Re-signalling 1970s KX-HT + Hertford Loop

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S&T
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Re-signalling 1970s KX-HT + Hertford Loop

Post by S&T » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:14 pm

I'm looking for some information relating to the re-signalling in the 1970s in the pre-electrification work-up era, specifically between Kings Cross to Hitchin, Hertford loop and onwards to Royston.

1. Which mechanical signal boxes were still in use right up to the stageworks cut-over dates?
2. Which boxes had the temporary IFS panels?
3. Which boxes had NX panels installed?
4. Dates for when the final boxes closed?

I am slowly working may way through all related historic threads on this incredibly informative site. I'm struggling to link the original boxes along the line and how they were rationalised to the final pre-upgrade state (e.g. I think there were 4 boxes at New Southgate at one point - then rationalised to a North and South box????). Any help with linking the original boxes along the line (say from 1920-1930s to pre-cut-over to new signalling system) would be very helpful as well.

I joined the S&T on the line in question in 1982, when the work was complete by then. However, I was always interested in the stageworks upgrades and especially the legacy signal boxes.......i remember looking out for the little visible signs like concrete bases where the boxes had once stood.

Any information would be greatly received.

Thanks and regards
S&T
Last edited by S&T on Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Cockle
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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by Dave Cockle » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:04 am

I can speak on the Hertford Loop with some personal knowledge as I was signalman at Hertford North during the change from semaphore to colour light.

1. Hertford North lever frame was abolished and an IFS panel installed on 18.07.71. This scheme was brought in early due to the poor condition of the
mechanical locking frame.

2. Gordon Hill had a NX panel installed on 03.09.72.

3. Signalboxes at Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, Grange Park, Crews Hill, Cuffley, Bayford closed on 03.09.72

4. Watton-at-Stone block hut closed on 10.10.72

5. Gordon Hill and Hertford North boxes closed on 04.07.76.

6. Bounds Green box closed on 14.09.74.

S&T
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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by S&T » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:46 am

Thanks Dave.....just what I was looking for.
Dave Cockle wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:04 am
1. Hertford North lever frame was abolished and an IFS panel installed on 18.07.71.
I remember Hertford North Relay Room had a NX panel installed (as most did - for local operation if required). Did the NX panel ever get installed in Hertford North box (like Gordon Hill), or was it just the IFS panel in Hertford North right up until the end, and thus the NX panel went straight into the Relay Room?

Cheers Dave
S&T

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by Mickey » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:13 pm

Even though I was pretty much around the Kings Cross-Hitchin area virtually continuous for around six years between 1969-1975 I only can remember a limited number of dates of box closures because I wasn't around the area during the last year after late 1975 to late 1976 when the remaining few boxes finally closed.

From memory-

1.Kings Cross the 1933 box October 1971
2.Goods And Mineral Junction October 1975
3.Holloway South Down August 1976
4.Holloway North Down August 1976
5.Holloway North Up the summer of 1970
6.Finsbury Park No.7 October 1970
7.Harringay (passenger) August 1973
8.Ferme Park South Down December 1969
8.Ferme Park North Down late 1975
10.Hornsey No.1 late 1974
11.Hornsey No.2 summer 1973
12.New Southgate February 1973
13.Cemetery February 1973
14.Oakleigh Park the Autumn of 1970
15.New Barnet South Box the Autumn of 1970
16.Marshmoor November 1972
17.Hatfield No.1 late May 1973
18.Hatfield No.2 April/May 1974 plus a NX panel 1973-1974
19.Hatfield No.3 late November 1969
20.Welwyn Garden City September 1976 plus a NX panel 1973-1976
21.Welwyn North September 1973
22.Woolmer Green October 1973
23.Knebworth October 1973
24.Langley Junction (????) plus a NX panel late 1973-????

I believe Finsbury Park No.1 & Ashburton Grove boxes both closed during the first half of 1974?. Also I remember Holloway South Up box being closed and a small 'temporary' NX panel working the 'Up lines' only south of Finsbury Park and down the 'Holloway bank' towards Copenhagen tunnel and working with Kings Cross (the new 1971 PSB on York Road platform area) from a relay room on the old Cattle Dock platform at Holloway maybe during the middle part of 1975?.

Also at Finsbury Park a 'temporary' NX panel was located on maybe the Down Canonbury line platform and signalled the Down lines only(?) after both Finsbury Park No.3 & Finsbury Park No.5 boxes both closed maybe late 1974?.

I vaguely remember Wood Green Up box No.4 having a 'temporary' NX panel which probably meant that both Wood Green No.1 (south of Wood Green station and signalled the Down lines only) and Wood Green Up box No.2 (north of Wood Green station and signalled the Up lines only) had both closed this may have been sometime during the early or middle part of 1975?.

