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B&W levers in Quorn box?

Discussion in 'Signalling M.I.C.' started by campainr, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. campainr

    campainr Well-Known Member

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    There are two black and white levers in Quorn Signal Box on the Great Central. I simply want to know - what is their function? :noidea:

    Here there are some shots of the frame from John Tilly's incredible site. http://tillyweb.biz/gallery/qq/quorn.htm which show the frame and the diagram, where the levers 5 and 25 (the B&W ones) are next to two lines perpendicular to the line on the Up and Down Mains.
     
  2. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    im no expert but i think they are for detonators.
     
  3. Wenlock

    Wenlock Active Member Friend

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    Black and White Chevrons = Detonator Placers. Chevrons pointing up for Up lines, pointing down for Down lines.
     
  4. John Webb

    John Webb Member

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    Yes - detonator placers. These are 5 and 23 on the diagram - just visible as two small black dots above each of the running lines above the red/white rectangle showing the signal box on the diagram.

    The placers swung out the detonators onto the railhead when the lever was pulled. The detonators were fitted with a special clip on the side, not the usual lead straps, for the machine to hold them. Some versions of the placers had magazines which recharged the placer if the detonators were used.

    At St Albans South we have 4 of these levers, one for each line. The levers are not interlocked with any other lever so they can be instantly pulled in any emergency.
     
  5. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Fitted to boxes following one of the recommendations made by the Inspecting Officer investigating the Ais Gill accident; September 1913.
     
  6. campainr

    campainr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for your answers. Are the levers just for show or are detonators actually fitted?
     
  7. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Not sure what the point of them are if they are actually used to place detonators on the line. Railtrack/NR did away with them in most boxes years ago.
     
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Active Member

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    I believe I'm right in saying (I'm sure I'll be corrected quick enough if I'm wrong) that AWS and colour light signalling made them less important. Weren't they used to provide an indication of the position of signals in fog?

    Steve B
     
  9. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    You may be thinking about fog signalmen regulations when a detonator was laid at distant signals during thick fog. I believe the detonator levers were to be used in an emergency to alert drivers to imminent danger.
     
  10. John Webb

    John Webb Member

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    Quite correct. Many distant signals were converted to colour light signals to avoid the need to send someone out in foggy weather. We've recently found out the distant signals at St Albans South were converted from mechanical ones before WW2. Not only did such a conversion save money on eliminating a fogman, but it also cut out the costs of maintaining over a mile of wire to each signal and their supporting infrastructure, ie all those lineside pulleys!
    The emergency detonator placers remained in use until the box closed in December 1979
     
  11. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    For the reasons WHY they were introduced - don't speculate - read the Ais Gill accident report !
     
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  12. Steve B

    Steve B Active Member

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    Thanks for that - yes, I probably was thinking of that!

    Steve B
     
  13. Mattie Bee

    Mattie Bee New Member

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    Levers are full operational.
    You can see the signalman loading the apperatus in the morning before the first train if you get there early
     

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