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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but on the Circle they use Inner Rail and Outer Rail. The other interesting ones are the Piccadilly and Jubilee Lines which switch from North/South to East/West midway along. I can't remember what happens on the Heathrow, Kennington and Hainault loops...
     
  2. Michael B

    Michael B Member

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    It certainly did in 1996 when the owner, Mr Mitchel, allowed me to spend a day measuring it up. It had just been restored by some local people. I believe people have seen it much more recently. Three replica signals are being constructed for Chelfham Station based on my field notes, photographs and the finished drawing. There is a photograph of the 2 arms so far made on the current news posting on the L & B website (Lynton-rail). My drawing was transcribed for the book 'Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Measured and Drawn' p162 at both its original height and when it was cut down around WW1, probably due to 20 years rot in a damp location, but possibly due to deteriorated sighting due to tree growth. By the closure it was the only original Evans O'Donnell signal not replaced which was probably why the owner of Coach 2 bought it. The concrete LSWR type post of the down starting signal and its metal platform are lying part-way down the bank at the north of the station and formed the basis of the drawing on p159. It was a replacement for the E'OD example on 9 August 1927.
     
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  3. Axe +1

    Axe +1 New Member

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    The concrete post has been recovered from down the embankment and since 2019 has been stored at the Chelfham station site.
     
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  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Good to see the work being done at Chelfham and elsewhere on the L & B.
     
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  5. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan Member

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    Will there be any signal at snappers halt when it’s finished as I think at some stations they will make them bigger than they used to be.
     
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  6. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    No. Snapper will remain exactly as it was in the 1930s.
    The only station which will change significantly is Blackmoor, but Parracombe will receive signalling, due to the need for a passing loop there.
     
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  7. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Parracombe may - that has yet to be confirmed, although planning for such an installation continues in the meantime.

    AFAIK there is as yet no long-term detailed strategic plan which says exactly what is intended for each and every old/new location, though you are right in suggesting that Blackmoor will be 'different', but hopefully at least in keeping with L&BR traditions.
     
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  8. gwralatea

    gwralatea Member

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    Read the winter newsletter yesterday, and really it is astonishing compared to other railways I'm a member of. Even if you start from the position that there's a lot more to do for the L&B, every single article almost was 'we've raised this money', 'we've built this', 'we've bought that' etc.

    This is the one society that always puts a smile on my face. Can we give them world peace to sort out too?
     
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    They could practice by just going over the border into West Somerset....:)
     
  10. weltrol

    weltrol Part of the furniture Friend

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    World peace - highly likely...

    West SomersetRailway peace - mission impossible!
     
  11. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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  12. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan Member

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    How far away is it until the signalman finds it hard to pull? Were There any signals that were in the middle of exmoor that were difficult
     
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  13. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Not really. The L&B had no distant signals, so the furthest from the cabins would be to the home signals. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, but I think the longest pull was to Chelfham's down home, which was across the viaduct, so not very far really.
     
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  14. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Not strictly true, as it did at first.

    A 'hard' pull is affected not only by distance, but also the number of cranks and pulleys in the run, how well lubricated they are, any curvature in the run, point/FPL detectors slide etc. It's rather like points - there were some boxes where a crossover almost right outside was a right b***** to shift, whereas a siding connection further away would go over like a dream :)
     
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  15. Wenlock

    Wenlock Well-Known Member Friend

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    I know what you mean. With today's volunteer signalmen, and their advancing ages, some of the longer pulls of former days are no longer acceptable. I understand that Network Rail use a pull-force gauge and grade each lever according to the band of pull-force needed (also push-force to replace in some cases), acceptable, needs attention or not to be used.

    At Rolvenden the furthest pull was No.1 Up Outer Home, about 800 yds, which has since been motorised at the time the signal was moved out further to 1,008 yds.
    Longest pull at that box is now No.2 Down Advanced Starting, nothing like as far away, I don't have a diagram to hand but I think it's 677 yds, but sometimes needs a 'flick' to get a true 'off''. It goes across under both lines within 100 yds of the 'box, round a bend, back under both lines, then further round the bend which makes it a harder pull than a longer run in a straight line.
     
