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Preserved Levels Crossings Worked Mechanically by Wheel

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by M59137, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Having had a discussion on level crossings worked by wheels at the weekend, I came to wonder how many of them have been recreated on our preserved railways.

    How many of them are there and were they wheel operated in BR days? Equally are there ex wheel operated crossings that are now manually operated in preservation?

    Are they useful or are they one of those preservation features that's been installed more for fun and for telling a story than anything else?

    Shamefully the only one I could remember was Ramsbottom on the ELR, but I'm sure there's more (Grosmont? Glyndyfrdwy?)

    Finally, are there plans for more in the future? I personally really like the idea of them and think they add further signalling interest to any location.
     
  2. Ganger

    Ganger New Member

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    Blue Anchor on the WSR is wheel worked I believe, and there are plans for a wheel worked crossing as part of the new signalling at Totnes Littlehempston on the South Devon Railway.
     
  3. bennymilk

    bennymilk New Member

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    I only know of one, and thats at Didcot Railway Centre, but I cant say I've been looking for them, so they're might be a lot more!

    Ben
     
  4. brit70000

    brit70000 New Member

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    Wansford on the Nene Valley Railway. Current box built 1907, still going strong!
     
  5. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Member

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    The level crossing at Glyndyfrdwy was originally worked by a wheel from the signal box in B.R. days. The original signal box was on the up platform facing the main station building & consequently had a poor view of the road going up to the A5. We were told by H.M.R.I. to site its repacement adjacent to the level crossing, which we did.
    When we excavated the road to install the new level cossing we found all of the rodding installation was still buried ,but none of it was retrievable.
    There was a proposal some years ago to reinstate the wheel but nothing came of it.There was recently a proposal to rebuild the orinal signal box, the footings still being intact to not far below the platform surface. The station house has now been purchased by a well known enthusiast & we might now get the fenced off down platform back.

    Bob.
     
  6. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Ramsbottom (East Lancashire Railway) was wheel worked in BR days. I haven't been back in the preservation era but I was fascinated by this as a small child. One day a kind signalman noticed my interest and invited my Mum & I into the box to have a closer look. Wouldn't happen nowadays!
     
  7. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    eventually Church Lane here at Peak, when i get round to it, the gears fitted inside,the outside gate gear will be similar to Norbury crossing on the LNWR line to Buxton, using gate stops mounted in the railway side and quadrant plates on the gate posts to prove closure and to lock against,saves having the gear in the roadway where itl suffer both roadsalt and problems of hammering with traffic over the years.
     
  8. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Grosmont has 2 sets of gates, worked by 2 wheels - as both open in the same direction - i.e. both into the wind or assisted by the wind! The south pair open towards the Tunnel and the north paid are long enough to cover the road when opened.

    The crossing was worked from a Crossing Box and I believe this was always manual - certainly was until the NYMR replaced it with the new box. This is still called Grosmont Crossing Box as there used to be a box next to what is now the Booking Office callede "Grosmont".

    The wheel arrangement is pretty rare - I think Lincoln High Street was the same. John Boyes did say where there had been similar arrangements but I can't recall if any are still in use elsewhere.

    Steven
     
  9. Black Jim

    Black Jim New Member

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    I come from Lincoln originally, & I have stood & watched the bobby in the High St. box open & shut the gates hundreds of times with the wheel! Happy days!
    Blue Anchor is wheel operated.
     
  10. Mike Delamar

    Mike Delamar New Member

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    that sounds good are there any plans for Darley dale? could a box be placed in the original position now that the yard isnt the main yard?

    I like mechanical crossings, they must save quite a bit more time for motorists than hand operated, my favourite being at Ramsbottom,although I was a bit surprised that it has traffic lights nowadays which I think is a bit of a shame.
     
  11. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Didn't Lincoln get relaid and resignalled a few years back and all mechanical equipment was removed?
    Or did I just imagine that I was on a renewal there for a couple of weeks?
     
  12. tamper

    tamper New Member

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    Lincoln's been gone for some time and the box whilst still there no longer operates signals or crossing. Wainfleet on the Skeggy line lost it's wheel and gates in Feb this year, now full barriers and lights.
     
  13. Mike Delamar

    Mike Delamar New Member

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    would anyone be able to post any pics/diagrams etc of the workings of mechanical crossings?

    many thanks
     
  14. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    Ramsbottom was wheel worked back in 1991 when the Rawtenstall extension opened, complete with a relaid crossing and with new gates (A J94 smashed through the old ones and crossed the main road in an incident c1990) , but more recently, last time I was there, it was manual, that was a few years back however.
     
  15. 73129

    73129 Member

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    Out of interest. Has anyone got a technical drawing on how a mechanical level crossing works?


    Thanks
     
  16. gwr4090

    gwr4090 Member

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    A Pictorial Record of Great Western Signalling by Adrian Vaughan has an interesting drawing of Ffairfach Station Level Crossing (page 97) showing the arrangement of cranks and drive rods to operate the gates and the gate stops and locks. This crossing is not at right angles to the track, and has four gates of two lengths which travel different speeds so that they arrive at the gate stops at the same time. Needless to say there are numerous drive rods and cranks at all sorts of odd angles ! The crossing is operated from one wheel with two locking levers.
     
  17. kestreleyes

    kestreleyes Member

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    there are litterally that many different methods of working,best book is the old IRSE green booklet on level crossings...
     
  18. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    Slightly off topic (but still a level crossing :) ) I built this one at the SSN in Rotterdam:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrzKi4WYGAg

    It's a 1927 standard Reichsbahn model, recovered from a forest on a bit of abandoned line near Kassel.
    I have a book of drawings from the Reichsbahn S&T dept and an old article about it. Apparently, the basis of the timing (ringing bells before the barriers descend) was the imaginary passage of a horse & cart, plus an attendant who rushed out of his house last minute and wound twice as fast as usual. In order not to cut the horse in half they calculated the length of the 'warning ringing of bells' period ! A lovely idea.
    In putting this one together again (there are no others on YouTube) we probably got the bell period a bit too long, but you get the idea. As far as I know, it's reconstruction in a museum is unique.
    Not quite the UK gate and wheel design, but interesting to see how another railway system addressed the issue.
     
  19. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    Yes it would...
     
  20. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    Last time I was at Ramsbottom, a few years ago, the gates were in terrible condition. Hopefully they've been treated to a coat of paint recently.
     

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