Also I don't remember or know exactly when either Finsbury Park No.2, Finsbury Park No.4, Finsbury Park No.6, Harringay Up Goods & Hornsey Up Goods boxes all closed?.

Finally I vaguely remember Potters Bar (1950s box) had a new 'temporary' NX panel installed when Marshmoor box was closed in November 1972 that replaced the original 1955 panel with the box either closing in late 1973 or early 1974(?) and New Barnet North Box which had two different panels at two different times the first panel between the Autumn of 1970 & early 1973 and the second panel between early 1973 & 1976 and finally closing towards the end of 1976.

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by Dave Cockle » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:24 am

S & T, I don't ever recall there being an NX local panel in Hertford North Relay Room. The last time ventured into the Relay Room there was around 2002
and the IFS panel was in situ.

S&T
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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by S&T » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:20 am

Dave Cockle wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:24 am
I don't ever recall there being an NX local panel in Hertford North Relay Room.
Thanks Dave.......the years are playing tricks with my memory!! Appreciate the confirmation.
S&T

S&T
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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by S&T » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:34 am

Mickey.....thanks for taking the time to produce this information.....very much appreciated.
Mickey wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:13 pm
12.New Southgate February 1973
Was this box the former New Southgate no4 box which was located at the south end of the Up platform between the UF and US lines?
Mickey wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:13 pm
14.Oakleigh Park the Autumn of 1970
At some point, there were four boxes at Oakleigh Park (if my research is correct). Which box was the one that survived until 1970? There was a box on the platform....which one was that?
Mickey wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:13 pm
Also at Finsbury Park a 'temporary' NX panel was located on maybe the Down Canonbury line platform
I was based at FP for a while at the Stone Yard S&T depot which is at the north end of the FP platforms on the Dn Canonbury line. The Relay Room was located there and that had a NX panel at one end. You mentioned the Dn Canonbury platform for temporary location.....did it move to the relay room later or do you think we are both referring to the same location?

Any idea when Greenwood closed? Was it earlier than the 1970s rationalisation?

Again...thanks Mikey for the information
Cheers
S&T

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by Mickey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:30 pm

1.Yes New Southgate box was originally New Southgate No.4 box and was located between the Up fast & Up slow lines just off the south end of the Up lines platforms. The box was fairly narrow inside especially when a lever was 'out of the frame' in the reverse position.

2.The Oakleigh Park box that closed in the Autumn of 1970 was located between the Down fast & Down slow lines just off the south end of the Down lines platform.

3.As regards to the 'temporary' NX panel at Finsbury Park the one I am referring to was located in a 'Portacabin' type of building and was located on the Down Canonbury line platform. Yes I would think it would have been re-located into the brick built relay room near the Stone Yard.

4.The line next to the 'Stone Yard siding' just north of Finsbury Park station was at onetime until the early 1970s either the Down Goods or Down Carriage line take your pick?.

5.When did Greenwood box close?. That closed in the late 1950s when they quadrupled the route from Greenwood through Hadley Wood through to Potters Bar station.

For good measure Belle Isle Up box closed sometime during 1968 and Copenhagen Junction box closed I believe sometime during 1967.

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by StevieG » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:44 pm

Well S&T,
Further to the posts of Mickey yesterday and all, first, as I am generally poor at remembering dates and don't have access to notes at the moment, I won't comment on the dates already mentioned.

Also may I presume that in enquiring after which boxes received panels, you are interested in those where a panel completely supplanted the lever frame (or previous panel) ? : [There were several instances of usually very small IFS panels being temporarily added to existing box equipment during various stageworks; e.g. Holloway South Up, Fins.Pk Nos.3 & 6, Wood Gn. No.2, Bounds Green ].

Now, regarding certain multi-box, or really old, box locations, some of which you've referred to, if as I think you have said, you are not asking about boxes that the LNER abolished in the 1920s/30s, or went even earlier, you can set aside boxes such as :
Kings Cross East and West,
Belle Isle Down,
Caledonian Down,
Holloway Station Down,
Harringay Up,
Hornsey No.3,
New Southgate 1, 2 and 3 (No.4 was the location of the later single box),
Cemetery Down,
Oakliegh Park Down and Up (I believe that there were never more than two operational here at any one time; the box of later times, at the south end of the Down platform, was not one of the 'one direction' boxes),
New Barnet No.2,
Hadley Wood,
Ganwick,
Mimms,
Hawkshead,
Bell Bar,
Hatfield No.1 (the original; No.4 became the No.1 of later times),
Twentieth Mile Down and Up,
Digswell,
Wymondley ;

[Then, beyond the GN (KX) resignalling area;
Sandy North,
Barford,
Blacklands,
Ouse,
Leys, and so on ] ;

On Branches -
Highbury Crescent,
Drayton Park,
Stroud Green,
Crouch End,
Archway,
Highgate,
Letchworth Goods, etc.

