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Heritage Railway S&T Department Activities

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by 34015, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. 34015

    34015 New Member

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    The Minor Railways section of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) was started over 10 years ago and has gone from strength to strength with its activities.

    You can find out about the section activities here The present committee numbers 12 with many of us having decades of experience in Railway Signal Engineering.

    We also have our own Facebook page (here) which is regularly updated with the activities of the section and those of Heritage Railway S&T departments around the country.

    Hope you enjoy and find informative.
     
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  2. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    You may know the answer to this. On another posts there was a picture of Yeovil pen mill signals and they have put up signals on posts that had down signals. So the posts are really tall and the signal is at the bottom. They have great western bits on the top but great westerns never went up. It looks stupid. Why on earth sis they do this? As a signal expert please?
    011DC1E6-0D56-4CEA-8545-E5124BAFFAEB.jpeg Here is the outrage as you can see
     
  3. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    This an artist immersion I did to show the difference E19192D8-E35D-417F-B642-3907BA932967.jpeg
     
  4. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    City of truro fan, the sype of signals you are refering to are called upper quadrant and lower quadrant signals. The signals in your photograph at Pen Mill are entirely new upper quadrants replacing the original GWR lower quadrants which were probably life expired. They seem to be far more robust, but that is no doubt in order to meet modern safety standards - just look at those hand rails, compaired to those on the signals that they replaces. And of course there is no need now to regularly climb up such signals as they are electrically lit unlike paraffin lit signals of old. The only surprise to me is that the "dolls" that carry the signal arms do appear to be GW in style. Maybe the local S&T stores still have a supply of such dolls but no longer have any non standard GW style lower quadrant arms left. At least they replaced the old signals with semaphores rather than colour lights.

    Peter
     
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  5. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    Yes this seems to be. It’s a shame though due to the looks but I understand they needed new ones. If they knew about the history they could have put them up the other way but I expected most the new people doing the jobs don’t mind how they look
     
  6. Romsey

    Romsey Member

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    At least one of the wooden post signals which were replaced, has found a new hone at Yeovil Railway Centre at Yeovil Jn.

    Cheers, Neil
     
  7. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    Yes, we do and try to keep a weekly update on the Facebook pages of the IRSE pages, at best it’s a great way to see what goes on behind the scenes at many of our heritage lines signalling departments, I regularly do little how it works videos and once lock down is over there’s a lot more videos to be done of heritage signalling on many many lines, not to mention projects, home and miniature lines and such,

    We are planning to have in the spring an online virtual webinar featuring various folks projects, heritage railway signalling and such to compliment the loss of not having a face to face seminar event that we run yearly at Kidderminster museum.

    the links were all posted above but all with a passion for signalling and how it works are welcome

    till we can get back down our own local
    Lines and volunteer again, stay safe folks.

    I’ve included a few loosely related signalling photos of some of the things we do from random photos I have to hand
     

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  8. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to re-do the 'pros and cons of Faceache' debate, but please keep in mind, when making decisions about a Web presence, that there are people (such as myself) who flat-out refuse to use Facebook, no matter how much I'd very much like to see the content.

    Noel
     
  9. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    ‘City of Truro fan’, about the Yeovil signals, GWR standard was lower quadrant but Network Rail standard is upper quadrant which is why they will have designed the new ones that way round. Modern structures are galvanised or grey and ladders need safety loops all round them... no surprises so far. What’s curious about these signals is the white-painted dolls with GWR style finials on top. I can only imagine they were either using up bits out of the stores or whoever specified them was a secret GWR aficionado. Having met a few NR signalling engineers during my career I could believe either explanation but I’m still only guessing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. toplink

    toplink New Member Friend

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    Another interesting fact about Yeovil Pen Mill is that it’s only the Down signals that are upper quadrant, the Up signals remain lower quadrant. Unless this has changed from when I visited a couple of years ago.
     
