Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

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Captain Kernow
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box

Postby Captain Kernow » Wed May 01, 2019 7:38 pm

jim s-w wrote:I know it is. But Brettell Road (the model) is based in midland territory.

The design of the lever frame, block instruments and reminder appliances may differ, but their application in accordance with the Rules & Regulations would not have differed by the British Railways era.
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box

Postby JFS » Thu May 02, 2019 9:23 am

Captain Kernow wrote:The design of the lever frame, block instruments and reminder appliances may differ, but their application in accordance with the Rules & Regulations would not have differed by the British Railways era.


Well, that is a sweeping statement if ever there was one and, off hand, I can't think of more than a couple of hundred exceptions! To take the most obvious example, the BR bell codes were not brought into use until the early 60's and not on the Southern Region until the early seventies. Even then the "standard" list of bell codes was full of "Does not apply to Southern/Western/Eastern Regions". In his book "An Entry in the train Register", John Francis talks about working in Western Region boxes in the late seventies and how he fell out with colleagues who refused to implement BR methods of working.

In terms of equipment, I think it would be true to say that the vast majority of mechanical boxes closed with the pre-grouping equipment intact along with the methods need to work them. in the case of the Southern Region, Preece's and Tyer's 2-position instruments, Sykes lock and block etc. were being replaced in the late 70s - not with BR "lego" types but with Southern Railway Standard 3-position instrument, which were more better if a bit more expensive.

I think a slightly more accurate sweeping statement might be that throughout the steam era, pre-grouping and pre-nationaisation practices were progressively brought into line with former LMS (Midland) practices but in most cases, former practices would have survived until the closure of the boxes.
I suggest that, as Jim is talking about a former Midland example, signalmen working therein would not have noticed much difference with the coming of BR.

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box

Postby Captain Kernow » Thu May 02, 2019 9:12 pm

JFS wrote:
Captain Kernow wrote:The design of the lever frame, block instruments and reminder appliances may differ, but their application in accordance with the Rules & Regulations would not have differed by the British Railways era.


Well, that is a sweeping statement if ever there was one and, off hand, I can't think of more than a couple of hundred exceptions! To take the most obvious example, the BR bell codes were not brought into use until the early 60's and not on the Southern Region until the early seventies. Even then the "standard" list of bell codes was full of "Does not apply to Southern/Western/Eastern Regions". In his book "An Entry in the train Register", John Francis talks about working in Western Region boxes in the late seventies and how he fell out with colleagues who refused to implement BR methods of working.

In terms of equipment, I think it would be true to say that the vast majority of mechanical boxes closed with the pre-grouping equipment intact along with the methods need to work them. in the case of the Southern Region, Preece's and Tyer's 2-position instruments, Sykes lock and block etc. were being replaced in the late 70s - not with BR "lego" types but with Southern Railway Standard 3-position instrument, which were more better if a bit more expensive.

I think a slightly more accurate sweeping statement might be that throughout the steam era, pre-grouping and pre-nationaisation practices were progressively brought into line with former LMS (Midland) practices but in most cases, former practices would have survived until the closure of the boxes.
I suggest that, as Jim is talking about a former Midland example, signalmen working therein would not have noticed much difference with the coming of BR.

Well, I was speaking about the fact that British Railways established a standard, one company set of Rules and Regulations, which were distributed to all those staff who had need of them.

Of course there were exceptions (that was what Sectional Appendices and individual box instructions were for) and in many cases, it would be due to the variety of individual infrastructure configurations, track layouts and the like.

But Jim's query was about reminder appliances, not the much wider application of operating rules and regulations, nor whether signalling equipment of any given era survived until the closure of the signal box, whenever that might have been.

So, in general, sweeping statement terms, reminder appliances were provided by railway management to help signalmen in situations where they could not rely on the security of the signalling equipment, for whatever reason.

I saw them used many times during my career, plus occasionally the consequences of not using them.
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box

Postby JFS » Fri May 03, 2019 7:26 am

Captain Kernow wrote:Well, I was speaking about the fact that British Railways established a standard, one company set of Rules and Regulations, which were distributed to all those staff who had need of them.


I fully agree in terms of the Rules, (which the RCH standardised decades before nationalisation) but as far as "steam-era BR" is concerned there was no BR set of Signalling Regulations - they were all issued regionally. As far as I recall, the first set of Signalling Regs issued nationally was dated 1 October 1972 - a quarter of a century on from Nationalisation and only 23 years before Railtrack (spit). Even then fudges were necessary - on the Western, Reg 4A (Line Clear to Home Signal) appears in full in the 1960 Regional Regs but has gone in the 1972 BR edition. It did not disappear on the ground of course - it could not unless someone was prepared to pay for a lot of additional slotting of distant signals!!!