Several that you may know of, or have heard of, were, abolished more recently than the above, but not as obvious preparation for, or part of, the GN Suburban Resignalling.
These include :
Kings Cross (min.-lever box),
Belle Isle Up,
Copenhagen Jn.,
Holloway Carriage Sidings,
East Goods Yard,
Ferme Park South Down, South Up, and North Up,
Wood Green No.3,
Wood Green Tunnel,
Greenwood (had to go during the 1959 Greenwood-Potters Bar quadrupling),
Redhall,
Hatfield No.3,
Stevenage South,
Cadwell,
Langford Bridge,
Biggleswade North.

And beyond : -
Sandy ('North') Jn.,
Paxton,
Stukeley,
Wood Walton, etc. :
[ Branches :
Park Junction,
Cranley Gardens,
Muswell Hill,
Alexandra Palace,
all the other 'Northern Heights' boxes which were on the lines taken over by LT and superseded by their installations;
Stapleford Block Hut,
Hitchin Goods Yard,
Ashwell & Morden,
Meldreth.

Back to your main enquiry ;
Existing boxes whose main lever frame or panel was replaced by a new panel and operated as an 'everyday' signal box; - those which became a GN Resignalling RR satellite NX panel, unless otherwise mentioned :
King's Cross new PSB (IFS panel; superseded by the PSB permanent NX panel when KX station area was remodelled in Spring 1977 [IFS took control of the existing min.lever box signalling, with only minor eternal changes; Sept.'71] ),
Finsbury Park No.2 (IFS; very similar to, possibly a re-use of, the Barnet North IFS panel (see below) : believe area subsequently transferred to FP main panel),
Wood Green No.4,
New Barnet North (1st, IFS [for Oakleigh Park-New Barnet; the first area of the modernisation's new signalling]; later replaced by an NX),
Potters Bar (later taken over by NBN, when the NB-PB TDM went live),
Hatfield No.2 (later taken over by WGC, when the WGC-Hat. FDM went live),
Welwyn Garden City,
Langley @ ,
Cambridge Junction (Hitchin),
Biggleswade @ (uncertain if was in the existing South box),
Letchworth @ (uncertain if panel ever used, in any place, as the 'everyday' signal box),
Royston (uncertain if was in the existing box : Although HN-Roy. TDM operated through one of the KX-HN TDMs, I believe that the Roy.area was never on the HN satellite panel),
Gordon Hill,
Hertford North (IFS),
-- @ (area included on CJ (HN) panel; uncertain if taken over as part of 'everyday' signal box operation before transfer to new KX PSB )

'Emergency' satellite panels definitely not used in former boxes :
Moorgate panel - AFAIK (at least until 20 years ago) never used in normal operating, as in a part of the RR never accessible to operations staff,

Holloway panel - I believe was operated as a box but in the RR and only for a few weeks; initially one side (Up?) only; took on the other (Down?), either for only 1 week, or never,

Finsbury Park - in portakabin on a short remaining portion of the former Plats.9/10 island. (Included the complete NC line [IIRC the whole FP panel area was transferred to KX before the NCL went operational] ).

Other modernisation era panels
Freight Terminal Jn.(KX) signal box (IFS)
(conceived as a shunter's cabin to signal the much reduced layout at the entry/exit of Kings Cross Goods Yard and access to the North London Incline, it became conceded that it would be a signalman's post as the direct access between the Down/Up Slows [points released by FTJ, worked by KX] and the Incline was possible for through running. Eventually abolished, I believe when the last Goods Yard rail access was closed; control of remaining equipment transferred to KX main panel.)

