleford. There have been some very successful 'might-have-beens' in model form.


I am still very keen to model Monsal Dale for many reasons.

My thinking as far as it has gone is to use the bridge over the line before the station as the intro to the scenic section. Run the trains from the bridge, through the station, past the signal box and loop and exit via the tunnel. I thought that this would allow me to run up and down trains - both passenger and goods - and also enjoy a bit of shunting around the station.

In order to do this I will have to contract portions of the layout to try to limit the overall length whilst hopefully not overly compromising the reading of the layout. To some extent I hope contracting the layout might achieve something of the foreshortening you get in many of the photos which will increase the drama and to my mind actually give a more accurate sense impression.

As I am looking to set the layout in 1902 (pre the change in the loco lamp irons) and will mainly be running the 6 Wheel coaches plus goods I think that I can get away with the trains not being overly long whilst still looking sensible.

my thinking therefore was as follows-

Slightly foreshorten the distance from the bridge over the line to the station platform... to increase the drama and steepness of the banks. Reduce the overall length of the platform by say 30ft. Keep the slip and track work around the signal box pretty much as is. Reduce the length of the long loop by a quarter. Place the starter signal a little beyond this and then bring the tunnel entrance forward such that the signal relationship is similar to that of the 1923 OS position discussed. I believe I can model this in a way that gives the right overall impression.

However, following all the patient and helpful comments from people regarding the signals and how the track might have been worked, I am now concerned that the tunnel entrance and position of the starter signal will be far too close to the slip and ground frame to make much sense operationally? Originally the shunt was much smaller and there was only the loop opposite the signal box (changed I think in the late 1880s). I could perhaps model this with the imaginary scenario that it was never extended ... or could I extend it to the current length but leave it as a simple siding with no loop and ground frame?

Hence why I was pondering whether to ditch the idea of taking the layout right up to the tunnel at all and think of some other device to end the scenic section.

At the moment I admit to having my fingers crossed that my original ideas might make sense as using the tunnel entrance to end the scene would be ideal.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Noel » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:56 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:and also enjoy a bit of shunting around the station.


Judging by the local goods facilities provided (or rather the lack of them), the average traffic would probably at its maximum only be of the order of 4-5 general traffic/livestock vehicles per week, perhaps 1-2 coal wagons and possibly some wagons for quarry traffic [since there seems to be a high loading bank for tipping].

Le Corbusier wrote:Originally the shunt was much smaller and there was only the loop opposite the signal box (changed I think in the late 1880s).


There is no practical loop opposite the box, just crossovers from each main line into the goods siding or the down siding, with a trailing crossover in the main line superimposed. In theory it might be possible to run round a single wagon, but it is not very railway like in my view, and the locking would probably prevent it anyway, I suspect.

Most probably the goods siding was shunted in one direction only; if any urgent traffic was collected/delivered in the other direction, which I suggest is unlikely, then it would be moved manually to/from the down siding. The layout is fairly standard late MR practice, and the connection between the goods siding and the down siding is probably primarily intended to provide protection when the down siding is used as a lie-by. The g/f would then have been provided later so that this siding could be used as a lie-by for both directions.

Le Corbusier wrote:Reduce the length of the long loop by a quarter. Place the starter signal a little beyond this and then bring the tunnel entrance forward such that the signal relationship is similar to that of the 1923 OS position discussed.


Apart from the issue of shunting into the forward section mentioned earlier, shunting into tunnels was generally avoided for safety reasons and the need for the loco crew to be able to see the guard's hand signals.

Armchair Modeller wrote:Looking at the maps, the loop was a long headshunt for the siding in earlier days,
Or a lie-by as I suggest above [a long headshunt seems improbable, since, if that is its purpose, it can only be accessed via the much shorter goods siding and trains travelling the other way would have the loco at the wrong end...] Changing the down siding into a loop was almost certainly what led to the change in position of the signal, as the starter would then need to be beyond the end of the loop.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:49 pm

Thanks Noel,

I will have to read this all through a few times to make sure I fully understand. I take from all of this that having a reasonable distance beyond the loop before the tunnel is pretty essential.

I will have to see if I can find someone to sit down with and go through the basic principles of how train movements might have worked as I am still not sure I have got it worked out and understood .... unfortunately I am starting from a very low base!

edit
below are a couple of photos I believe taken at the same time in I think 1955. They show two separate sets of goods wagons ... one completely filling the station siding, the other on what I have been calling the loop ... is this the head shunt for the station siding? Could anybody explain what might be happening here in terms of movements?
Monsal Dale20160117_10080645.jpg
Monsal Dale20160117_10103171.jpg




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