You must tell us The Tale of the Neglected Lever Collar...

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box

Postby Captain Kernow » Fri May 03, 2019 8:21 am

JFS wrote:You must tell us The Tale of the Neglected Lever Collar...

Well, a Gentleman should never speak of such things!

But typical example of where a lever collar could be used might be where the signalman is notified that a passenger train has passed through the section with a 'door on the catch'. There is no suggestion that anyone has fallen from the train (the door may have been left on the catch by inattentive platform staff at the previous station), but the next train through the section would need to be stopped and informed and instructed to keep a good look out. The line isn't blocked, so the section signal may be cleared once Line Clear has been obtained from the box ahead. If the signalman is somehow distracted and fails to act upon the message, then he (or she) might be in a position to signal the train right through without stopping it and speaking to the driver. Thus, if anything had been amiss, the driver would not have been forewarned.

If, on the other hand, there was definite information that someone had fallen from the train and could be lying injured or worse, on or about the line, then the driver would be instructed to Examine the Line in a formal, Rules & Regulations sense, which would require the section signal to be maintained at danger and the driver instructed to pass it and proceed cautiously, literally 'examining the line'. Of course, there was no specific speed laid down for 'examining the line' and some drivers interpreted it more literally than others.
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby Captain Kernow » Fri May 03, 2019 8:26 am

Actually, what interests me about this in a modelling sense, is whether Jim was interested in depicting any operating situations in model form, possibly some which might involve the signalman in Bretall Lane signal box using a lever collar.

I recall one P4 layout, relatively recently (but can't recall the name), where Single Line Working was shown. I think that was the only time I've ever seen it done in model form.

Some operating scenarios (SLW is arguably one of them) need additional figures to be deployed on the layout, which may put some folk off. Others, such as cautioning a driver past a signal at danger in connection with a signalling failure ahead, wouldn't necessarily require any, but some observers at a show might just think the signal didn't work!

I am hoping, however, all things being equal, that I will be allowed to have a go at implementing SLW at least once this coming Scaleforum (2019), over the Ouse Valley Viaduct!
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box

Postby Captain Kernow » Fri May 03, 2019 8:29 am

JFS wrote:As far as I recall, the first set of Signalling Regs issued nationally was dated 1 October 1972 - a quarter of a century on from Nationalisation

You may well be correct, I started my career using the 1972 Rule Book and associated publications, but I thought I could recall the 'Green Book' being older than that?

JFS wrote:before Railtrack (spit)

I initially read that as 'split' and then realised that you had probably spelled that intentionally!
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby John Palmer » Fri May 03, 2019 9:51 am

Captain Kernow wrote:I recall one P4 layout, relatively recently (but can't recall the name), where Single Line Working was shown. I think that was the only time I've ever seen it done in model form.

Possession of the up line, Knutsford East, at Scalefour North in 2013, perthaps?

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby JFS » Fri May 03, 2019 10:58 am

Captain Kernow wrote:Actually, what interests me about this in a modelling sense, is whether Jim was interested in depicting any operating situations in model form, possibly some which might involve the signalman in Bretall Lane signal box using a lever collar.


Well, we can always send the boys round to make sure he does...

Certainly, on my Minories layout, we leave a van right at the buffer stop end of Platform 3 - hidden away under the overall roof. It stays there for loading whilst other (shunt) movements get put on top. There being neither T/C nor treadle, we collar the main arm (lever 23) and use the calling-on, lever 24, to admit those movements. The signalman sits at the front of the layout in full view of the public, and (whilst I was doing the job - there were five of us) at Epson show last weekend, I did get one positive comment from an observer, so there are people who take an interest in these things - which I take as a positive sign!

I also "work" as signalman on a couple of other large layouts (one EM and one P4) where collars are regularlly used - but they do not go out on public show. On one oaccasion, the lack of a collar caused a departing train to run smack into a light engine which had been left out on the Main Line awaiting a shunt...

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby Captain Kernow » Fri May 03, 2019 1:40 pm

John Palmer wrote:
Captain Kernow wrote:I recall one P4 layout, relatively recently (but can't recall the name), where Single Line Working was shown. I think that was the only time I've ever seen it done in model form.

Possession of the up line, Knutsford East, at Scalefour North in 2013, perthaps?

