If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

GWR Signal Lever ? Information

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by burgerbern, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have acquired what i believe is a GWR pattern signal lever, it was cut out of its frame (probably when the box it was in was scrapped) with an angle grinder through the pivot point hole at the base but there is enough of the lower portion for me to mount in a base to display, the release lever operates and moves the locking bar at the base of the lever, the spring is intact, what i am trying to find out is have i got it correct in believing its a GWR pattern lever (underneath the yellow paint the original paint was green which i believe was the original GWR colour for distant signals).

    I suppose there is no way of identifying where it came from by the identification label mounted on it?
    the label says 26 and the number 26 is stamped into the lever body near the base as well.

    any help/insights would be welcome

    signal lever.jpg signal lever1.jpg
     
  2. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,063
    Likes Received:
    1,239
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Stratford-upon-Avon or in a brake KD to BH
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The number 26 is the position in the frame. 25 and 24 will be home signals which must be cleared before 26 is pulled. Finding a signalbox diagram with that particular order would be both a needle in a haystack job yet may have multiple results
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  3. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks, i sort of guessed that might be the case just like the probs i have had identifying locations for the Bridge plates i have , most of them brought up multiple possibilities, but useful info to help me see why the other numbers are on the label, helps me with the other plates i have, now just need someone to help with the question as to wether this is in fact a GWR style lever, i am usually into the oil lamps this is a foray into a field i understand little of in terms of actual usage
     
  4. toplink

    toplink New Member Friend

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    57
    Occupation:
    Signalman
    Location:
    South Dorset & sometimes Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If you say that 24 is the Home signal & 25 is a Starter/section signal I think it's possible to assume that 1 would be the Up Distant, 2 Up starter/section signal and 3 Up Home.
    So what about levers 4-23? Well because there are only two running signals & a distant, that rules out any facing points as these would require signal protection which would be indicated on the lever lead. You could, however, have a trailing crossover requiring 1 lever & 2 ground signals. You could also have Up & Down refuge sidings, each with traps, entry and exit signals, so that'd another possible 6+ levers. 2 levers taken up for detonaton placing on the main line.
    Now that lot adds up to abou 17+ levers.
    So what location are we lookin for? A double track line with refuge sidings or bay platforms and a crossover all on the GWR.
    Can someone direct me to the nearest haystack please?
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  5. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    thanks, i have given up on the idea of finding where it came from, not enough haystacks in my vicinity, just looking now for someone who knows about these things to confirm that it is indeed a GWR style lever, i have based my assumption on the info on 24 different frames located at the signalbox.org website, by comparing the way the release levers look and are mounted, the size position and style of the legend plates as well as the style, position & fixing bolt positions of the lower black bracket that contains the spring, and to me the GWR style seemed to be the nearest match, but i am no expert, so looking for confirmation so when i have cleaned and repainted it and buffed the top handle and release leavers back to a shine and mounted it in my display i know exactly what it is, its just me like to know what everything is, hate guessing.

    also why do so many of the yellow levers have shorter handles?
     
  6. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    126
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Short handled signal levers usually indicate that the item in question is electrically worked. It reminded the signalman that he did not need to apply any weight to the lever.

    Distant signals were common candidates for such arrangements when they were sited too far out to be worked by conventional means due to the length of the operating wire involved.
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  7. Nick Gough

    Nick Gough Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    There is a member on the modelling forum (www.rmweb.co.uk) who is VERY knowledgeable about GWR/WR signalling and the products and policies of Reading signal works - ' The Stationmaster'.
    I believe he was professionally involved and would recommend asking him.
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  8. 5801

    5801 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    135
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yes, it is a GWR pattern lever, and it may not be too hard to find out where it could have come from. The description plate is BR(WR) pattern (the GWR used brass up to WW2), suggesting that the frame may have been altered later on. However, if green paint is visible under the yellow the likelihood is that, as you have deduced,it was always a distant lever. The fact that there are only two stop signals tends more towards a remote junction than a station, and if a branch and its associated pointwork had been removed, that could account for the need to provide a new description plate.

    What you have called the release lever is properly the catch handle, and the part that it raises is the catch block.

    It is highly likely to have been the last lever in a 26 lever frame (unless there was a level crossing at that end of the box).

    I'll keep an eye open for suitable locations, but meanwhile I hope that is helpful.