  11. 5801

    5801 New Member

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    It's even odder because other new and replacement semaphores on ex-GWR lines in recent years (at Moreton-in-Marsh, Banbury, Henwick and Malvern Wells, for instance) have all been lower quadrant.
     
  12. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    OK, well I wasn't aware of that. I guess the logic of sticking with lower quad for ad-hoc replacements is to maintain consistency within a geographic area, which does make the Yeovil ones seem strange especially if they only changed some and not all of them!

    The project manager is probably now busy reinventing the wheel in another industry while the engineers are still scratching their heads and wondering what happened. That's the best conclusion I can come to!
     
  13. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Partisan of the withered arm?
     
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  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Is there a standard BR/NR semaphore signal design?
     
  15. TseTT

    TseTT New Member

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  16. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    I cant blame you and there’s many don’t use Facebook, you Should see my kids trying to get me to use WhatsApp etcetera

    it’s very possible that we could either link up some of the items from the Facebook site on this forum which I post upon frequently anyhow but there’s also the main IRSE site too which I could also link to upon this forum , so a few options there that il try and see how they come across over the coming weeks
     
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  17. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    https://fb.watch/26YdFY69k-/ A small video done weekly relating to the basics of various signalling euipment, this one covering the electrical point detector, there are more on the FB site from point motors, through types of signals and several looks around circuitry and signalboxes.

    we’ve had recent updates from the Churnet valley upon their colour light signal restorations, individuals such as David’s beacon hill light railway and James Tyers Quince Junction home layouts, the Mid Norfolk railways resignalling at Dereham https://www.facebook.com/303881846640702/posts/1262742137421330/?d=n plus regular updates from Romsey box, the North Yorkshire Moors railway level crossing gate renewal work at Grosmont, https://www.facebook.com/303881846640702/posts/1257925737902970/?d=n, Epping Cabin and railways from and south such as the Strathspey railways of here. https://signallingstrathspey.blogsp...z9febcwJ-C_h83XcCrsRRDJKph-aKVHtqw_HHzScpxHCU , also this little article written by my colleague a recently retired national network signaller who is also a volunteer signaller at my local line Peak Rail who is one of the volunteers recalled back to service to ek pour during the pandemic, to save putting the link on here’s the article Ray wrote in full


    “Quite a few of our colleagues in the heritage signalling side have been helping the National Network out during the pandemic in support roles , especially ex and recently retired signallers.

    My colleague Ray Wild who is also a signaller on Peak Rail is one of those volunteers who came back to help out in these troubled times, having worked with Ray for many years I didn’t realise till he joined our railway he’s actually from a telecomms background, which is handy to know.

    I asked Ray to do a little write up on his lifetimes experience as the human side is the thing most stories don’t focus upon, the following is Rays story, I hope you enjoy it.

    If there’s anymore stories like this we’d be pleased to have them, usual caveat of watch what you write please, I did have the story checked by his boss just to make sure nothing business related that could be an issue was raised.

    Ray Wild ,Heritage and mainline signaller.

