Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

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Mick Berg
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Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mick Berg » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:38 am

Hi.
Does anyone know anything about the running of the Finsbury Park to Ally Pally shuttle up to 1954? I thought it went down the ramp and into Platform 9 or 10 at Finsbury Park. Now looking at an Ordnance Survey map of the trackwork, (admittedly from 1912) it is not possible for the train to do that. It must have gone over the flyover and into Platform One. If this is so, how did the train get back toPlatform 9 or 10 for the down journey up the ramp to Stroud Green and onwards?

BTW I rode this line quite often as a six year old. Also saw the LU stock being taken from Highgate to Drayton Park. Wonderful stuff, all gone.

Thanks,
Mick Berg

Dave Cockle
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Dave Cockle » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:32 pm

Mick,

The shuttle ran down to Finsbury Park No 1 box on the Up Canonbury line to reverse then come back to Finsbury Park Down Side on the Down Canonbury.

This avoided crossing the East Coast Main Line on the level as the Down Canonbury line passed underneath the main line tracks.

The same manoeuvre was made by Up ECS trains from Finsbury Park Carriage Sdings that were to form down workings starting from Finsbury Park or run down ECS to suburban stations to form Up Commuter trains.

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manna
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by manna » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:37 pm

G'Day Gents

That is the normal way to get from platform one to platform 9/10, but it is possible to shunt back up the bank over the bridge, and come back down the 'ramp' See here, http://overground.eu.org/heights/ it shows a crossover outside No 7 box.

Also shows that the bridge was build and used in a double tracked condition.

manna
EDGWARE GN, Steam in the Suburbs.

Mickey
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mickey » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:01 am

Myself and a railway friend actually got into Finsbury Park No.7 one day shortly after the box closed around October 1970. The box door was a jar so we both climbed the box staircase and had a nosey around inside and from memory the block shelf had been cleared of it's block instruments and the track diagram was gone but the small lever frame was still there with the lever badges still on there individual levers and I recall having a few pulls on several levers that would come out of the frame!.

That is getting on nearly half a century ago...

Mickey

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StevieG
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by StevieG » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:16 am

manna, Mickey, although that crossover existed at No.7 box, all signalling details for boxes 6, 7, 5 and 3 [which would all have had to be involved in a back 'Down' (up) the Up ramp/over flyover/cross over and 'Up' (down) the Down ramp to 9/10 platforms movement] which I have ever seen have never included even the slightest hint that they had ever had provision for such a move : There was also a spring 'run back' catch point just in advance of the Down Home at No.7, over which the box had no control.
I would just add that on the seemingly actually used route, as well as reversal signalling at No.1 Box, there was also an excellent two-siding run-round facility there in between the Up and Down roads, with points layout and signalling purposely arranged for such manoeuvres.
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Mickey
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mickey » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:45 am

StevieG wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:16 am
There was also a spring 'run back' catch point just in advance of the Down Home at No.7, over which the box had no control.
Yes that 'sprung unworked catch point' did also catch my eye from looking at both the pictures as it was located only just passed the Down line home signal. The semaphore Down line distant signal for the Down line home signal shown in the pictures was located at the start of the ramp just beyond Finsbury Park 5 (box) and was a 'fixed distant signal' and was also mounted on a medium size straight concrete post as well.

Mickey

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StevieG
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by StevieG » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:18 pm

.... Just remembered that there was also another spring catch point in the "Down Branch" line at the foot of the 'Down ramp', close to No.7's Distant.
No.5 box did have an FP Lock 'bolt' (lever 21?) for this one, but I don't tecall whether it was to lock the points closed for setting back an otherwise unsignalled shunt move, or to prove them open before signalling a running movement from Down Slow No.1 to DS No.2 through the very adjacent crossover; I suspect the latter.
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mick Berg » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:21 am

manna wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:37 pm
G'Day Gents

That is the normal way to get from platform one to platform 9/10, but it is possible to shunt back up the bank over the bridge, and come back down the 'ramp' See here, http://overground.eu.org/heights/ it shows a crossover outside No 7 box.

Also shows that the bridge was build and used in a double tracked condition.

manna
Thanks. The photo on the website together with the OS map from 1912 shows the same thing. I think it's evident that there was no path from the up line from Stroud Green to the ramp, except shunting back and forth on the crossover and I'm sure they wouldn't have done that with a passenger train!
So back to the drawing board with my train simulator, but this actually makes it a lot easier.
Happy New Year everyone

Mick Berg

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StevieG
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by StevieG » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:10 pm

manna, Mick Berg,
Apologies manna, I overlooked your last sentence, about the two tracks over the flyover, and should have commented on it.
The northernmost of the two roads was of course the main Up line from Highgate leading down into the "Up Branch" platform (No.1).

