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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Posting the track plan here to start the process of nailing down the semaphores and ground disks that would have been used on this line. I am wanting to stick with upper quads as that will carry nicely through the later eras I intend to run stock with and besides I already have some tubular post LMS examples made.



I am anticipating some bracket signals at the end of the platform as starters. Say a bracketed one that serves both platform tracks. What about the cattle yard siding? Would that have had its own starter?

Some shunt ahead signalling would be required I am assuming complete with limit of shunt (probably off scene in the traverser to be honest.) This would be to allow the run around loco to come to the right and reverse back onto the coaching stock in the platform.

I want to keep things fairly simple so was thinking of a pair of ground disks for the run around loop crossovers but then hand operated points for the rest of the sidings with out signalling, relying on hand signals perhaps?

Thoughts and suggestions welcome of course.
 

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Lot easier than your Matlock one!!

If there is only to be 'One engine in steam' then you only need the platform starters to signal away the passenger train(s).
If there might be two trains at once then you would need a disc on the cattle siding (and a trap/catch point). Also a yellow disc on the loop before the point leading into the engine shed. This latter disc would only clear when points were set for a movement back onto the 'Main line'. But engines can still move past a yellow disc at caution to enter the loco shed. The engine shed point acts as a catch-point and you'd not need to put a seperate one there.

The engine release crossover would almost certainly be worked from a small ground frame by the engine crew and would have no fixed signals. The ground frame might be released by the signalman, but as the points are out of his line of vision I think there could only be signals worked from the box if track circuits were fitted: and a ground frame is a lot cheaper for the prototype.....

All the yard points would be hand operated and hand signals given for shunting movements.

Don't forget a walkway from the signal box to the track for the exchange of single line tokens - or you could even have a small wooden platform with steps as they did in some places.

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (John Webb @ 21 Mar 2009, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Lot easier than your Matlock one!!

You're not wrong there John! Shame that layout is on hold at the moment given all of th work we had done on the signalling.

QUOTE (John Webb @ 21 Mar 2009, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If there is only to be 'One engine in steam' then you only need the platform starters to signal away the passenger train(s).

While probably more correct I imagine the operations might get a little dull so probably need to assume that there could be two but I was envisaging one passenger one at Platform 1 or 2 and then goods/wagons/cattle/other on any of the sidings working shunting moves simultaneously.

QUOTE (John Webb @ 21 Mar 2009, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If there might be two trains at once then you would need a disc on the cattle siding (and a trap/catch point). Also a yellow disc on the loop before the point leading into the engine shed. This latter disc would only clear when points were set for a movement back onto the 'Main line'. But engines can still move past a yellow disc at caution to enter the loco shed. The engine shed point acts as a catch-point and you'd not need to put a seperate one there.

I take it you mean when the points were set from platform 2 back onto the mainline the yellow signal could then be passed allowing loop to engine shed moves. When the points were set to allow loop onto main running the signal would be pulled off?

QUOTE (John Webb @ 21 Mar 2009, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The engine release crossover would almost certainly be worked from a small ground frame by the engine crew and would have no fixed signals. The ground frame might be released by the signalman, but as the points are out of his line of vision I think there could only be signals worked from the box if track circuits were fitted: and a ground frame is a lot cheaper for the prototype.....

So the head shunt and run around crossover at the far left would have no signals but have a two lever ground frame located where exactly? Would it be up near the buffers at the end of the head shunt between the two tracks?

QUOTE (John Webb @ 21 Mar 2009, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>All the yard points would be hand operated and hand signals given for shunting movements.

Would the hand signals come from the signal box then?

QUOTE (John Webb @ 21 Mar 2009, 23:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Don't forget a walkway from the signal box to the track for the exchange of single line tokens - or you could even have a small wooden platform with steps as they did in some places.

Would the single line token be exchanged between the bridge and the point splitting between the two platforms?
 

