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Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:12 pm
by Mike1912
I hope you can answer this question please, as I haven't found an answer to it elsewhere.

At a rural terminus which had two platforms, did the CR have one platform designated arrival and the other departure, with the coaches moved between the two, or was it a case that both could be used for both directions, depending on traffic?

Mike

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:12 pm
by Jim Summers
Mike,
A relevant aspect is whether the two platforms were at the end of a single or of a double line.

Ballachulish is a good example of double platform off a single line. As far as I am aware, the passenger train carriages were not transferred from the inbound platform to the other one for departure. It looks like an awful lot of extra work for no benefit to passengers - the booking office straddled the end of both platforms. I have always assumed the extra platform at Ballachulish was to enable excursion trains to run to operate.

Brechin was an example where the basic timetable needed more than one platform because it was a junction in effect, and we should not regard Brechin as merely a branch line terminus.

Crieff springs to mind as another with two platforms, but again it was really a junction station with a double line through it, and was not signalled for Up trains to return from the Down Platform - John Young's book on Strathearn gives all the details

I can't think of many other examples of two platforms but the only merit of swapping the set of carriages over would be to have the outbound train waiting at the platform with the ticket office. But who would design the place to make that necessary in the first place?

Someone will prove me wrong, no doubt, but do you yourself have a specific location in mind?

Regarding my remark at the beginning about double or single lines, folk were often mystified by the branch train needing to take a token simply to enter Grangemouth platform, but that was because the double line became a single line to the sole platform. The BoT demanded a token in such circumstances.

Jim S

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:28 pm
by duncan
Jim
Did they need both platforms at Oban for the service provided ?
Duncan

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:27 pm
by Mike1912
Thanks for that Jim.

Not a specific location in mind, but it would be the two platforms at the end of a single line example.

If the second platforms are for excursion trains for example, looking at the Ballachulish layout you mentioned, how would the train be dealt with, like releasing the loco from the second platform, or would it have a separate loco to take the train back again?

Mike

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:59 am
by Jim Summers
Duncan,
I have done any platform occupation chart for Oban, but I would suggest they did need the two platforms and I think there are photos showing that. Otherwise, why build the extra ones for the Ballachulish service?

Jim

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:06 am
by Jim Summers
Mike,
The inbound train engine would round and dispose of its train, which would be put away in the yard for a while, to allow the service train in, round, and return. That's my guess, but much would depend on the actual timetable on the day.

The point is that the two platforms gave some flexibility. Whether it was over-provision in the event, is for discussion.

You may already know that a modification is currently in hand to the RETB arrangements at Oban, to permit two trains to be there in the new timetable.

Jim

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:11 am
by jimwatt2mm
Another example, with a different layout, is Airdrie, which had a single platform with two faces (what I would call a 'peninsular platform') each face having its own run round. One was used for Glasgow services and the other for those to Newmains via Calderbank.

Jim W

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:14 pm
by John Paton
Mike,

Although Ballachulish had two platforms, engine release was only provided from the northernmost platform, and therefore it was always used for arrivals. The southernmost platform was sometimes used for departures (by both passenger and freight trains), possibly to keep the northernmost platform free for an arriving train - see photos. Ballachulish had no freight 'reception' facilities so freight trains arrived at, and were formed up for departure, in the passenger station.

The original Oban station had a cramped layout. I am not sure that even the double road had engine release - it certainly did not in latter days. The attached photo shows what could have been the engine release road occupied by a line of four-wheel passenger carriages. I suspect that the additional platforms built c1903 were required regardless of the Ballachulish branch. With a scissors crossover they were ideal for arrivals, though also used for departures - particularly for Ballachulish.

Looking at a map of the Caledonian network, I am struck by how few double-platform small terminals there were. By far the most had one main platform, and sometimes a small dock beyond the station building. Photographs suggest that the one main platform was predominantly used for both arrivals and departures.

Lanark is a station where there was an arrival and departure platform, but even there the arrival platform (southern) was also used for departures.

Re: Arrival and Departure process

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:39 pm
by Mike1912
Thanks everyone for the information, very interesting, and it has certainly clarified to me how things could operate for the second platform.

Mike