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> Epoch I German Semaphore Signals, Some Signal rules of German rulebook of 1904 and their changes in 1910
Ingo Bargteheide
post 16 May 2019, 23:09
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Hi All,

the german epoch I is different to other nations in europe, it started in 1835 when lot of different own state railways existed. On this period of time it gave hundreds of different own managed but german sopen countries, not all are organized in bigger kingdoms. So it gave around 200 different currencies and several hundreds of customs borders, too.
Nearly every richer king or duke were interested to run its own state railway.
German as national state had been declared in 1871 at the mirrow hall of the castle of Versailles after germany won the war against france.
In 1875 had been published the first german rule books of railway transportation valid for all railways inside the german Reich under the regency of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who was prussian King, too.
All before rule books became invalid.
Germany as grand nation had several different and own regented bigger kingdoms.
The gouvernment was a constitutional monarchy like in Great Britain, too. The two chambers of the Parlament created new laws. The second chamber like the british house of lords was the more important chamber of the parlament. The actually Reichs Cancelor sighned the laws.
The in the year of 1904 published rule books for all german railways had four different books:
MBO --> Military Railway Rule Book
EBO --> Railway constructing and transportation Rule Book
SO --> Signalling Rule Book
SV --> List of all classified railway stations

Please note:
The railway and public laws of the epoches I, IIa were different tothe changes in epoch IIb since 1935 on.
The DR - Deutsche Reichsbahn had been established in 1937 but their cars had not got all the new company sighns, so until end of Epoch IIc in 1949 could be seen lot of cars with the former DRG company (invalid after end of July 1935).

My special interest is in the older Epoch I signalling.
In 1910 gave it a few important changes as result of heavily accidents with the older signalling.

To be continued later...


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Ya Ingo
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Ingo Bargteheide
post 17 May 2019, 03:54
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Hi All,



onto this drawing you can see several different semaphore signal aspects.
The following description goes from left to right.
There were signals with one, two or three semaphore arms. Onto the three arms semaphores you cann see all possible aspects.

The 1rst semaphore in the left showing you the aspect of Hp0 --> stop position onto 1rst arm -> red lense by night

The 2 nd semaphore shows you Hp1 --> Go position, no diverging turnout will be passed exept in straight route -> as incoming home signal one white light by night means to stop onto next signal or sighn with H = Halt or onto W = Wait signal -> when used as outgoing start signal than the night light shows one green light

The 3rd semaphore shows the Hp2 aspect, that indicates one turnout onto diverging route will be passed and the max. speed is limited by 40 Km/h
-> incoming home has 2 white lights by night the start signal has two green lights -> combined arms can be possible without the aspect of Hp1

The 4th semaphore shows the Hp3 aspect --> in minimum two following turnouts will be passed onto diverging rout and max. speed of 40 Km/h -> as incoming home signal 3 white lights and as start signal 3 green lights by night -> combined signal arms can be possible without the aspect of Hp1

The 5th signal was never possible onto combined arms because to top arm needed to swing into vertical position in direction to bottom of the signal the shown aspect is HpRu* --> by night a blue lighted lense

* the HpRu position indicates a closed line or closed siding inside stations or loading areas. It indicates the loco crews that train movements were strictly prohibited and that public people will be onto station platform or loading areas.
Onto railway lines it indicates a closed line and that traffic from other direction is allowed.

Signalmen onto interlocking or signal boxes needed to close the railway line with the HpRu aspect for one direction and for other direction can be used the normal signal aspects.

After 1910 the 2nd and 3rd semaphore arms got orange lenses onto incoming and starter signals.
If any signal shows white light than there is caution of extremly danger or maybe destroyed signal lense by frost or demadge. The loco crew need to identifying the arm positions by night with their hand lamps.

Inside stations or loading areas is no public allowed when the siding was not switched off by HpRu aspect onto signal.

The station crew used hand bell signals or the station bell for giving signals to the public from when to when will it be allowed to use the platform. Before any train could start the passengers needed to retreat behind the gates.

This rule of the public civil laws made it impossible to work railways with better efficiency so the new established DR changed these rules in 1937 completely. The civil laws got changed, too.

The third signal arm should be removed from 1921 on but it took more than 30 years until rhe last three arm semaphore had been replaced into any other semaphore signal.

At least the HpRu position is known from bavarian signals only.

The Distant signals were different in their aspects to the more modern ones since 1935.

The pre 1910 Distant signals had a round braced white randed green Disk with green lense onto a white light lantern, the Disk could be moved into horizontal position, showing the white light:
Vr0 --> awaiting Halt on next signal -> green Disk and light
Vr1 --> awaiting Go or Caution on next signal -> horizontal Disk position and white light

Not all signal rules are standing inside the rule book only, some rule can be found inside the other publications of the MBO and EBO, too.

Between the content of station bell codes and track safaty apparatus bell codes standing one sentence of slow moving locomotives:
"The loco crew is advanced to use the bell by low speed in causes of stopping, starting or shunting with the engine."

Another signal rules were the front and back lights of locomotives, railcars and trains onto single line or double track lines.

The general meaning of the third light in front of any railway vehicle is that it came as must have in 1954. Yes of course but it is particially right. Up to 1937 there were made differences by using single or double track lines. Onto double track lines two front lanterns were enough, except when moving in train following movements like a convoi through one signal block.
Normally the double track lines have shorter blocks than on single track lines.

By train following movements = ZFF --> Zugfolgefahrten, all trains needed to show a third lantern above the smoke box onto the bottom of the smokestack.

In end of train a third lantern was added to the coupler Hook.

Up to three ZFF were a common practise but more were allowed, too. The traffic from other direction needed to be closed during such ZFF.

Onto single track lines, the third lantern was used for track signalling in causes of danger and by ZFF, too.

By ZFF the first, second, third or more trains showed tro white lights in the bottom of the front and a green light in the top of them.
In end of train a green lensed lantern was added to the coupler Hook.

The last following train or single train needed to show thee white lanterns in the front and two red lights on ent of train position onto the last car's roof but showing two green lights into the front.

In caution of danger to the track block or by any other cause of maybe destroyed or demadged communication line the passing by train need to show a violette lense on front position above the two white lights and in end of train a violette light onto the coupler Hook. In 1910 this danger light changed into orange as caution of danger.

It gives two different end of train day sighns:
One red round red randed red filled sighn a small white circle is being shown. This sighn was used onto passenger cars as day sighn or railcars, too.
In minimum one such round sighn is needed in middle position or onto place of the right end of train lantern.
Onto freight cars had been used in minimum one better two end of train lanterns. The day sighn is shown to one or two sides of the lantern. Four triangles are inside of the square and all four triangles showing their peaks to the middle. Two the opposide triangles are red the other in white.
An end of train lantern needed to be rotated by only 90° to show its day sighn to both sides.

To be continued later


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Ya Ingo
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