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 Post subject: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:18 am 
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GCR D11 4-4-0 'Improved Director'

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 409
Location: South Cheshire
It is 60 years today since the accident - see link to BBC topic.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19818280


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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:33 am 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'

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Last edited by Micky on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:56 pm 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Ay up!

I think in fairness the AWS system had been in development for a few years at that point and this disaster simply brought the timetable forwards.

It is really the signalman here that I have most sympathy for. Despite all his efforts, the 3rd collision was inevitable. I wonder what went through his mind at the time? And what happened to him after?

Anybody know?

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:27 pm 
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LNER V2 2-6-2 'Green Arrow'

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:32 pm
Posts: 1150
Location: Newbury, Berks
Blink Bonny wrote:
Ay up!

I think in fairness the AWS system had been in development for a few years at that point and this disaster simply brought the timetable forwards.

It is really the signalman here that I have most sympathy for. Despite all his efforts, the 3rd collision was inevitable. I wonder what went through his mind at the time? And what happened to him after?

Anybody know?


Alf Armitage ended up as Stationmaster, Harlington (Beds) and never travelled by train again when he could avoid it. I went to school with his son, Jim, and there was an older one I never met who became a fireman at Cricklewood. Crewe driver Bobby Jones, on the Perth, was a dreamer, so blokes who knew him told me. It's all a long time ago now, but still horrible to think about it. God bless Nursing Lieutenant Abbie Sweetwine and her like who rendered assistance that day.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:38 pm 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'

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Last edited by Micky on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:38 pm 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.
Blink Bonny wrote:
" .... I think in fairness the AWS system had been in development for a few years at that point and this disaster simply brought the timetable forwards. .... "
Setting aside the GWR's great achievements with their electro-mechanical, audible-only ATC system, widespread at least by the end of The Great War, and experiments by other companies, including the NER's Relio-Stop, the inductive (no mechanical track equipment/train contact), audio-visual method, I think began as the 'Strowger-Hudd system trialled on the LT&SR route, which was IIRC the prototype for our now-standard AWS, and I would guess was in place in the late 1940s.
I do recall reading that an extensive trial of AWS was conducted (on the Fast lines only I think) between New Barnet and Huntingdon, commencing I think in 1951.
So It seems quite possible that at the time of 'Harrow', AWS may well not yet have been formally accepted for national adoption.

Incidentally, the GWR system carried on well into the modern image "British Rail" period, with quite a lot of traction (e.g., a number of Class 37s) having to be dual-fitted for inter-BR(W) / rest of the country running.
IIRC the last GW system installations were not replaced by BR standard AWS until at least 1983, and I've a feeling there were still some other BR areas which weren't AWS-equipped at all until around the same era.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:57 am 
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GCR D11 4-4-0 'Improved Director'

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:08 pm
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Location: South Cheshire
I seem to remember that the LNER were interested in ATC/AWS and that they were trying out the Hudd system between Edinburgh & Glasgow. WWII put an end to it.

Was the NER system called Reliostop? I always thought that it was called the Raven fog signalling system & that Reliostop was used by the GCR in the London area. Maybe one of John Robinson's many inventions.


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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Last edited by Micky on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:30 pm 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: The Midlands
Solario wrote:
I seem to remember that the LNER were interested in ATC/AWS and that they were trying out the Hudd system between Edinburgh & Glasgow. WWII put an end to it.

Was the NER system called Reliostop? I always thought that it was called the Raven fog signalling system & that Reliostop was used by the GCR in the London area. Maybe one of John Robinson's many inventions.


Ay up!

I always understood it as "Fog Signalling" meself. If Reliostop is the system I think it is, then it is a purely mechanical system used by London Transport.

But I could be wrong.

It's happened before..... :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:33 pm 
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GNR J52 0-6-0T

Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:39 am
Posts: 22
Micky wrote:
Solario wrote:
I seem to remember that the LNER were interested in ATC/AWS and that they were trying out the Hudd system between Edinburgh & Glasgow. WWII put an end to it.