    Stuart
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  9. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    many thanks for that, it explains why when watching a video the other day the signalman did not seem to put as much effort in pulling the distant as he did the others
     
  10. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    thankyou, it is likely that the description plate is newer as that area at the top of the lever has some additional small holes drilled through the side in the same area as the current description plate is mounted (see pic at top of thread) which i guess could have been the attachment points for the earlier plate, thanks also for the correct terms for the parts.

    The green paint was visible under the yellow at the base of the lever where the yellow disappeared under the black catch block spring and rod retaining cover, so would have been impossible to cover while in the frame when it was repainted.
     
  11. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    thankyou, i might just do that.
     
  12. John Webb

    John Webb New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    86
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    St Albans, Herts
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Green was used for distant signal levers by most railway companies until the 1920s. Following discussions within the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers on three and four-aspect signalling by colour light signals (which recommended the use of 'yellow' and 'double-yellow' aspects) yellow was also adopted as the standard for mechanical distant signals as well. This was important as up until then most distant signals had red arms and showed a red light at night. This had led to several accidents when drivers lost track of where they were and mistook a stop signal at 'danger' for what they thought was a distant at 'caution'!
     
    Wenlock and burgerbern like this.
  13. 5801

    5801 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    135
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Thatcham West (closed 1966) down distant fits the description and numbers on your lever. There may be others.
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  14. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,063
    Likes Received:
    1,239
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Stratford-upon-Avon or in a brake KD to BH
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    To help with distinguishing distants from stop signals some railways adopted the Coligny Welch indicator. This was a fishtail light iluminated ferom the signal which indicated the signal was a distant

    http://www.railsigns.uk/sect2page4/sect2page4.html

    Incidentaly green is still the caution aspect in shunting. Shunt lamp signals are a white light waved side to side to set back torwards the shunter or up and down to move away. When you want to slow the movement down you change to giving the signal with a green light
     
    NevilleKing and burgerbern like this.
  15. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks for that i googled the box name and found a Mechanical Locking Table scan of it and can see the co-relationship between the 3 signals on that, as there was a lot of info on that site i started going through the list to see if any of the other boxes listed had a Mechanical Locking Table scan but it got to 1AM and i had to call it a day without finding another match. but still loads to look at and of course less than 50% of the entries have a Mechanical Locking Table scan so could be other matches in the missing ones, will keep looking off and on between other tasks i have to do.
     
  16. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
  17. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    OK this just got interesting (possibly) when i made the initial posting i was going from memory as the components of the lever were all in a caustic soda bath. now today i finally got to see the bare metal a couple of things were hidden under the paint.

    The description plate says 26 and the square shank of the catch block is stamped 26, but under the paint on the main lever it is stamped 32 near the bottom) and it is also stamped 32 on the black U plate that holds the bottom of the rod and its spring, so is this a lever made up from two lever assemblies or is that normal ?, its strange that the U plate is 32 and the catch block is 26 as neither can be separated from each other (or at least i can see no way to separate them without a cutting torch) or is 32 the year it was made and 26 is the lever position?
     
  18. 5801

    5801 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    135
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The most likely explanation is that the lever was originally number 32 in a frame in a box somewhere else. It was removed from that frame back in the days when there was time to do things properly by taking spare levers out (not just leaving them in place painted white, as happened latterly), and returned to Reading works, where the handle was shortened (again done properly, nor just by sawing the top off and running a file round the edge). In that state it was used to replace a long handled lever 26 when a distant signal was motorised or converted to colour-light.
     
    burgerbern likes this.
  19. burgerbern

    burgerbern New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Norwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I was hoping it was something more akin to that, the lever definately has been shortened properly with a nice curve to the top.

    Have now found the official colour for the lever which is BS381-356 according to a Railtrack publication GK/RT0005
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    19,656
    Likes Received:
    34,676
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    This is about the clearest picture I've ever found of a Colingy-Welch reflector, taken at a time that the arm and lamp colours were changing from red to yellow and the lamp was being decommissioned (early SR days). The signal lamp had two lenses at 90 degrees. The first was used to illuminate the signal aspects in the normal way. The second shone out at right angles, through a prism where it was bent through 90 degrees and illuminated a V shaped class, providing a chevron of light next to the red/ green signal lamp aspect, and thus distinguishing a distant signal from a home signal at night.

    Apologies for going off thread - does anyone have a full list of which railways used them? I'm aware that the LBSCR (this example); LSWR; and SECR all used them; and also I believe the GER and the Furness Railway, but not too many others. Apart from the south of England, how widespread were they?

    adversane.png

    Tom
     

Share This Page