    I have always had an interest in trains. Sitting on the platforms as a schoolboy taking numbers at Crewe, Stockport and Sheffield I saw the change from steam-hauled to diesel and electric-hauled. Much later, still taking numbers, I watched the change in passenger traffic from loco hauled to DMU and EMU.
    There is something that holds a fascination for people traveling on a loco-hauled corridor train, one of the reasons Heritage Railways are successful.
    Living within the sight of two rail lines it may surprise you to know my first occupation was as a telephone engineer with the then GPO Telephone Service. Attending technical college on day release I gained an HNC in Electrical Engineering. Privatisation came in the early 1980’s when the monopoly was relaxed, the telephone service was sold, and British Telecom was born. I resigned from BT in 1989 and formed my own Limited Company, Marcom Installations, installing small telephone systems, alarm systems and data cabling together with contract work for three large local companies.
    In 1995 Siemens Business Services offered a 6-month contract to maintain their voice and data network in the Midlands, North West and Southern Scotland with the option of a permanent position. Based at Sir William Siemens House on Princess Parkway in Manchester I enjoyed 7 years full time employment with all the benefits of a large global company. In 2002 Siemens wanted to reshape their internal communications operations, this would mean a move to Wellingborough. I had two children in their GCSE year at secondary school, to move to a new house was not an alternative. An opportunity arose to become a signaller with the newly established Network Rail. I was invited to an assessment day which involves aptitude and safety tests and a structured interview. Here candidates sit a number of tests which are specially designed to select people who demonstrate characteristics which are linked to high performance in the signalling role and in the training required. Before being offered a position, a full medical examination needs to be passed together with drugs and alcohol screening.
    My training began at Manchester Victoria Station with a one-day induction course learning about the structure of Network Rail which had recently “bought” Railtrack and being issued with a full set of Rule Books and PPE. At the time I started training, all signallers held a Personal Track Safety (PTS) Sentinel Card. The Sentinel Card is a passport scheme issued by Network Rail, it is in place to ensure the safety and quality of work carried out on the UK’s rail infrastructure. Everyone that steps foot on an active rail requires a Sentinel Card. Signallers were expected to go on the track to clip & scotch points, clear vegetation and other minor obstructions from signal wire runs and point rodding. To be awarded a PTS Card a 3-day Track Safety Course must be attended.
    Signalling School was at Gresty Road in Crewe, 9 weeks studying the Absolute Block (AB) Signalling System followed by a one-week Track Circuit Block (TCB) conversion course. The majority of the course is classroom based, learning the railway language, the rules and going through scenarios to which the rules pertain. For the practical work and tests instead of a simulator, those attending Crewe Signalling Centre were privileged to be able to use the Exeter West Signal Box and its 137 lever Frame which is part of Crewe Heritage Centre.
    After successfully passing signaller training the next 4 weeks were spent in my allotted signal box learning the idiosyncrasies of the box and my area of control. During this time, a cab ride would be arranged on my line of route and I would spend a day in the boxes either side of my home box.
    As a new signaller, formal passing out to work alone in your first signal box involves being ruled by the Operations Manager (OM), who will ask questions on the emergency rules, general rules and the Signal Box Special Instructions (each box has a set of instructions relating to the working of that particular box). When the OM is satisfied with your rules knowledge the Local Operations Manager (LOM) will observe you working the signal box, accepting and offering trains, answering the telephone, dealing with requests to access the track, using safety critical communications and your attention to detail in filling in the Train Register.
    My first signal box after leaving signalling school was Chapel en le Frith on the BEJ Buxton to Edgeley Junction line. Chapel en le Frith South, as it was known in BR Days and still referred to as “Chapel South” by some locals, was the scene of a tragic accident on 9th February 1957 which included loss of life and devastation on an almost unparalleled scale. Driver John Axon G.C. was the driver of the 11.05 Buxton to Arpley freight train involved. The story of this Railway Accident has been well documented over the years in various books and newspapers. There is a plaque on the station building commemorating Driver John Axon G.C. and Guard John Creamer who lost their lives.
    The original signal box located on the UP side was destroyed in the accident, the “New” box, a British Railways (LMR) type 15 structure has a 20 lever frame and was built on the site formally occupied by the DOWN sidings.

    There is a colour light Distant signal on the DOWN line situated between Barmoor Clough and Eaves Tunnels, the Home & Section signals are semaphore. On the UP line there is a Distant signal and a Section Signal both semaphores. Bizarrely there is no Home signal on the UP line which would be the protecting signal for the User Worked Crossing at the north end of the platforms. As there is no footbridge this crossing is also used by passengers to cross the track to gain access to the Manchester bound DOWN platform.
    Having spent 18 months signalling trains at Chapel en le Frith I applied for a vacancy at Furness Vale, the village where I live. Furness Vale signal box has a 22 lever LNW Tumbler Frame with Bar and Stud locking. The original frame of 1887 was extended and significantly altered in 1909.