Thanks, yes, that's the one. I think I read about the SLW, as I wasn't at Scalefour North that year.

There was also slightly more to see in terms of staff on the ground and lamps or flags at points that had been secured for wrong direction movements in the days of steam and first couple of decades of diesels, than there are today.

Today, SLW is often only implemented where there are facing crossovers for movements both onto the Wrong Line and off again. In replicating this in model form, we are denied the interesting theatre of long trains being propelled back through crossovers!
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby jim s-w » Fri May 03, 2019 4:44 pm

Captain Kernow wrote:Actually, what interests me about this in a modelling sense, is whether Jim was interested in depicting any operating situations in model form, possibly some which might involve the signalman in Bretall Lane signal box using a lever collar.


The topic has meandered a long way from it’s origins (all interesting mind you). Any thoughts on what the collars are being used for in the video? As it was the last day of the box being used and signalling control being transferred elsewhere was there perhaps some missing or redundant infrastructure involved or was it compensating for something new? I wonder if the presence of the track workers is relevant?

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby Captain Kernow » Fri May 03, 2019 6:25 pm

With regard to the track workers, my immediate thought would be that they are undertaking work on the track between trains, or on lines not affected by the passage of trains and the lever collar is there to remind the signalman not to inadvertantly clear the signal protecting their site of work. There was provision at the time for remote worksites (ie. miles from controlled signals) to be protected purely by handsignalmen with flags and detonators, but if there is a controlled signal, that is always preferable.

Potentially signalling controls may have been disconnected, which might enable the signalman to pull signals that would otherwise be locked by the occupation of track circuits or the block section to the next box ahead being occupied.

Either way, the lever collar is an aide memoire and would supplement any forms filled out in connection with engineering work or, more probably at that time, entries in the train register.

I wonder who the other people in the box were?
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby Will L » Fri May 03, 2019 7:35 pm

John Palmer wrote:
Captain Kernow wrote:I recall one P4 layout, relatively recently (but can't recall the name), where Single Line Working was shown. I think that was the only time I've ever seen it done in model form.

Possession of the up line, Knutsford East, at Scalefour North in 2013, perthaps?


Yes John (see I can get it right) and the event was fairly well documented in on page 4 of Snooze 813 under the tittle "Knutsford Possessed", but I'm afraid the use of collars on signal levers doesn't get a mention.

The society used the one from last photo in this article (or one very like it) in its adverts for quite a while. It shows a train headed by a our B7 setting off from Knutsford wrong line, I wonder how many people noticed.

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby JFS » Sat May 04, 2019 7:45 am

jim s-w wrote: Any thoughts on what the collars are being used for in the video?
Jim


Very hard to say of course, and "last days" cannot ever be "everyday" situtations! But I would not like anyone to think that the use of collars was in any way an unusual occurance - very far from it. Any situation where an engine or vehicles are left on any kind of running line - EVEN FOR A MOMENT - necessitates using a collar. And on "traditional" railways (ie from those days when there was a bit of real shunting done) such things happened many times a day, every day, day-in, day-out - even in small boxes.

It is that emphasis on "even for a moment" which links back to what was said about Quintishill and Hawes Junction - even a small distraction can result in "just a moment" becoming just another disaster. Had collars been used in either situation, disaster would have been averted.

Putting that another way Jim, assuming Super-Bretall is going to use more than a single locomotive at any one time, and one of them is going to be held at a (shunt) signal whilst the other does something else, you are likely to need collars! I suspect something like that is what was going on in the video.

In connection with engineering work, it is worth mentioning that most railways also provided "Workmen - disconnected" clips as well, which were also placed on the affected levers. (And these "reminders" exist in panel boxes of course!)

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby JFS » Sat May 04, 2019 8:01 am

... another meander, and a moan about "model railwayisms" ...

Recent exhibition: layout is a representation of a small through station on a main line; there are "sort-of" signals.

Observation; small 0-6-0 trundles through on a short goods train. Tail and side lights correctly in place on the van - well done. Then the main-line express tears through at full speed one block later...

Not only is the nonesense of such a thing blindingly clear to everyone, but for me the "correct" way is also a much more interesting viewer spectacle - the Goods should be shunted to the opposite running line for the express to pass - a clear situation for the use of a collar!

Unfortunately, that spectacle could have been any/every exhibition, but it was actually a lot closer to home and where people really should be trying a bit harder... (maybe they did not have confidence the goods would not derail on the crossover ...)

