Gauntletted track

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
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Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Gauntletted track

Post by Jim Summers »

During yesterday's grand tour of the lines south of Hamilton on our webinar, a question arose from Neil about interlaced, or gauntletted, track.

I regret that my explanation was not very lucid, but perhaps this photo will help. It shows the Caley's Braidhurst Viaduct being heavily repaired in the early days of British Railways. The repair work was done one side at a time, with traffic continuing on the other side under Single Line Working. To avoid the complications of pointwork the tracks were arranged as the picture shows.

For some intriguing examples on curves, amuse yourself with YouTube trips on the old Lisbon trams.

The interlaced loops on gradients at Killin Jn. and Auchlochan, seen yesterday, are a complicated refinement, with heavy gradients involved. We'll see about publishing David Stirling's explanation of these.

JimS
Gauntletted track at Braidhurst - reduced .jpg
Gauntletted track at Braidhurst - reduced .jpg (132.57 KiB) Viewed 642 times
Barry Rhys
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:25 am

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by Barry Rhys »

Hi Jim,

When I saw that photo in the talk I was amazed that something like that exists, and just assumed that the point continued and the lines diverged apart! So seeing your photo here explains to me exactly the reason that I could not picture during your explanation.

But your picture has double track, narrowing and interlacing due to space limitations. I thought the photo in John's talk was on a single line section of the Lesmahagow line (or of one of the other single lines in the talk) so didn't understand the talk of catch points etc. Was it that a catch point would be installed just after the start of the loop in the travel direction uphill, so catching any runaways back down the track, without having to fit one (and hence having to operate as a facing point) on the other side of the loop, on the basis that you couldn't have breakaways in the downhill direction of travel because the loco would be forward of the train? I think my explanation is making sense to myself now, but could be the totally wrong one!

Maybe I should just look in your Operations book Jim. Hidden somewhere in my forest of books upstairs - ironically cut down from trees and now quite possibly regrowing as them, I haven't fought my way through the jungle in my 'utility' room to my bookcase for a while now!

And finally, one of the great things about being able to hear John's talk after years of only having the written word is that I now know how to pronounce Lesmahagow and especially Strathaven - of course, obviously 'Straven' with the 'tha' removed. Heresy for me as a Yorkshireman, tha knows what I mean?

So many thanks for the talk John, and for your explanation Jim.

Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by Jim Summers »

Yes, Neil, it was a single line on a narrow formation.
The runback catchpoints would be hazardous if approached in a facing direction. So one side of the loop had them and one not.

You are not the first person to be puzzled, as the attached photo from an old Model Railway Constructor shows. Also attached is a better photo from the CRA collection, showing additional complications of a branch siding coming in.

John Paton stated in The True Line 51 that there were three examples of interlaced/gauntletted track on the Caley, namely Auchlochan, Brocketsbrae and Killin Jn. That piece of knowledge should help you at your next pub quiz.

JimS
Auchlochan traps and point lever- reduced .jpg
Auchlochan traps and point lever- reduced .jpg (88.49 KiB) Viewed 586 times
Auchlochan from old MRC - detail  .jpg
Auchlochan from old MRC - detail .jpg (104.94 KiB) Viewed 586 times
Loch Awe
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Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:26 pm

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by Loch Awe »

Hi Jim,

I would hesitate to gainsay someone of John's knowledge but out of curiosity I just dug this diagram out for Brocketsbrae. which seems to suggest double worked catch point[s] were used rather than interlaced tracks.
Attachments
Brocketsbrae M1 1933.jpg
Brocketsbrae M1 1933.jpg (49.84 KiB) Viewed 542 times
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by Jim Summers »

Thanks, Robert.

I imagine a number of us will be pleased to see that diagram. It was new to me at least.
It certainly looks an easier arrangement, but maybe was an LMS alteration, from the diagram date.
Always more to learn . . . .

Jim
Short Road Pilot
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:12 pm

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by Short Road Pilot »

Jim,
I have been having a frantic e-mail discussion with John regarding Brocketsbrae about this!!. Yes as far as I am aware Brocketsbrae had this arrangement at the North end starting just beyond the Level Crossing gates and running for about 160 yards on a falling (towards Motherwell) gradient of 1 in 67 and increasing to 1 in 66 at Netherton Lime Works.
I have a large C.R. plan of Brocketsbrae station showing the Interlaced or Gauntletted track in situ beyond the level crossing. I believe the L.M.S. made the alteration and removed the interlaced track sometime in the early Grouping period and replaced it with new catch points as shown on the 1933 L.M.S. Signal Box diagram. In the C.R.1915 Appendix the catch points are described as being 'On Up Loop Line, about 169 yards North from Brocketsbrae Signal Box'. On visiting the site of Brocketsbrae Station many years back with the late Norris Forrest it was clear to me that there was not enough room for a loop to the North of the station. The C.R. appendix reference to the 'Loop' probably refers to the interlaced track.

GJAT.
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by Jim Summers »

Thanks, Graham.
Wonderful how one thing leads to another in these discussions, and often solves it.
JimS
wsaxt04
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:46 am

Re: Gauntletted track

Post by wsaxt04 »

Brocketsbrae and Lesmahagow.

I have carried out a search on the web-site of ‘National Records of Scotland’, Edinburgh, for the two locations above to see what track layout diagrams and plans exist. The following is the state of play:

Brocketsbrae: 30 items.

Inter alia:-
RHP 38311/23 – LMS Plan dated 1932.
RHP 87286 Loading bank facilities dated 1945.

Lesmahagow : 958 items.

Inter alia :-

BR/CAL/4/89 Station traffic book.
RHP 45144 - Gradient profiles, LMS - 1923 and
RHP 45146 – Gradient profiles, LMS - 1923.

Assorted other plans re. coal seams also exist. Perhaps someone on their next visit to ‘NRS’, Edinburgh, could look through these drawings and ascertain what there is to be found.

A recent reading of the LMS Northern Division Minute Book has likewise revealed that locomotives previously took water on at Brocketsbrae, but by 1937 had moved to so doing at Alton heights Junction. Consequently, the LMS simply decided in late summer of that year to remove three water tanks along with a Blake Ram and Pump House, and that pipe lines should be abandoned.

Good hunting !!

Arnold T.
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