Was the NER system called Reliostop? I always thought that it was called the Raven fog signalling system & that Reliostop was used by the GCR in the London area. Maybe one of John Robinson's many inventions.

There is a picture in the Ian Allen book called THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY ALBUM published circa 1970 of a 'head on' photograph of a G.C.R. express passenger loco standing at a lower quadrant semaphore stop signal fitted with a 'train stop' at the base of the signal sometime pre-WWI i seem to recall?.

I think the photograph was taken at Wembley but i havan't seen this book for 40 years so i mite be wrong?. :wink:

Your right Micky, I have just had a look and there is a photo of the 'Reliostop' system in George Dow's Great Central album (Ian Allen 1969) on page 115. The picture was taken at Crowden on the Woodhead route and the caption states that by 1922 40 route miles had been equiped with it. I wonder if any of this equipment is preserved anywhere?


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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:54 pm 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'

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Last edited by Micky on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:32 pm 
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LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:08 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Near the GN main line in N.Herts.
meldrum wrote:
Micky wrote:
Solario wrote:
I seem to remember that the LNER were interested in ATC/AWS and that they were trying out the Hudd system between Edinburgh & Glasgow. WWII put an end to it.

Was the NER system called Reliostop? I always thought that it was called the Raven fog signalling system & that Reliostop was used by the GCR in the London area. Maybe one of John Robinson's many inventions.

There is a picture in the Ian Allen book called THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY ALBUM published circa 1970 of a 'head on' photograph of a G.C.R. express passenger loco standing at a lower quadrant semaphore stop signal fitted with a 'train stop' at the base of the signal sometime pre-WWI i seem to recall?.

I think the photograph was taken at Wembley but i havan't seen this book for 40 years so i mite be wrong?. :wink:

Your right Micky, I have just had a look and there is a photo of the 'Reliostop' system in George Dow's Great Central album (Ian Allen 1969) on page 115. The picture was taken at Crowden on the Woodhead route and the caption states that by 1922 40 route miles had been equiped with it. I wonder if any of this equipment is preserved anywhere?

Apologies to all for any confusion of mine on the GCR and NER early trial systems.

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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:43 am 
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NER Y7 0-4-0T

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:01 am
Posts: 1
For no apparent reason I was thinking about the Harrow smash and got to wondering whatever happened to Alf Armitage so googled the name and up came your website.
At the time of the smash I was Assistant Lineman at Harrow with Lineman Cyril Thorpe, BUT was relieving at Wembly Central AND also had a day off.
I missed all the terrible confusion.
My father was a regular on the commuter train but on that fateful day, slept in and missed the train.
His friend who he always sat nex to was killed!
When I first met Alf Armitage I was an Assistant Installer Based at Watford Junction and we were working at Bourne End Signal Box.
Alf taught me block working whilst we were working there


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 Post subject: Re: Harrow & Wealdstone
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:41 am 
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LNER V2 2-6-2 'Green Arrow'

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:32 pm
Posts: 1150
Location: Newbury, Berks
Assistant Lineman wrote:
For no apparent reason I was thinking about the Harrow smash and got to wondering whatever happened to Alf Armitage so googled the name and up came your website.
At the time of the smash I was Assistant Lineman at Harrow with Lineman Cyril Thorpe, BUT was relieving at Wembly Central AND also had a day off.
I missed all the terrible confusion.
My father was a regular on the commuter train but on that fateful day, slept in and missed the train.
His friend who he always sat nex to was killed!
When I first met Alf Armitage I was an Assistant Installer Based at Watford Junction and we were working at Bourne End Signal Box.
Alf taught me block working whilst we were working there


Welcome to the forum, friend. A lot of detailed information about the accident, and the aftermath, is available online from the excellent Railway Archives website as they have scanned the District Operating Superindent's file. The original papers have been donated to the Harrow Museum.

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