The other was known as Carriage line, worked by Permissive Block, and commenced only from a trailing connection in the Down road at No.7 box, with no direct access from the Up line. It too of course ran down to No.6 box, where it merely joined, of the two exits from Finsbury Park Carriage Sidings, the one which went to the Up Branch line, although the tiny engine spur hard against Stroud Green Road underbridge could also be reached.
By 1968 the Carriage line had already been disconnected at the No.7 box end and buffer stop-ed at the No.6 end of the flyover, being then used as just another, though a rather steeply graded one, of the Carriage sidings.

So the Carriage line's purpose seems only to have been for Down ECS trains (and light engines) from KX, Moorgate and Broad Street to Finsbury Park Carriage Sidings, to propel back over from No.7 to the Up side without getting in the way of any Up 'Northern Heights' branches trains - if necessary then queueing at No.6 at busy times to await a margin into Platform 1 - then dropping into the platform in order to shunt back into the C.S.
Last edited by StevieG on Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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manna
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by manna » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:21 pm

G'Day Gents

I can remember talking with a few drivers who I worked with at the Cross, about working on the Norther Heights as firemen, an what went on there, with them shunting over the bridge, with 'Art-Tecs (although things are getting a little 'Fuzzy' these days, almost 50 years ago) it would have save train pathing by not sending trains past Finsbury Pk, but the condition of the bridge finished that, so we had to go to Hornsey and use the fly-over to get to the C/S at Finsbury Pk. I have shunted trains onto those two sidings that used to be part of the Northern Heights fly-over, and as you say, they were fairly steep, I'm also fairly sure all stabled trains had to be 'chocked' to stop them 'running away' on those two lines.

manna
EDGWARE GN, Steam in the Suburbs.

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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mickey » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:13 am

StevieG wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:10 pm
The other was known as Carriage line, worked by Permissive Block, and commenced only from a trailing connection in the Down road at No.7 box, with no direct access from the Up line. It too of course ran down to No.6 box, where it merely joined, of the two exits from Finsbury Park Carriage Sidings, the one which went to the Up Branch line, although the tiny engine spur hard against Stroud Green Road underbridge could also be reached.
By 1968 the Carriage line had already been disconnected at the No.7 box end and buffer stop-ed at the No.6 end of the flyover, being then used as just another, though a rather steeply graded one, of the Carriage sidings.

So the Carriage line's purpose seems only to have been for Down ECS trains (and light engines) from KX, Moorgate and Broad Street to Finsbury Park Carriage Sidings, to propel back over from No.7 to the Up side without getting in the way of any Up 'Northern Heights' branches trains - if necessary then queueing at No.6 at busy times to await a margin inyo Plyform 1 - then dropping into the platform in order to shunt back into the C.S.
I was thinking about how the Up Carriage line between Finsbury Park No.7 & Finsbury Park No.6 would have been used/worked in reality. I suspect a train of ECS would have been 'top & tailed' with locos at either end of the train even in 'steam days' because I suspect a train of ECS would have been barred from being propelled from Finsbury Park No.7 with a coach leading from Finsbury Park No.7 over the Up Carriage line across the bridge over the main line and then down a curving and falling gradient as far as a set of 'trap points' and a ground signal at Finsbury Park No.6. I presume a loco would have been leading the train especially as well with that line being a Permissive block line because no way would a train be allowed to be propelled carriage leading into a Permissive block line during fog & falling snow let alone in clear daylight.

All in all an interesting little box was Finsbury Park No.7 with Absolute block working between Finsbury Park No.5 & No.7 on the Down line and Absolute block working between Finsbury Park No.7 & No.6 on the Up line with Permissive block working between Finsbury Park No.7 & No.6 on the Up Carriage line and TCB working on the Up & Down lines with the LT box at Park Junction.

Mickey

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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by StevieG » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:24 pm

Mickey, I understand your thinking about the risks of propelling along this Carriage line, but I'd say that top-and-tail working is far more common these days than 55-ish/plus years ago.
Also, the 1960 Sectional Appendix includes, in its "TABLE F - PROPELLING TRAINS OR VEHICLES",
(along with its preamble, which includes:
" .... When coaching stock vehicles are propelled on a running line or loop, the Guard, Shunter or Person in charge must ride in the leading vehicle when it is fitted with a brake valve.
If not so fitted, he must ride in the next vehicle fitted with a brake valve from which he can obtain a satisfactory view of the line ahead. If, however, these conditions cannot be complied with, the Guard, Shunter or Person in charge must ride in the leading vehicle or first vehicle in which he can travel and from which he can obtain a satisfactory view of the line ahead, provided be can keep in touch with the Driver by hand signals. .... " )