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QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 22 Mar 2009, 01:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>While probably more correct I imagine the operations might get a little dull so probably need to assume that there could be two but I was envisaging one passenger one at Platform 1 or 2 and then goods/wagons/cattle/other on any of the sidings working shunting moves simultaneously.
OK - in that case we need the extra signalling and the catch-point on the cattle dock line for full prototype realism. (Catchpoint should be left-handed to divert a train away from the 'Main line' if it passes the ground signal.)

QUOTE I take it you mean when the points were set from platform 2 back onto the mainline the yellow signal could then be passed allowing loop to engine shed moves. When the points were set to allow loop onto main running the signal would be pulled off?
That's correct.

QUOTE So the head shunt and run around crossover at the far left would have no signals but have a two lever ground frame located where exactly? Would it be up near the buffers at the end of the head shunt between the two tracks?
Yes - that's the most likely position. The fireman would usually operate the ground frame and this is the best position for him and the driver to see each other to exchange the necessary hand signals, most locos being LH drive. Just for the benefit of other readers, there will be two levers - one is locked 'normal' by the signalbox and is released electrically; pulling this lever over unlocks the other lever which is then pulled to operate the crossover. They are both restored to normal after the loco has moved onto the loop line. First lever is painted Brown, the second lever Black to denote the two functions. There would either be a telephone or a bell plunger to let the signalman know they wanted the frame released.

QUOTE Would the hand signals come from the signal box then?
No. The station would probably have had a porter/shunter as neither the portering or the shunting would have kept two persons fully occupied all day! Once the goods train was in the yard, the porter/shunter would operate the points and uncouple/couple the wagons and give the necessary hand-signals.

QUOTE Would the single line token be exchanged between the bridge and the point splitting between the two platforms?
Yes - just about where the track feed symbol is, assuming the line beyond the bridge is reasonably straight so driver and signalman have a clear view of each other.

Regards,
John
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 22 Mar 2009, 09:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK - in that case we need the extra signalling and the catch-point on the cattle dock line for full prototype realism. (Catchpoint should be left-handed to Just for the benefit of other readers, there will be two levers - one is locked 'normal' by the signalbox and is released electrically; pulling this lever over unlocks the other lever which is then pulled to operate the crossover. They are both restored to normal after the loco has moved onto the loop line. First lever is painted Brown, the second lever Black to denote the two functions. There would either be a telephone or a bell plunger to let the signalman know they wanted the frame released.

Would you need a facing point lock too (blue lever)? I guess if the coaches are pushed back to the stops after the run-round then the crossover becomes a facing point for passenger moves, at least to the extent of one bogie!

In the spirit of economy I imagine the telephone or plunger is optional too. The signalman will be able to see what is going on and in a station this size isn't exactly going to be distracted by other duties, so he will probably have released the frame before the fireman even gets near it. If this doesn't happen then a shout or a wave should be sufficient.
 

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Edwin, thanks for your comments. I don't think a facing point lock (FPL) is needed - the use of the release crossover almost certainly means that the coaches will not normally be moved onto that point. I certainly recall at North Woolwich and at Swanage in BR days (I knew both of them before DMUs came into use) there were no FPLs on the engine release crossovers. It's possible a look at some of the diagrams on www.signalbox.org might show some places where FPLs were fitted.

For example, on page Page 106 of Bob Essery's "Railway signalling and track plans"* there is a photo of Bath Green Park in which there is a release cross-over fitted with an FPL - but this being a large terminus perhaps it was more likely that coaches would be shunted up to the buffers, particularly with long S&D holiday trains? The text does not specify the conditions in which an FPL was or was not fitted.

If you look at Paul's diagram and put a straight 'line of sight' from the signal box to the end of the tracks, this shows that the frame could not be seen due to both the train standing in the platform, probably the station canopy and possibly buildings under the canopy - so I think that there most likely would be a plunger on the frame to indicate when the engine crew wanted a release.

* Interestingly Bob points out that many small branch terminii never had a signal box as such. There would be a lever frame possibly on the platform, in a station office or just a small hut for the few levers and instruments required. It is very likely, he says, that there would be a porter/signalman doing both jobs because the company needed to save money and few could afford two people when one was sufficient! Such an arrangement also saved the cost of building and maintaining a signalbox.