    All the main signals are semaphore and arranged in the classic AB style of Distant, Home and Section signals on the UP and DOWN lines. There is a crossover from the Down to the UP line signalled by a Ground signal, the points must be clipped and scotched for movement over them as there is no facing point lock. There are Manual Controlled Barriers for a level crossing outside the signal box on a terribly busy road which is used as a short cut from the A6 to the A6015. While at Furness Vale I was involved in Single Line Working over the DOWN line to & from Buxton. Working to & from the point of Obstruction (P1-10 Working). This was running a full weekday timetable with trains terminating and starting using the UP station platform with a Points Operator clipping and scotching every Manchester Bound train. Trains from Hazel Grove were accepted under Restriction Acceptance (Bell Code 3-5-5) whenever a train was standing in the UP platform.
    I took the Emergency call from a driver when a person jumped in front of his train at Whaley Bridge and liaised with the Rail Incident Officer (RIO) to make the line safe for the emergency services to attend. I have dealt with train failures including one within Station Limits, barrier failure, signal failure and track circuit failure.
    My next signal box was New Mills South Junction which has a 55 lever LMR Standard 6” Frame and is situated on the Hope Valley Line. Track Circuit Block (TCB) signalling operates on the Main line between Hazel Grove and Chinley and Absolute Block signalling on the Romiley Branch line to New Mills Central. A Goods Loop off the UP Romiley Branch line measuring 397Mts, 1302Ft allows freight trains to clear the UP Romiley Branch line when waiting to join the Main Line. Bi-directional working on the UP Main line is used daily when empty stock DMUs run from Stockport Carriage Sidings to service passenger workings form New Mills Central. The train stops on the UP Main line, the driver changes end and sets back to the Down Romiley Branch line signalled by NMS 44 Ground signal.

    A variety of traffic passes New Mills South, Class 1 passenger, Class 2 passenger, Classes 4, 6 & 8 Freight trains, Class 5 Empty Stock and Class 0 Light Locos. There is no station at New Mills South and no level crossings in its area of control. There is an Axle Counter Area effective through the 2Ml 346Yds Disley Tunnel on the UP and DOWN Main lines. There is also the 245Yd, 13 Arch Newtown Viaduct not shown in the Sectional Appendix or on the signal box diagram, and the 90Yd Newtown Tunnel. During my 3 incredibly happy years as a resident signaller at New Mills South I had Axle Counter failure, Points failure, Signal failure, a Broken Rail in Disley Tunnel, and the report from a driver of a fire on his train. I have supervised Wrong Direction Moves, Unsignalled Moves and Degraded Working, granted Line Blockages and T3 Possessions. When events happen your signaller training ensures you respond in a calm, efficient way.
    I retired from Network Rail at the end of November 2019.
    In March 2020 I was asked to return by Network Rail as New Mills South Relief Contingency signaller on a 6 month temporary contract covering the 3 signal boxes I had previously worked. After successfully passing a medical, refreshing the rules and retraining my boxes I joined the roster.
    This contract has been extended to the end of April 2021.”

    BCFCB86B-FCA2-4897-8788-168AF084BF9D.jpeg
     

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  18. Martin Adalar

    Martin Adalar New Member

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    If these signals had been lower quadrants then very short drive rods would have had to be provided because the arms are quite low down the doll post, as these would have to be custom made i am sure it was easier to use upper quadrant arms so that wire counld be use instead which would be much cheaper.
     
  19. Great Western

    Great Western New Member

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    Yeovil sits in the network rail Wessex Region, hence the southern signals....proper western signals have been used in the western and wales area however.
     
  20. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I don't see anything Southern about the signals at Pen Mill -they are a standard 21st century Network Rail installation with the unusual use of GW style dolls

    Peter
     

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