Since my original question I have been busy.
First I came across and bought this book
"British Railway Signalling in Colour" by Robert Hendry published by Midland Publishing.
It covers the history of signalling but in a more pictorial fashion than the O.S. Nock's book from the 70s which I read way back then. I think you will gain a reasonable insight into the terms employed. I have found the explanation of signalling diagrams the most useful.
I am also in the middle of drawing up a signalling diagram for the mainline station which I posted for review in another thread here. It's proving quite a long process but I think it will pay back in the following ways:-
1) Having to place home signals for each route forces me to consider exactly what it is I have designed.
2) Adding track circuits re-inforces point 1 and will serve as the blueprint for when I add DCC section monitoring. I am now thankful that each point and crossing has its own individual isolated electrical feed as it means I can move them circuit to circuit if I find the balance is wrong.
3) I have just made my first print and I have to say that it looks rather good.
4) Once the diagram is completed and I have numbered the points and signals, I will know just how wide my signal box should be.
5) I will have to decide precisely which companies' lines I am modelling and the orientation of the station - ie north / south, east / west etc.
On the subject of the signal box, I am toying with the idea of putting one of the rectangular loco sound speakers in the locking room and having it ring bell codes under control via DCC, most probably from a PC.
For signal control I have stumbled across the idea of using memory wire. On the face of it, this appears to be a much simpler way of activating signals than using solenoids. There is a good site on memory wire here:-
Using memory wire
I found the site via the scalefour society links page here : ScaleFour society links page
. You can get to Lisa's site from here too
Model Signal Engineering are scheduled to attend the Railex exhibition in Aylesbury (details here: Railex 2006
) so I hope to visit and gather a lot more data and hopefully see some signals in the "flesh".
Once I have completed the first draft of the signal diagram, I will be posting here for comment, but don't hold your breath!