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the further input and clarity Edwin and John.

I think we all but have it nailed. Time for me to produce one of my trusty signalling diagrams I guess. The telephone will be a nice feature to represent on the model as will the ground frame too.

Additional clarity please regarding the platform starters, would a single bracketed signal be correct for this use serving the departure from both platforms? I can see no reason why not myself. I would assume though in reality a distant might have also been included however for simplicity we could assume a further advance starter is in play and not have a distant represented on the platform starters.
 

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Good points (!) John on the FPL and ground frame visibility.

I think either a bracket or two single posts would be OK for the platform starters - probably depends on company and era. You could perhaps bracket the bay starter out over the siding so it is to the driver's left.

You don't need a distant unless there is another signalbox within half a mile or so offscene, which is unlikely on a single track branch. It would be good to assume that there are extra signals well offscene in both directions, as this would allow shunting to take place (using a shunting signal only just offscene beyond the bridge) while a train is "on the block" to or from the next signal box.
 

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Bracket signal quite OK for the platform starters, but a balanced bracket (signal posts equidistant from the main post) is more common than one with unequal distances, which Edwin's suggestion for getting the bay starter to the driver's (Left-hand) side would entail. Sighting of signals was much less important for such starters as the train is bound to be at rest, so the driver can either cross over to the right-hand side of the footplate to see for himself or the fireman would check. Do need to have the signals at a height where platform staff and the guard can see them from the far end, allowing for the platform canopy/buildings. Possibly site the bracket just off the platform end to keep the height low??

As Edwin says, assume an advanced starter or 'Limit of Shunt' board 'off-stage' that allows shunting.

Re the use of FPLs on the engine release crossover, I've posted a query about this on the Signalbox Forum and will let you know what's said in due course.

Regards,
John
 

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General response to my query so far indicates that the fitting of FPLs to engine release crossovers many have only been done where coaches were regularly pushed back to or near the buffers, when the points would have become facing to the departing train.

There is a suggestion that more release crossovers were fitted with FPLs during BR resignalling works, perhaps because of an incident where points moved under a departing train.

So there seems to be no prototypical rule we can follow with certainty.

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Which means that we can show the FPL then. Better to have it there with some story as to why than not have it all.

Just trying to get my head around the starters. I should have said balanced bracket - that's what I meant. Regarding the cattle dock siding, isn't that a disc signal or is it a normal starter arm? No problem to have a single for the siding and the balanced bracket for the two platform roads is it?

One signal and move I didn't ask about is a train leaving the goods shed to go onto the main line. At the moment the only signal it sees would be the yellow disc discussed previously in this thread. Is that OK for it to proceed on?

And general, did the yellow disks have yellow and white, yellow and green or white and red lights?
 

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Will you need to push your train back against the buffers to fit it in the platform after run-round? If so the FPL on the ground frame looks to be a good idea especially if the model is BR era.

Yellow discs have yellow and green lights - the disc itself is often yellow and black as yellow and white wouldn't be very visible. This is OK as authorisation to proceed onto the main line - it wouldn't be used to go all the way to the next signalbox but it would allow the train to draw up to the off-scene signal we have already invented, which would in turn be cleared for the move to the next box.

http://www.signalbox.org/signals/semaphore4.htm (scroll down a bit)
 

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The picture in Bob Essery's book of Bath Green Park mentioned above shows only two levers in the ground frame although the FPL is clearly present. It's possible that an 'Economic' FPL was used whereby one lever unlocked the points, then moved them and relocked them in the new position. The lever would have been painted black/blue to indicate this dual function, but it's a contrasty B/W print so the subtle difference isn't visible, neither is the detail of the actual connections to the points. The other lever clearly is the frame release - the lock on the handle is visible.

The cattle dock siding: There were regional preferences, I believe. WR would probably put a 3ft arm siding signal, SR might have used a ground disc on a post, LMR tended to use ground discs on the ground, LNER I'm less sure about.