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby John Palmer » Sun May 05, 2019 2:15 pm

An example of just such a manoeuvre is illustrated by one of Ron Toop's shots at Radstock at https://www.flickr.com/photos/midsomer-norton-south-station/7264155058/in/album-72157629882634822/. One can't be sure, but it is probable that this shows the 6.5 Templecombe-Bath Goods being overtaken by the Up 'Pines'. In 1955 this would have occurred on weekdays at about 11.38, being the 'Pines' booked passing time at Radstock. The 6.5 was booked to arrive at Radstock at 11.18, allowing some 10-15 minutes for the setting back movement to the Down line before the 'Pines' could be expected to be offered from Midsomer Norton. Departure time was 11.50, allowing an ample 12 minutes for the 'Pines' to clear the Radstock-Writhlington block. I estimate that in the linked picture the 6.5 is standing about 300 yards ahead of Radstock East's Down Home signal, so I assume that in addition to collaring that signal's lever the Signalwoman will have blocked back to Writhlington.

I have a very faint hope that I might one day see this manoeuvre reproduced in miniature, but here's the problem I have with Howard's moan. Notionally the model 'Pines' is descending the northern slopes of Mendip at between 45 and 50 mph, but Radstock West is going to begin preparations for its arrival when it is still six miles distant at Chilcompton, because he's going to have a fight with recalcitrant motorists to get his crossing gates closed. The likelihood is that he will offer the express to East some four to five minutes at least before it is due to pass, and East will ask on to Writhlington soon thereafter because it's a short block. So the Up line signals come off, but then there's a pause of, what, three minutes or more before the 'Pines' comes tearing through? The exhibitors of this mythical layout are 'getting it all right', including these time intervals, but by the time the 'Pines' comes through most of the punters have drifted away due to the absence of running line activity in the preceding three minutes or more.

Whilst I understand Howard's exasperation with wholly unrealistic intervals between the passage of trains, I guess its those trains that the punters came to see, and if they don't then the layout is going to go down in memory as the one where 'the bells rang, but no trains ran.' It's a criticism that has been levelled at an exhibition layout before, and there's a balance to be struck between realism and showmanship to prevent it being applied again.

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (meandering into the Quintinshill disaster)

Postby Noel » Sun May 05, 2019 4:06 pm

It may be necessary to tailor the length of the delay to the expected audience, or it may be necessary to provide more information for them than is commonly done, or both perhaps, as a matter of explanation and education, rather than just leaving them in the dark. Few amongst them, even in shows like ours, will actually know much about what is going on, AND WHY, I suspect. But then, the same may well be true of the layout builders and operators; how many understand realistic operation in the prototypical sense, or are even interested in it?

In this particular instance, continuing movement is not that difficult, as there is a third loco visible, which seems to be moving, so is presumably shunting. Get the audience watching the shunting, and then, suddenly, the brief drama of the Pines, followed fairly quickly by the departure of the freight...
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon May 06, 2019 7:49 pm

John Palmer wrote: have a very faint hope that I might one day see this manoeuvre reproduced in miniature,


What might be a bit more common is a slower train setting back into a lay-by siding, or run into a passing loop, where such facilities exist on the model, be it fictitious or based on an actual prototype. Setting back into a lay-by siding is a feature of the operation on Barry Luck's Plumpton Green and also on the Mid-Sussex's group's model of Pulborough. For those who want to see it, Plumpton Green's next outing will be at the Bluebell Railway model show on June 29th/30th and Pulborough will of course be on show at Scaleforum on September 28th/29th

JFS wrote: (maybe they did not have confidence the goods would not derail on the crossover ...)


A challenge of course but with a bit of care it can be done and usually ( :thumb ) it works on the afore mentioned layouts. :)

quote="John Palmer"]but by the time the 'Pines' comes through most of the punters have drifted away due to the absence of running line activity in the preceding three minutes or more.[/quote]

Leaving it for three real time minutes might be a bit much, but a short time delay might be covered by one of the operators, or even someone designated for the job, explaining to the public what is happening. That does happen on both the layouts mentioned and helps to explain to the non expert visitor - and the children, what is happening.

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby Jim Summers » Mon May 06, 2019 10:12 pm

Just to go back for a moment to the question of when the RCH Regulations began to apply, I was brought up on the Green Book dated 1st October 1960 (you can tell I have it in front of me as I write, and it is full of stuck-in amendments).

The Bell Signals therein, where they describe the trains, are marked as 'Applicable to all Regions except the Southern'.
The bell signals relating to the operation of the trains, i.e. Train out of Section, Blocking Back etc. are clearly marked as 'Applicable to all Regions'.

