S&T miscellany

Chris Mitton
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S&T miscellany

Postby Chris Mitton » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:35 pm

It's been too long since my last post. Unfortunately my workbench (aka office desk) has been stuffed full of spreadsheets and invoices lately, since in a rash moment taking on the mantle of your Treasurer....but now the winter is upon us a little bit more actual modelling beckons. It's not entirely a blank story, my E4 is not far off the paint shop and trial running, just a few RTs needed to fit and tweak collectors, buffers and couplings, while my J15's body and frames are mostly assembled and its tender is well on its way - but painfully slow!

Tim's post (under Steam Locomotives! - how about linking your workbench from the Workbench section?) prompts a question which crossed my mind awhile back. Stowe Fen (when I get round to building some more of it) will have telegraph poles and wires, but being a (LNER 1930s) single track terminus they must end somewhere. Where and how many? - perhaps the ever-helpful S&T engineers among you can suggest an answer. My guess is that there would be a pair of wires for each telephone line, probably to stationmaster's office, booking office, goods office, loco shed office and signal box, plus a pair of wires for the block telegraph instrument in the signal box, making a round dozen. The coal office, being a private merchant, wouldn't be connected to the railway network but to the GPO wires along the street. Is this scenario anywhere near plausible?

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Chris

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grovenor-2685
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:08 pm

Telephones and wires were expensive, highly unlikely there would be so many, something like the block/token circuit into the SB, a control omnibus phone circuit also to SB, a general omnibus to station, goods and SB, perhaps locoshed as well, possibly an extra wire out to the distant to indicate the lamp, arm and lamp if it was a worked distant. Not sure on LNER system, could be the control and general shared the omnibus circuit, or there was no contrlo phone, just a link to the next box which would most likely piggy back on the block wires.
Keith

Chris Mitton
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Chris Mitton » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:04 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:Telephones and wires were expensive, highly unlikely there would be so many, something like the block/token circuit into the SB, a control omnibus phone circuit also to SB, a general omnibus to station, goods and SB, perhaps locoshed as well, possibly an extra wire out to the distant to indicate the lamp, arm and lamp if it was a worked distant. Not sure on LNER system, could be the control and general shared the omnibus circuit, or there was no contrlo phone, just a link to the next box which would most likely piggy back on the block wires.
Keith


Thanks Keith, helpful as ever. So that makes, most likely, three pairs of wires, possibly only two. Or three wires plus a common return?

Surely a terminus can't have a working distant?

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Chris

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Tim V
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Tim V » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:48 am

Common?

Most likely earth return.
Tim V
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grovenor-2685
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:50 am

Thanks Keith, helpful as ever. So that makes, most likely, three pairs of wires, possibly only two. Or three wires plus a common return?

Some circuits did use earth return so needing only 1 wire, a lamp repeater might do that, some token/staff systems also did, an omnibus phone circuit less likely, unless you know what the specific prototype had its probably better to use two wires per circuit.
Surely a terminus can't have a working distant?
They used to be quite common, told the driver that the home was off to let him run straight into the platform. He was expected to know that he was approaching a terminus. In later years they were often fixed.
Even in the 1960s when installing multi-aspect signalling the buffer was not considered to be part of the aspect sequence, so at stations such as Euston the driver would get greens right up to the last signal so long as the platform was clear to the buffers. The rule was changed, IIRC in the early 70s to require a double yellow, yellow sequence into a terminal platform.
(see signals 64 and 65 on this plan http://www.norgrove.me.uk/signalling/plans/Euston-a.gif.

Cheers
Keith

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Ian Everett
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Ian Everett » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:06 am

I've been admonished by a current railwayman for planning working distant signals for a terminus so I'm glad to have Keith's conformation of their existence before the 1970s (except in small branch termini).

I believe the ban on working distants at termini followed the train crash at Moorgate in 1975 when a tube train went through all the signals and crashed into the end of the tunnel. Or am I confusing this with "Moorgate Protection" which is only on the underground - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moorgate_tube_crash ?

Ian

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Tim V
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Tim V » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:26 am

Have you looked at similar termini? I had a look at
Marlow 7 wires
Lambourn 7 wires
Abbotsbury 1 wire
Helston 4
Looe 4
Asburton 4
OK they're GW examples, but you get the idea.
Tim V
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Noel
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Noel » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:50 pm

clecklewyke wrote:I believe the ban on working distants at termini followed the train crash at Moorgate in 1975 when a tube train went through all the signals and crashed into the end of the tunnel.


See http://www.railsigns.co.uk/info/termsig1/termsig1.html for previous practice [and confirmation of change being in consequence of the Moorgate crash].

Noel
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Noel

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Ian Everett
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Ian Everett » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:51 pm

Noel wrote:
See http://www.railsigns.co.uk/info/termsig1/termsig1.html for previous practice [and confirmation of change being in consequence of the Moorgate crash].