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, pragmatically, the ground disk will suffice. As to the yellow coloured ground disk, I am sure I saw a picture where it was infact yellow band on white disk however I can't be sure. Anyway, the lighting colours can be locked in then as yellow for Normal and Green for pulled off then. Thanks for all of that.

Templot plan is imminent so a final signalling diagram should be just around the corner now.
 

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The Yellow on black disc was a BR development; if your model is around the 1950s or 60s the yellow on white is a bit more likely to have been present, I understand. (Particularly as the branch is likely to have been signalled prior to BR days anyway.)

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, here is the first pass at creating a signalling diagram for the above layout. It assumes some outer starters beyond the platform starters shown aswell as a limit of shunt somewhere off to the right (up) aswell.

Additionally some form of home signals off to the right signalling trains into the terminus (down) are also proposed and are reflected in the lever frame numbers I have created.



1 & 2 are home signals (virtual) for each of the platform tracks coming in the down direction.

4 acts as a catch point providing access to the shed but also preventing goods stock accessing the passenger line.

7 is the ground signal accessing the cattle siding.

8 is also the catch point protecting the passenger line (I am calling the top Platform 1 and the lower one Platform 2)

10 & 11 are platform starters assuming 12 and 13 are virtual outer starters.

15 is the lever in the box (brown) that releases the ground frame to work the run around through 5, 16, 17 & 4up to the virtual limit of shunt board (off scene)

16 is controlled by the box as the templot layout shows line of sight from the box to this point.

Factory and coal sidings are worked by hand levers but I could include them from the box as they are visible to the box.

Please refer to the original CJF plan at the top of this thread for a better understanding of the layout.
 

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Hi there.

If 15 is the release to the ground frame, then the points currently marked '5' should be marked 'GF' and the only signal box connection with them is 15.

16 - although it may be visible to the signalman (with a train of coaches standing in the platform?) I think it would still be worked by a local lever for easier shunting. (Can't disturb the signalman's tea-break....!) Also it's a long rodding run and extra expense in building the lever-frame, interlocking etc., so I don't think they would have bothered.

7. Not needed. As presently sited, it would need to be cleared to allow a train into Platform 1 as well as a shunt into the cattle siding, otherwise the train would be passing it at 'danger'. The need to clear it for a passenger train conflicts with the requirement that you don't usually use a ground disc to signal a passenger train. I am pretty certain that this disc would be 'off-scene' with the 'Home' signals giving access to the platforms and either a small arm or another disc controlling access to the goods yard.
Suggest you use 7 as the FPL on 8 where it splits the Platform 1 line into the cattle siding?
(Likewise points 3 and 4 would have to be fitted with FPLs.)

Hope this all makes sense!

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, all agreed and altered as mentioned. I assume that point 17 remains a signal box operated point given that it is signalled by the ground disk too.

Lever 3 has integral FPL (blue black)
Lever 5 becomes FPL for point 4
Lever 9 becomes FPL for point 8 as Lever 7 is the siding signal offscene for the cattle siding.
Lever 14 is the outer starter (don't need two of these)
Lever 15 releases the GF
GF consists of 3 levers, 1 brown to release the rest of the levers, 1 black for the run around crossover points and 1 blue for the FPL

What colour is lever 18 for the yellow ground disk? Is this still red?

Will update diagram and upload.

Thanks for the input John.
 

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My pleasure - and yes, the yellow ground disc is worked by a red lever.

I'm currently working on renovating a full-sized 3-aspect colour light signal for use at St Albans South signal box:




Not what everyone has in their garage! Model railway has had to take a bit of a back seat for the time being.

Regards,
John
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's fabulous John. Would be most happy to be restoring the real thing for sure. My local steam railway Puffing Billy has a whole yard full of signals, mostly semaphores rusting away and I am thinking of finding out what is involved ingetting some restored for them - obviously getting to have one for myself of course!

Anyway, I updated the gisnalling diagram based on the iterations we have had here and here it is for comment. The descriptions of the levers in the previous posts are in line with the numbering and other changes here so lets see if it makes sense.

 
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