© Great Cockcrow Railway 2023
The line is fully signalled with 3 signal boxes and 1 gate box to prototypical British signalling based on mid-
Hardwick is a 23-
At Hardwick, following LMS tradition, 1 lever is provided for a signal no matter how many routes are available from that signal. To aid the signalman, above the lever is provided an indication that shows what route (or destination) is presently set for that signal. The pull plates are in front of the lever on a shelf that is standard for all 'L' frames (presently with temporary labels, but the intention is to replace them with brass pull plates as originally provided). The signal indications simply show red when the signal is at danger and white when the signal is "off". Although the Railway is completely track circuited, absolute block working is in force to the next Signal Box using Midland Railway type instruments (circa 1914) will full track circuit controls.
Everglades Junction is set out as a Southern Railway Signal Box as it would have been around the 1950's. The Westinghouse 'L' frame is of 31 levers and came from South Croydon when the Three Bridges re-
indications are also shown above the signal levers.
A standard SR illuminated diagram is provided. Block Working to adjacent Signal Boxes is via Southern Railway Standard instruments (circa 1920's) with full track circuit controls. In true SR practice, the "tapper" for the Block Bells is not part of the bell but mounted separately using brass plungers.
There is also a Train Describer using a VDU display with automatic code 'set up' and automatic 'code change' to help the signal men keep track of the trains, and to also keep a count of the number of trains run over the system in any one day.
Cockcrow Hill Signal Box is a 16 lever Stevens "Knee Frame" with electrical locking and was commissioned in May 2001 replacing a LMS 1943 tappet frame after the layout at Cockcrow Hill Station was completely re-
The Railway Signal Co manufactured this frame and it was originally installed at Waterloo Station on the "Waterloo and City" line and is thought to be over 80 years old.
All Signal Boxes have Relay Rooms containing the necessary relay racks, power supplies and cable termination racks. These utilise standard BR 930 Spec series relays which plug into plugboards. The different types of relays have varying numbers of contacts and include timing and delay functions.
Full size locations are situated as required around the Railway and contain Track feeds and relays. All Locations are fed with 110 volts 50 Hz and have heaters and lighting within the location and are wired to BR Standards (circa 1992) and standard BR type cables connect the location to the trackside equipment via 2BA sliding links.
Track circuits are fed via a Transformer/Rectifier (ex Reed Amplifier Power Supply Units) with an adjustable 20-
Point machines are made up from 12v Ford Escort Wiper Motors with microswitch detection circuits on machine operated and some spring-
Colour light signals are made up from SGE/WBS/Tyers block shelf indicators stacked as necessary, fitted with polycarbonate coloured lenses and aluminium display boards. The bulbs are 12v. 2.4w although we are trialling an LED version. Junction Indicators are 12v individual lamps mounted as required.
Semaphore signals (both upper and lower quadrant) are solenoid worked with a constantly rated 24v. 12w. Coil, sealed for out-
There are Signal Post Telephones at all controlled signals with an electronic PABX for other telephones. We also have hand held radios for all operational staff.
The signalling system is extremely reliable and failures are extremely rare. (Approx. 2/3 incidents a season) All relays are BRB 930/960 specification and live in heated Relay Rooms and locations. Considering that the power is turned off from Sunday evening to the following Sunday morning in the summer, and is off during the Winter months from November until the end of April -
We get the very occasional point problems (stones in blades!) and sometimes a broken track circuit bond caused by someone walking on the track and accidentally kicking the bond (a problem with miniature railways!)
Design and Construction
All design and construction is done in-
The S & T department, as you would expect, is mainly made up of Institution of Railway Signal Engineers' members and gives the opportunity to all to continue to increase their professional development!
The Railway is, in fact, a wonderful training aid for all S & T Engineers (as well as operating colleagues) and has been used by other organisations such as the HMRI and IRO!
Ever fancied being a Signalman? Well here’s your chance! GCR member David Grant has put together these Signalling Simulators. There is one for each signal box on the railway. Why not have a go and see what your score is like?