Train moves within station limits

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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John Lindsay
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:28 am

Train moves within station limits

Post by John Lindsay »

As part of the discussion on Dalmally station, David (elvan4472) asked a question about how movements that were not covered by the signalling were carried out. It remains unanswered.

Whilst studying the signalling at Biggar, I have often wondered about this question too! I have read several rule books etc and books on railway signalling and operation, but none have amplified on this subject. For example, what would be the standard approach be to running round a train in a passing loop to shunt wagons into the yard?

Can anyone suggest any good books or other sources for the uninitiated!

Many thanks

John
tony brenchley
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:36 am

Re: Train moves within station limits

Post by tony brenchley »

For Blairgowrie I know that the Statioonmaster had jurisdiction over all movements in the station area inside the signal cabin. The engine release crossover at the platform was operated from a dwarf frame openned by a key issued by the signalman but I believe the engine driver had to get permission from the Stationmaster and by telephone from the signalman before running onto the goods loop to run round a passenger train.

There were outward bound signals on both the passenger road and the goods loop operated from the cabin to control entry to the main line to Coupar Angus. These were complicate later by the installation of a new crossover nearer to the station so trains could be rounded without the engine passing onto the main line. I can only speak about Blairgowrie with any authority but similar arrangemenmts must have been in operation at terminus stations at least. I hope this helps. Tony B
John Paton
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Train moves within station limits

Post by John Paton »

This subject has crossed my mind as well. When the Ballachulish branch train arrived from Oban at the up main platform at Connel Ferry, the engine ran round, then the train appears to have departed to Ballachlish from up platform in the down direction. There was obviously no signal to control such a manoeuvre, but it must have happened daily. Could the West Box signalman have waved the train away with a green flag? Alternatively, did the branch train depart eastwards (in the up direction), then run back through the down platform line - thereby using fixed signals throughout. If there was no main-line connection the branch train would run into the branch platform (the one still in use today), which was signalled in both directions and therefore the problem did not arise.

John
dumb buffer
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:13 pm

Re: Train moves within station limits

Post by dumb buffer »

I'd always understood that there was a degree of informality about manoeuvres within station limits where passengers were not involved. Any moves would normally be routine, and understood by all parties. Where necessary a bit of flag waving would be done, but often the driver would move once he could see the points had been changed. It saved the bobby having to stick his head out into the rain.

In my recollection, however, it wasn't normal for passenger trains to make an unsignalled move; the ECS would make the unsignalled move into the other platform. However in remote areas anything might have happened! But in situations where there was only one loco in station limits there was less chance of accidents happening, and the staff would do what was most convenient.

Allan F
Jim Summers
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Train moves within station limits

Post by Jim Summers »

Dare I bore everyone again by saying I hope this will be covered in the signalling book, which continues to make progress.

I haven't time to go into all these examples at the moment, but as a quick answer, you could get away with most things in station limits, which were under the control of the signalman there.

You do of course have to define station limits, and if you go outside them, you have to "block back" to the adjacent signalman so he knows what you are up to and the section is being occupied. There were ways to mitigate the delays this could cause, but I am not at the moment sure how much these were employed by the Caley, if at all.

Much could be signalled by hand from the box, but Allan is right: a passenger move should really be under fixed signals. Mind you, I recall the signalman at Welwyn Garden City setting a passenger train off the Down Slow back across four roads to the Up Slow Platform, and letting it depart from there in the Down Direction, and without facing point locks or clamps. All legitimate, but a brave move, and it kept the traffic moving during a failure.

Jim S
MIKEWILLIAMS
Posts: 490
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:12 pm

Re: Train moves within station limits

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

The 1915 WTT appendix northern section p.28 has info on this. There's a long list of locations on single track lines where the line can be fouled for shunting purposes. In the case of Dalmally, it's into the section to Loch Awe. There's also a much shorter list of places where a signal is authorised in accordance with Block Rule 39. At some of the signal boxes, where "the Driver cannot be verbally warned by the Signalman, the necessary caution must be conveyed to the Driver by a Green Hand Signal, waved slowly up and down. This caution must be acknowledged by the Driver by one short whistle."

Best
Mike
Jim Summers
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Train moves within station limits

Post by Jim Summers »

As threatened, here is chapter and verse from the Regualations for Train Signalling, the BR version of 1972, but it is very much the same as that produced by the RCH and signed up to by the General Managers of the old railways.

Jim S.
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