Noel


Many thanks, Noel. The only problem now is that any layout I build is likely to be too short to require distant signals!

Ian

martin goodall
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby martin goodall » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:10 pm

Regarding worked Distants, it was the practice in the days of semaphore signalling to have a fixed Distant outside a terminus, as a warning to approach at low speed. This applied for the best part of a century before the Moorgate crash.

The same applied in other locations if the line ahead had a speed limit of 15 mph or less, for example where single line tokens were to be exchanged.

Approaching a facing junction, a single fixed distant would be provided if the speed limit at the junction (i.e. over both of the diverging routes) was less than 40 mph (and very few junctions could be negotiated at higher speeds than this). If the speed limit on both lines was 40 mph or more, worked splitting distants would be provided, but if one of the lines had a speed limit of less than 40 mph, a single worked Distant would be provided, which would be locked at Danger (Caution) when the road was set for the route with the lower speed limit, and could only be pulled off when the route was set and signalled (i.e. all stop signals in the section in advance at Clear) for the faster route.

(Incidentally, I arrived at Moorgate on the Met only a few minutes after the crash happened. An alarm bell could be heard continuously ringing, and numerous sirens from approaching emergency vehicles. I asked the ticket collector where the fire was. "Oh," he said "there's been a derailment downstairs on the Northern line." The nature of the 'derailment' became clear as the morning went on, and from a window in the building in Moorgate out of which I could see the street, ambulances were queued up in echelon as far up the street as I could see. It's the nearest I ever want to get to a rail crash. A colleague arrived rather late that morning, having run for the train that crashed at a station further up the line, but he was just a moment too late to catch it before the doors closed. He spent a couple of hours in the following train just sitting in the tunnel, wondering what the holdup was.)

Terry Bendall
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:33 am

In the Middleton Press book South London line. there is a nice picture (109) of a train departing from Victoria Station and passing under a signal gantry near to Grosvenor Road. This has distant arms fitted to two of the posts and the others have a shunt ahead arm. The LBSC extended Victoria Station in the 1860s by doubling it in length. I think I have read somewhere (but cannot now find the reference) that if the distant signal was off the train could go up to the buffers but if it was on it meant that there was a train in the first part of the platform. (ie at the buffers)

Terry Bendall

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Noel
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Noel » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:06 am

See the link I posted earlier, Terry, which refers to this.

Noel
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Noel

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Ian Everett
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Ian Everett » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:54 pm

Noel wrote:
clecklewyke wrote:I believe the ban on working distants at termini followed the train crash at Moorgate in 1975 when a tube train went through all the signals and crashed into the end of the tunnel.


See http://www.railsigns.co.uk/info/termsig1/termsig1.html for previous practice [and confirmation of change being in consequence of the Moorgate crash].

Noel


I've done a bit more reading of Foster's two books on LMS/LNWR stations and signalling and I note that all the four termini he gives signalling diagrams for: Banbury, Bethesda, Oxford Rewley Rd and Windermere, have fixed distants. Unfortunately none of the plans are dated but Rewley Rd and Bethesda have spaces in the lever numbering where distants might logically have been connected. Foster states that before the turn of the (19th) century working distants were common but fixed distants were preferred from approx. 1900.

I suppose that different companies might have had different practices. The LNWR was notably parsimonious about just about everything so removing an unnecessary item, so reducing maintenance costs, would have appealed to it. But I wonder about the NER, for instance?

Hmmm...

Ian

Winander
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Winander » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:22 am

A bit late in the day, but possibly helpful to others, from a report on an accident at Windermere in 1869, "the trains are brought to a stand at a fixed signal, kept always at danger, 236 yards from the platform" which, from other dimensions, appears to be 351 yards from the buffers. The report goes on to say a distant signal 824 yards from the fixed signal "was worked....kept at danger as long as any train was standing east of the fixed signal". East is towards the distant signal that was operated by a woman attending to a level crossing between it and the fixed signal, not from the station.

Interval time working would apply in that period.

regards
Richard

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Guy Rixon
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Re: S&T miscellany

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:47 am

Terry Bendall wrote:In the Middleton Press book South London line. there is a nice picture (109) of a train departing from Victoria Station and passing under a signal gantry near to Grosvenor Road. This has distant arms fitted to two of the posts and the others have a shunt ahead arm. The LBSC extended Victoria Station in the 1860s by doubling it in length. I think I have read somewhere (but cannot now find the reference) that if the distant signal was off the train could go up to the buffers but if it was on it meant that there was a train in the first part of the platform. (ie at the buffers)

Terry Bendall


I would guess that these were calling-on signals rather than shunt-ahead arms, given that they apply to movements within station limits and not a section in advance, and that they were replacing more of the distant arms. Presumably this was a transitional period.


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