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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
QUOTE (dwb @ 12 Jun 2008, 16:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Definitely a case of get the main parts working before adding the "Bells and whistles"!
The bells are no problem -we've had two Midland ones for some time and have recently got two BR block instruments to replicate what was in the box in the early 1970s prior to closure.
QUOTE You know, this is not unlike the kind of setup required by an electromechanical church pipe organ. I was thinking of how the pedal board clicks a switch to activate a switch which opens a valve or whatever. Maybe a chat with an organ builder might be worthwhile. It would have to be someone who was sympathetic to "non tracker action" activation. The divide between the two camps is as emotive as the DC / DCC debate in some circles
...
44 levers = half a standard 88 keyboard - I should have seen the potential connection, being interested in church organs myself!

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John
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
QUOTE (BRITHO @ 11 Jun 2008, 12:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I hope all goes well during the visit and that you at the very least get entered - even better if you win an award!

Thanks for that. It turns out I'd misheard our Chairman. It was actually a couple of dozen members of the local '40+' club - the follow-on to Round Table or something similar? So we split them into two groups - one lot sat downstairs for a talk on the history of the box, the Trust and the restoration route, the others upstairs for a look at the lever frame and a quick demo of the rebuilt illuminated diagram and one set of block-bells. After half-an-hour they swapped over and we went through the process again.

We still await to hear when the visit from the judges for the Railway Heritage Awards takes place.

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John
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Heritage Open Days - September 13th/14th 2008

I'm pleased to say that we shall be open between 10am and 4pm on both days. The whole box will be open now the major repairs and redecoration are completed. Admission will be free and light refreshments will be available.
There will be a small-scale signalling demonstration and my model railway showing both semaphore and colour-light signals. (And hopefully some Hornby live steam!)

We are in Ridgemont Road, St Albans, off Victoria Street, 200 yards south of the Platform 4 entrance to St Albans City station; parking by the box will be free.

If you can't get to us on either day, we hope to be opening regularly before the end of the year.

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John Webb
 

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I was lucky enough to vist this signal box today by invitation, and must say that i was impressed with the quality of the the work that has been carried out, to bring this piece of railway architecture back to its former glory. Many thanks to the guys i spoke to there today, who took the time to show me the internal workings, and also the prosesses of its reserection, avery enjoyable event, and well worth the vist.

regards John
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi, Thunder! I was there from around 2.30pm onwards, so we might have passed each other.

Another major landmark was passed last week when the mechanical work on the restoration of the frame was completed.

Come and have a look on the 13th/14th September - see post #23 above.

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John Webb
 

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Just a few photos to whet the appetite for September, now that I've gone broadband.

View after external works were completed early this year:


Interior of the first floor in September 2006:


And how it looked a couple of days ago:


The reconstructed track diagram:


(With a 'virtual train' leaving on the Up Slow line (top line) as shown by the red lights.)

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John Webb
 

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Now that looks really excellent.


I'd better check my diary for that weekend.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'll be with the model railway layout in the ground floor of the box most of the time; any MRF members who come - please make yourselves known! There will also be continuous videos running downstairs showing the box in use and a few other things. Upstairs they will be running the signalling demo throughout the day - we can only allow about twenty upstairs at any one time because of space constraints, safety etc., so we're hoping everyone will be able to see it eventually!

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John Webb
 

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The interior looks superb - I just hope you can keep the taggers out in future

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QUOTE taggers

I think "graffiti vandals" is a more appropriate term. In the case of this box there is no merit in what they do.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks, gentlemen, for your concern. We have, so far, had no problems with returning vandals. Various security measures are in place and being added to, which for obvious reasons I'll not make public.

The site has a 5ft high fence (Midland /// style) where it abuts the (private NR) road, and 7 ft metal fence where it abuts the railway proper. We've not found any trespassers about so far....

I'll be starting a new thread next week, I hope, on the small layout I've built to demonstrate various 'aspects' of signalling and of railway modelling.

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John Webb
 

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Glad to hear the morons are being kept at bay.

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Just a brief note to say that this weekend's 'Heritage Open Days' went amazingly well - we'd expected over 500 visitors, printed souvenir tickets for a 1000, just in case - and we had 1075 approximately!

The model railway was working and generated much interest particularly in the young visitors, as the photo shows:


The Hornby live steamer ('Flying Scotsman') had six outings each day and attracted a lot of attention from the adults and added a lovely wiff of steam and hot oil to the atmosphere in the box.

The inner oval running a 'Bubblecar' has automatic colour light signals worked by the train (reed switch under the track operating a relay to put the signal to red etc.) and the outer oval has semaphore signals, but the signalling is not yet completely installed - I need more practice on assembling MSE signals.

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John Webb
 

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Glad it went well, over a thousand visitors must have been both satisfying and hectic.

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Excellent - I hope all goes well for the season.

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What colour was used to paint the main woodwork of the box and what was the decision based on?

I ask because I'm at the painting stage of my ex LNWR model and guessed at a cream. I bought some Phoenix dull "Custard" at Ally Pally but it looked a bit too yellow. Now that I've seen your box I'm thinking it's probably ok. I have dull BR Maroon for the corner posts etc.

David
 

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Dear David,

The colours used externally are the Midland Railway colours the box was still painted in in the 1950s, which is what we've restored the external appearence to. The NRM told us what colours to use - but I wasn't involved in that as we had the outside done by professionals to comply with grant conditions. I'll try and find out what they were if you like.

The internal colours are based on what we found when the internal woodwork was cleaned up. The internal paint is a special 'intumescent' fire retardent paint used at the insistance of English Heritage, I was told. The nearest colours to what had been there were 'Magnolia' for the upper part of the walls and maroon for the lower part - skirtings are black. The furniture (cupboards, table and the 'locker' bench seat) have been done in a gloss 'plum' colour - we could not
easily tell what they had been painted originally.
The ceiling is white, by the way.

Regards,
John
 
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