I could never understand the reasoning/cussedness of the Western signalmen who objected to the introduction, with this Green Book, of Call Attention before giving TOS.

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby JFS » Tue May 07, 2019 7:06 am

Jim Summers wrote:I could never understand the reasoning/cussedness of the Western signalmen who objected to the introduction, with this Green Book, of Call Attention before giving TOS.


Not like you to be provocative Jim!

Well, that one is easy to answer - it is quite the most stupidly pointless requirement imaginable. If you are at the other end of a long frame, (and how many people writing here have actually had a go at working a 130 lever frame, on their own at a very busy period, with 4 trains, 3 light engines and 2 pending shunt moves all on the go at once and the booking lad still not recovered from his hangover...***) then a requirement to answer a Call Attention, then acknowledge the OOS is a blasted nuisance when you have managed perfectly well your whole life without. It is no better when you have to wait for the other chap to answer the Call Attention before you can drop the block.

What is worse, the requirement is counter-logical. In a busy environment, on the WR,or SR the sounding of Call Attention announces something that you are going to have to make a decision about (accept a Line Clear, or Wong Line Move, Clear back after a Train Withdrawn, Shunt Arrived, Shunt Withdrawn, Drawn Back Clear, Cancel, Redescribe, Engine Arrived ... or whatever. No decision is EVER needed regarding Out Of Section (what are going to do "refuse" it???). Utter nonesense.
What was much more cussed was the insitance by BR of imposing a way of working which was clearly totally unnecessary, since much of the country managed without it, including - in my personal experience - some significant boxes on the former LMS when the Inspector was safely tucked up in bed...

Notice also, that BR did not go to the length of requiring the sending of Call Attention before the Entering Section - something which, apparently, the LNER found a matter of life and death (but not in large boxes when the inspector... ...) so it really was nothing more than Greater Midlandisation.

BR would have won a lot of friends if it had just adopted the WR (or at least the SR) method of working universaly - after all, both of those regions had a better safety record than the LMR, NER or ER.

I come across lots of people (obviously not yourself Jim!!) who have an immaculate understanding of the regs but no practical experience of working or even observing a large and busy box.

There is a story (told to me by one who was there) of an inspector newly arrived on the Southern Region, who entered a large and very busy box on the Southern's principle main line. He was shocked at the extent of "slack working" on the bells, issued a General B*ll*cking then insisted that everyone work "Straight up". The whole region ground to halt within a couple of hours and the Inspector was instructed to henceforth confine his focus to the office - like everyone else in Management...

Just on how longlived former practices were, in the late sixties on my bit of the Southern, the Out Of Section was universally known as the "TA" (train arrived) which was its description in pre-group days thereabouts.

*** I have not presonally had that experience "in anger" either - though I have observed such situations on the WR, the SR and the LMR - and anyone can observe it even today at Exeter West box at Crewe, any weekend. And that one I have had a go at - I wrote the computer simulation which powers the place!... I notice that the weekday timetable comprises 409 movements in the 24 hours. Download the "easy" version (just 109 movements in 7 hours) here and have play _ http://www.blockpostsoftware.co.uk/downloads.php

Now Jim S-W will have to change the title again... Still, I am enjoying the debate!!

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby JFS » Tue May 07, 2019 10:44 am

Jim Summers wrote:Just to go back for a moment to the question of when the RCH Regulations began to apply, I was brought up on the Green Book dated 1st October 1960 (you can tell I have it in front of me as I write, and it is full of stuck-in amendments).


Can I just ask what the publication number is of your edition please Jim? The one I have of the same date is clearly marked British Railways (Western Region) and is BR 29960/2. The earliest all-regions BR 29960 I have is dated 1972 as I said.

Just to mention that Out of Section was removed from the list of bells not requiring Call Attention on the WR by a pasted ammendment dated 8/65. Obstruction Danger was added to the list by one dated 12/66 because the "Emergency Call Attention" was abolished on that date - surely a useful code which should have been more widely adopted.

You can tell all this Greater Midlandisation really irritates me and I could quote a hundred examples of its blind stupidity but I will content myself with only one:- pages 41 and 42 of the 1972 tome are devoted to Rotary Block - a very fine system, but one limited to a few former Midland Railway main lines. Yet there is no reference to Lock and Block (in use all over the country), nor Southern Railway "Closed Block" - yet these systems were surely more numerous. And SR Closed Block is still in use today (just about!)and moreover, was used away from the Southern - the Cheshire Lines used them https://signalbox.org/block/clc.htm. John Hinson questions why but he is clearly unaware of the sugnificant safety systems built into them (which kick "Welwyn" controls into a cocked hat!)