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  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    It is hard to be precise without access to the relevant personnel data, but I would suspect that heritage railways - by the nature of their volunteer workforce - have a larger proportion of signalmen of "advancing years" than is the case on NR. I shudder sometimes to realise that I probably now fall into such a category myself :)

    Although there can be 'hard pulls', IMHO to a large extent this can be mitigated by proper setting-out during the initial installation and regular and adequate maintenance thereafter. Of course there will always be the odd point that will decide to lose detection at the peak of the timetable or a FPL plunger that refuses to 'go in', but usually a 'hefty heave' and/or the swift application of boot to lever solves the problem :) On the other hand, if a point machine goes out of adjustment and refuses to go clear, then there is not much that one can do until the S&T turn up and fix it.

    A particular problem of course on somewhere like the L&BR is the relatively limited capacity for leverage and stroke on a ground-level 'knee' frame compared with a 'full sized' elevated frame and this is something that has been considered during work on the 'Signalling Principles' for the future L&BR. One could of course adopt the 'simple' solution of working everything by power, but then we would be faced with (a) the logistics of obtaining sufficient point and signal machines and (b) having the qualified resources to maintain them thereafter. Also, any form of power working will bring it with the need to fit lever-locks and/or circuit controllers to various levers, which is difficult enough to do with knee frames anyway, but especially so within the confined space of a L&BR 'hut'. By coincidence, we have been looking at this very subject at the moment, with an eye on the issues that may arise in Phase 3 at Chelfham and Bratton Fleming (as well as possible alterations at Woody Bay in preparation for Phase 2A) - nothing like a bit of 'forward planning' to pass the time in 'lock down' :)

    In any case, is it realistic to pursue an approach predicated solely on the obvious fact that our current workforce is getting older by the day? The L&BR - like all heritage lines - will need a constant and regular stream of new (and younger) volunteers, for whom mechanical working will be less of a problem, otherwise eventually it will simply wither and die. So maybe the pragmatic solution, to a greater or lesser extent, will be to keep power working to the minimum and then roster signalmen accordingly? Do not forget also that part of the 'new' L&BR's ethos is one of adherance to the authenticity and heritage of the original railway, which would be hard to equate with signalling installations that effectively work everything by electricity controlled by (big lever) switches. It may be perhaps that a pragmatic solution would be to power-work (but only then if deemed really necessary) only those signals which are at the extremities of 'station limits' and outside the view of passengers at stations, as may exist in the new arrangements at Blackmoor.

    I would hasten to add that my comments above, although based on discussions to date, are purely my own interpretation and not an official L&BR position.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
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  17. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I don't know what they propose to do there prior to Phase 3, but:-

    1. If the intention is to represent any time prior to 1927 (when the signal was renewed) then concrete would not be appropriate anyway, and
    2. Given the habit of such posts to deteriorate over time, then IMHO after 93 years it is time to give the post a well-earned retirement and find a replacement :)
     
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  18. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    [QUOTE="Mark Thompson, post: 2627018, member: 27829"...... Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, but I think the longest pull was to Chelfham's down home, which was across the viaduct, so not very far really.[/QUOTE]

    Leaving aside the early distants at Bratton Fleming, then the longest pull in 1898 was the Up Home at Pilton (about 35 yards more than the Down Home at Chelfham). Without scrutinising every change, I suspect that the various changes to signals in SR days made little if any overall difference.
     
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  19. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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  20. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for that link...It was very good to read..."This year we carried 23710 passengers, and over the summer 19% more than the same period in 2019, and October saw numbers up 56% on 2019."
    Given the C-19 situation those numbers are impressive and must give a lot of encouragement for the future. Well done team L&B!
     

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