Queries for former Signalmen/women

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65447
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Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by 65447 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:01 pm

I have a couple of queries relating to the correct painting scheme for signal levers as the information I have to hand is ambiguous.

1. Levers controlling detonators - these were painted alternate black and white stripes 4" wide but, from 1937, did the stripes change to chevrons, pointing upwards for the 'UP' line and downwards for the 'DOWN' line?

2. King Levers - these were painted alternate brown and white stripes but were they 3" or 4" wide? Also, from 1937, did these stripes change to chevrons?

I'm trying to finalise the Building and Structure Painting Schedule and would like to ensure that the information is accurate and complete, so any definitive responses would be most welcome.

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StevieG
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Re: Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by StevieG » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:07 pm

Hello 65447,
Can't help in all respects, but -

- 1. I can't definitely dispute your information re the painting of detonator levers, but I'm not aware of 1937 having any significance, and had never seen or heard of them having 'straight' stripes, only 'chevron-ed' in the way you describe; except that examples have been known of double-pointed (both direction) 'chevrons' for det-placers on single lines.

2. Whilst I've known of brown/white King levers, it seems different companies/Regions/areas/points in time have meant that other colour variations have been used for this function : - I even knew of two boxes with King levers (for switching out, set for either of the two routes from their junctions) of the same company about four miles apart along the same line;- those in one had the brown and white bands; those in the other were in halves, blue/brown.
I've not ever heard of king levers being chevron-ed, but also can't categorically say that they never have been.
BZOH

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65447
LNER A3 4-6-2
Posts: 1459
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Overlooking the GEML

Re: Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by 65447 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks Stevie - PM sent...

65447
LNER A3 4-6-2
Posts: 1459
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Overlooking the GEML

Re: Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by 65447 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:17 pm

StevieG wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:07 pm
Hello 65447,
2. Whilst I've known of brown/white King levers, it seems different companies/Regions/areas/points in time have meant that other colour variations have been used for this function : - I even knew of two boxes with King levers (for switching out, set for either of the two routes from their junctions) of the same company about four miles apart along the same line;- those in one had the brown and white bands; those in the other were in halves, blue/brown.
As to your note about the blue/brown, the Specification states this usage as being for: Ground frame bolt locking levers in boxes at Ground Frames. Levers controlling Blasting Permission, Turntable or Drawbridge Bolts.

Mickey
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Re: Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by Mickey » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:00 pm

What about a stop signal that was worked in conjunction with a detonator placer at that signal?.

The top half of the lever was painted red while the bottom half of the lever was painted with the 'black & white' chevrons for either the Up line or the Down line what ever was appropriate.

From memory going back 40 plus years on the west London line there use to be a lower quadrant home signal worked by Latchmere Junction box that was coming off the double track branch from Clapham junction that was on a sharp curve with Latchmere junction's stop/home signal being mounted on a straight signal post and that signal was worked in conjunction with a detonator placer at the bottom of the signal track side. I presume that the detonator was provided to work in conjunction with the home signal because the signal it's self was sited 'right up on the junction' and didn't allow for much error of judgement for a driver to accidently pass the signal at danger by mistake so if he passed it without authority he would hear the sharp 'crack' of the detonator exploding!!.

From a fading memory of 45-50 years ago Finsbury Park 5 (that signalled the Down lines only) use to have detonators track side that worked in conjunction with four separate home/stop signals all of them sited just off the north end of the Down lines platforms at Finsbury Park station on the Down slow no.1 line, the Down slow no.2 line, the Down Canonbury line and the Down goods line.

"I found a colour photograph of Finsbury Park 5s Down lines home signals. Scroll down 7 photographs and it features Finsbury Park 5s Down lines home signals from right to left the Down slow no.2 line, the Down Canonbury line and the Down goods line home signals as they were during the late 1960s and early 1970s and if you zoom in 400% magnification you can just about make out the detonators near the railhead of the Down slow no.2 line that was worked in conjunction with the home signal just to the right of the grey telephone cabnet and for the Down Canonbury line the detonator placer apparatus is just seen beside the right-hand rail head."http://www.roscalen.com/signals/London/KXFP.htm

For a signalman that had a stop signal that also worked a detonator placer in conjunction with that same signal the trick was NOT TO THROW THE LEVER BACK IN THE FRAME TO QUICK BEHIND THE TRAIN UNTIL THE WHOLE TRAIN HAD PASSED THE SIGNAL otherwise one of the trains wheels would explode the detonator which obviously meant replacing the detonator or maybe the driver or guard also hearing the explosion and stopping his train.

65447
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Re: Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by 65447 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:18 pm

Mickey wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:00 pm
What about a stop signal that was worked in conjunction with a detonator placer at that signal?.

The top half of the lever was painted red while the bottom half of the lever was painted with the 'black & white' chevrons for either the Up line or the Down line what ever was appropriate.
Thanks Mickey. My query was specifically targeted to clarify painting/identification not usage. In the case you describe the notes instruct that:

"In cases where points and disc, also point and plunger lock and(or) bar etc. work on one lever both colours to be used, the upper half to represent that portion of the apparatus moving first."

Mickey
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Re: Queries for former Signalmen/women

Post by Mickey » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:25 pm

For the record 'Detonator Placer Levers' weren't always provided in all mechanical signal boxes and in fact all the mechanical signal boxes that I have ever worked at in the past up to 1990 which was eight boxes in all which had lever frames none of them strangely enough had detonator placer levers in there lever frames which I always thought was a bit odd?. Three of those boxes that I worked at were old Midland Railway boxes and I sometimes wondered if the reason that they wasn't provided at those three boxes was the Midland Railways strange policy in the earlier years of not wanting to provide such levers for signalmen to use in an emergency for some reason?.

When I was a telegraph lad (a box lad) at Welwyn Garden City box in the early 1970s that box didn't have any detonator placer levers in the main 85 lever frame as such but instead had two 'Detonator Stirrups' that protruded out like two metal handles from the lever slides and quadrants of the lever frame for the Up & Down fast lines only and were operated in an emergency by being 'pulled up' about 18-inches in a vertical upwards position out of the lever frame which in turn both stirrup handles were connected downwards to beneath the box below to ground level and then through a metal crank that was connected to some metal point rodding that ran out beneath the box to track side to place a detonator onto the railhead outside the box.

In times gone by you would quite often find at many signal boxes they kept x3 detonators held together in a row by twisting together the lead straps that were placed over the railhead and being hung up by the box door and hooked to a nail so that in times of an emergency a signalman could after throwing all his signals back to danger and grabbing a red flag or the box bardic lamp grab the x3 'dets' at the door and then run down the box staircase to place the detonators on the obstructed line or lines!!.

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