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West Somerset Railway Operations

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. toplink

    toplink New Member Friend

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    The gate are often opened to traffic when the trains are stationary especially if the down train arrived early. The signalman tries to keep the crossing closed to road traffic for as short a time as possible, however the guard and footplate crew need to be vigilant and depart promptly once the board is off,
     
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  2. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Do vehicles ever drive into the gates?
     
  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Interestingly enough the last GWR Head Passenger Inspector retired to Blue Anchor
     
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  4. toplink

    toplink New Member Friend

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    Very rarely thank God. Too much paper work to do. I think the last occasion was when someone dozed off and hit on the gatepost - still needed fixing though.
     
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  5. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    I do.
     
  6. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    In my 40 years of volunteering this has happened three times to my knowledge, in each case when the Railway has been closed and the gates have been closed to rail and the car has failed to make the corner heading west along the coast road. In each case the driver was a local, not a visitor.

    Robin
     
  7. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    If you were to look at the Blue Anchor signalling with a clean sheet of paper, would there be some changes to reduce delays on the crossing?

    I can think of a few that ought not be too difficult to achieve.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  8. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    The set of wheel-worked gates and the associated signalling, including a mechanical fouling bar, little altered from installation in the first decade of the 20th century, are rare and valuable now. Road delays are small, relative to the road open time, even on Railway Galas at busy holiday times.

    There is, therefore, no incentive and no imperative to make changes and many reasons to keep things exactly as they are.

    Robin
     
  9. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Perhaps some kind person would provide a pic or a link to a pic of the signalling diagram for Blue Anchor please?

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's a non-issue. @Dennis John Brooks asked a reasonable question I presumed out of curiosity more than anything else (I certainly didn't read much moaning, more an expectation of an explanation that would make us all go "Ah, fair enough") and eventually after some slightly strange and unnecessary posts we all learnt a little bit and we all went "Ah, fair enough". End of I should think, no? But then I forget, this is West Somerset....
     
  11. tracker

    tracker Member

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    Some might say "get a life!"
     
  12. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Blue Anchor needs leaving exactly as it is thank you. That crossing and associated signal box are time warp and a now rare working example of what was a common situation. The road through Blue Anchor is not that heavily trafficked outside the core holiday season and the railway is a valuable asset to the area.
     
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  13. 2392

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    2392 said:
    .... Mind you and this is going back to the S & D 150 event in 1975, the left hand pair of leading bogie wheels on none other than 4472 Flying Scotsman were different shades of green too:eek:. One of the Flying Scotsman support crew had a right set to with one of the NELPG members as their stand was right beside 'Scotsman about the K1 [6]2005 being in LNER green. ....

    So what's stopping you?
     
  14. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Surely if done today, you’d have no barriers, wig wags, and signalling that stopped the train at the far end of the platform from the crossing. There’d be no box and either tokenless block or an Eggesford like arrangement for drivers to swap tokens.

    I prefer what we have now.


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  15. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    By all means.

    4F3A7B48-71E5-4C8F-917D-C15AC5ADC036.jpeg
     
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  16. HerstonHalt

    HerstonHalt New Member

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    My recollection is that there's a bell in the box which is operated automatically as the train approaches the down home, which is of course round the bend and out of sight of the station. This gives the signalman the nod to open the gates and clear the signal.
    I also seem to recall a repeater in the box which shows the status of that signal, ie. On or Off.

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  17. HerstonHalt

    HerstonHalt New Member

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    Do the catch points have to be manually locked when running in the down direction such as at the start of this season? I assume they can't be controlled from the box?
    And if they are locked for the passage of a down train are they then released for an up train in order to fulfil their function of derailing potential runaways (however unlikely!) or are they left locked? Thanks.

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  18. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    As is your post!
     
  19. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    The catch points would normally have to be manually clamped and padlocked to allow a down train into the up platform. However, they have been temporarily removed and replaced with plain track since the new points were installed at that end so trains could run over that section at the beginning of the season with no problems. I believe they will be reinstalled when the track bed at that end of the station has been renewed, probably this winter season. It is not clear from the diagram, but they are solely to derail runaway vehicles coming down the hill from Washford. Up trains just push them to one side. That lack of catch points has resulted in temporary amendments to the rule book so now all up trains have to be fully brake fitted, and the procedure for shunting of vehicles in and out of Washford yard is amended to prevent the possibility of runaways.
     
  20. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    I think the reason is that the down starting signal is normally cleared as well. Therefore as far as the guard and the crew are concerned the train can proceed. The signalman has no way of knowing how long the loading / unloading of passenger is going to take. The train may well stop and depart again within 30 seconds. On another day it may take 5 minutes. It would be massively dangerous to all parties to return the signal to danger once the train had stopped and then open the gates to road traffic.

    On those days when the signalman knows the Down will be held due to knowing there is an Up on the way from MD then the gates will be opened to road traffic as the signalman knows the Down train has no token and therefor cannot proceed.

    Trust me, you would not want to be held up in the queue that would result from a SPAD with the train stuck on the crossing.
    The way it is done is both the safe way and indeed the way it has always been done. It's just part of the rich life of the countryside around a steam railway branch line and part of the authentic heritage experience. Also remember that this is probably the last Capstan Wheel operated set of crossing gates in the south of the country. It would be a massive shame to see them taken away.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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