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby jim s-w » Tue May 07, 2019 3:30 pm

JFS wrote:
Now Jim S-W will have to change the title again... Still, I am enjoying the debate!!

Best Wishes,


I’m thinking ‘lucky dip’ for the next change TBH :D

Jim

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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby Jim Summers » Fri May 10, 2019 5:43 pm

Howard,
Provocative, moi?

Thanks for your word pictures of work in a busy box, renewing I hope our respect for the skill, stamina, and temperament of those involved.
By the way, I commend the CD by the Signalling Record Society of the sounds of Stockport No. 2 during the rush hour in 1981. Not only do you hear the sound of levers and bells, but you can pick up the footsteps involved and the sound of the tea being stirred.

You are of course right, that in large and relentlessly busy boxes the practice of preceding Train out of Section with a Call Attention which demands a response is of questionable value. The story about chaos when men worked to the rules is probably credited to different parts of the country, depending on where it is told, but nonetheless has the ring (sorry!) of truth. I think that, in the appropriate circumstances, management should have officially exempted it. After all, the keeping of a Train Register Book was not required in certain boxes on grounds of busy-ness.

There is a parallel in paddle steamers - the telegraph from the bridge is not answered by the engineer controlling the engines on the British PS Waverley, on the grounds that he is too busy to do so, yet the equally busy engineers on the paddle steamers of Europe manage to do so, and still manipulate that reversing wheel. Ergonomically, the continental engineers have a better chance of doing so, and therein, I think, is a key point.

There, I have probably got Jim S-W weeping in despair, having found now in his Lucky Dip three cylinder compound diagonal ship's engines.

However, if I may just explain my reasoning on the Call Attention. In many boxes there is quite a gap between the activity of accepting a train and taking it on, and the eventual Train out of Section. So it is quite reasonable to need to know that you have the attention of the other signalman and that he is functioning properly - and yes, I have had a signalman die suddenly in a single-manned box, and I have had a signalman's unfitness through drink uncovered through the bell signals.

Finally, you asked about my moth-eared green Block Regulations book. It is BR29960, dated 'Railway Clearing House 1st October 1960', It is headed 'British Railways (Eastern, London Midland, North Eastern, Scottish and Southern Regions)' by Order of the General Managers. It would appear that, as late as 1960, the Great Western had not yet joined in with British Railways! I have all the pasted-in and pen-altered amendments, but I don't see any subsequent welcoming the Western to the fold.

My somewhat less battle-stained Green Book of 1st October 1972 has no mention of the RCH (instead 222 Marylebone Road is quoted), and is 'By order of the Chief Executive', without mention of the Regions. As you will know, the Southern Bell signals are shown there.

The re-issue was preceded by an explanatory leaflet in July, which said that BR.29960/1S (in use on the Southern Region) and BR29960/2 (in use on the Western Region) would no longer apply. The booklet with regulations on on Single Lines with Acceptance Levers would still apply on the Western, similarly the Scottish Region booklet on Tokenless Block of 1968 was still to apply.

Should there be anyone out there still following this, they might be interested to note that in addition 1972 brought an end to the use of Wrong Line Order forms, the spacing of detonators was increased to 20 yards, and a number of Rules were transferred from the Rule Book into the Signalmen's General Instructions. All of which might be of some assistance at pub quiz nights.

Or not.

Best wishes,

Jim

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Noel
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby Noel » Fri May 10, 2019 6:38 pm

Jim Summers wrote:My somewhat less battle-stained Green Book of 1st October 1972 has no mention of the RCH

The RCH was set up in January 1842, but its membership dropped over the years, until it became just one on Nationalisation. It was incorporated as a separate legal entity by Act of Parliament in June 1850, which was repealed by the 1947 Transport Act. The BTC took over its functions in May 1954, and it was dissolved as a corporate body in April 1955, although the name continued in use for certain of its former functions until March 1963 when these were taken over by BR and the RCH disappeared completely. (Dates from Wikipedia)
Regards
Noel

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Jim Summers
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Re: Arrangement of levers in a signal box (calling at the Quintinshill disaster, use of collars and setting back)

Postby Jim Summers » Fri May 10, 2019 6:59 pm

Thanks, Noel.
One can understand how its name lasted longest in publications associated with the rules and signalling.

Jim


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