" .... The sections of line where propelling outside station limits is authorised are shown below :- " ... ,
.... "FINSBURY PARK TO HIGH BARNET
From: Finsbury Park No. 7
To : Finsbury Park No. 6
Line : Up Carriage
Number of vehicles and special conditions: Empty coaching stock and brake vans.".
Last edited by StevieG on Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mickey » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:45 pm

StevieG wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:24 pm
Mickey, I understand your thinking about the risks of propelling along this Carriage line, but top-and-tail working is more common these days than 55-ish/plus years ago.
Also, the 1960 Sectional Appendix includes, in its "TABLE F - PROPELLING TRAINS OR VEHICLES",
" .... The sections of line where propelling outside station limits is authorised are shown below :- ",
" .... From: Finsbury Park No. 7
To : Finsbury Park No. 6
Line : Up Carriage
Number of vehicles and special conditions: Empty coaching stock and brake vans.".
Yes you are quite correct Stevie I am thinking in 'modern railway methods of operating terms' and not how railways were operated during the 1950s & 1960s although it still seems a bit of a 'dodgy move' to propel a train of maybe 6 or 7 'block enders' (Inner suburban coaches) with the loco standing around the corner towards Stroud Green station back passed Finsbury Park No.7 and over the GN main line bridge and then along a curving falling gradient with maybe the block section ahead already being occupied with another train standing at Finsbury Park No.6 even in clear weather let alone in fog or falling snow!. I presume the guard would be in the very last coach keeping a sharp lookout and his hand on the vacuum brake handle as the movement commenced and proceeded towards Finsbury Park No.6.

Mickey

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manna
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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by manna » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:04 am

G'Day Gents

But in the 'Old' days there was a brake van each end, and end windows on the brake vans.

manna
EDGWARE GN, Steam in the Suburbs.

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Re: Finsbury Park to Ally Pally Shuttles

Post by Mickey » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:36 pm

Propelling a train from Finsbury Park No.7 to Finsbury Park No.6 over the Up Carriage line during the early to mid 1960s.

For example propelling a set of 6 or 7 'block enders' (non-corridor Inner suburban stock) back Up towards Finsbury Park No.6 with a Brush type 2 diesel loco as the train loco which has arrived on the Down line from Finsbury Park No.5 and which is standing on the Down line at Finsbury Park No.7 with the loco facing towards Stroud Green station waiting for the propelling movement to commence which will start from the Down line then propel passed Finsbury Park No.7 and straight onto the Up Carriage line and then over the GN main line bridge and onwards towards Finsbury Park No.6.

Once the signalman in Finsbury Park No.7 has 'put the train on the block' to Finsbury Park No.6 over the Up Carriage line and has 'set the road up' and cleared no.6 ground disc signal the guard would then give the 'calling back' hand signal to the driver usually with his arm and a rolled up newspaper in daylight and a hand lamp at night showing a white light that would be swung from side to side from outside the train towards the driver at the far end of the train who himself would on seeing the guards 'calling back' hand signal at the rear of the train then take the 'holding brake' off the loco and putting the 'selector handle' on the desk in front of him into the 'reverse position' open the locos 'controller' a notch or two to commence the propelling movement back towards Finsbury Park Up side. Once the train was travelling at around 4-5mph the driver would close the controller and let the trains own momentum pull the whole train passed Finsbury Park No.7 and onto the Up Carriage line all the time both the driver and secondman (fireman) would both be looking out back and along the moving train with the guard who would also be looking out ahead and also controlling the speed of the train with the vacuum brake handle in the brake compartment firstly on the level passed Finsbury Park No.7 and across the GN main line bridge and onto the curving and falling gradient towards Finsbury Park No.6.

I suspect if the Up Carriage line is already occupied with another train in the block section between Finsbury Park No.7 & Finsbury Park No.6 the signalman at Finsbury Park No.7 once the second train has been accepted by the signalman in Finsbury Park No.6 under Permissive block regulations as authorised between both s/boxes and the road was then 'set up' by the signalman at Finsbury Park No.7 the signalman at Finsbury Park No.7 would after clearing no.6 ground disc signal would then show a steady hand held green flag of hand lamp to the guard and to the secondman (fireman) as the train is propelling passed Finsbury Park No.7.

* * *Some GN/LNER signalmen would some times show 'one finger' from the s/box window to the footplate crew when a train was about to enter a Goods or Carriage line that was worked under Permissive block regulations when the block section between the two s/boxes was already occupied by another train* * *

Mickey

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