The above is probably not the complete story, but best I can muster at present. Hope it is of help.
Last edited by StevieG on Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
BZOH

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StevieG
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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by StevieG » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:03 pm

Mickey wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:30 pm
" .... 4.The line next to the 'Stone Yard siding' just north of Finsbury Park station was at onetime until the early 1970s either the Down Goods or Down Carriage line take your pick?. .... "

Prior to modernisation, Mickey, that line was the Down Goods throughout.
But once the modernisation's new layout was in, it remained (and still is) the Down Goods past the station, but becomes Down Slow No.2 near the Stoneyard, from the crossover to it from the Down Moorgate.
BZOH

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by Mickey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:37 pm

StevieG wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:03 pm
Mickey wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:30 pm
" .... 4.The line next to the 'Stone Yard siding' just north of Finsbury Park station was at onetime until the early 1970s either the Down Goods or Down Carriage line take your pick?. .... "

Prior to modernisation, Mickey, that line was the Down Goods throughout.
But once the modernisation's new layout was in, it remained (and still is) the Down Goods past the station, but becomes Down Slow No.2 near the Stoneyard, from the crossover to it from the Down Moorgate.
Yes you are correct Stevie regarding the name of that particular road and I presumed it was the 'Down Goods line' even though most of the trains that travelled along it between Finsbury Park and Ferme Park or Wood Green during the late 1960s & early/mid 1970s were trains of diesel hauled ECS trains formed of rakes of B.R.Mk1 & B.R.Mk2 coaches although obviously in days of old it was goods trains heading into Ferme Park marshalling yard that travelled it along with the ECS trains coming out of Kings Cross.

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by Mickey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:57 pm

StevieG wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:44 pm
Holloway panel - I believe was operated as a box but in the RR and only for a few weeks; initially one side (Up?) only; took on the other (Down?), either for only 1 week, or never,
As previously posted I do actually recall seeing that temporary Holloway panel in working use because one day the train that I was riding on went past the then closed Holloway South Up box and the door to the relay room was open and I just glimpsed the signalman working on the panel as we passed by I think that it was sometime during 1975 but it may have been 1976 I can't remember exactly when it was now?. As for Holloway South Down box that stood nearly opposite Holloway South Up on the other side of the running lines from memory Holloway South Down was still there working and didn't close until August 1976.

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by S&T » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:03 pm

Thanks for the detailed responses StevieG, Mickey and Dave.....That must have taken a lot of your time typing that, so much appreciated.
StevieG wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:44 pm
Caledonian Down,
Holloway Station Down,
Harringay Up,
Not even heard of these.....clearly I have more research to do!
StevieG wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:44 pm
Existing boxes whose main lever frame or panel was replaced by a new panel and operated as an 'everyday' signal box; - those which became a GN Resignalling RR satellite NX panel, unless otherwise mentioned :
King's Cross new PSB (IFS panel; superseded by the PSB permanent NX panel when KX station area was remodelled in Spring 1977 [IFS took control of the existing min.lever box signalling, with only minor eternal changes; Sept.'71] ),
Finsbury Park No.2 (IFS; very similar to, possibly a re-use of, the Barnet North IFS panel (see below) : believe area subsequently transferred to FP main panel),
Wood Green No.4,
New Barnet North (1st, IFS [for Oakleigh Park-New Barnet; the first area of the modernisation's new signalling]; later replaced by an NX),
Potters Bar (later taken over by NBN, when the NB-PB TDM went live),
Hatfield No.2 (later taken over by WGC, when the WGC-Hat. FDM went live),
Welwyn Garden City,
Langley @ ,
Cambridge Junction (Hitchin),
Biggleswade @ (uncertain if was in the existing South box),
Letchworth @ (uncertain if panel ever used, in any place, as the 'everyday' signal box),
Royston (uncertain if was in the existing box : Although HN-Roy. TDM operated through one of the KX-HN TDMs, I believe that the Roy.area was never on the HN satellite panel),
Gordon Hill,
Hertford North (IFS),
-- @ (area included on CJ (HN) panel; uncertain if taken over as part of 'everyday' signal box operation before transfer to new KX PSB )
Perfect ! Exactly what I was looking for. I'm trying to construct a timeline for the re-signalling programme and stageworks so, sorry to be a pain, but I don't suppose you have an indication of dates and time periods for the upgrades of above.
Mickey wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:30 pm
3.As regards to the 'temporary' NX panel at Finsbury Park the one I am referring to was located in a 'Portacabin' type of building and was located on the Down Canonbury line platform.
Is that the platform on the west side of the station that was later demolished (and, if I recall correctly, may now be being re-built)?
Thanks
S&T

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by R. pike » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:11 pm

Hi S&T

If i take Hitchin South as an example i have a significant sized file of locking alterations carried out as stageworks prior to the resignalling. For each stage there will be dog charts, locking tables, layouts and pull plates with possibly detection tables. I'll have similar documents for many other boxes along the line. It would be a considerable task to scan all of it but it does need doing. I do have some stagework circuit diagrams but that is a minute amount compared to the mechanical stuff.

Richard.

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Re: Re-signalling 1970s KX-HN + Hertford Loop

Post by S&T » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:04 pm

Hi Richard,

If you have anything to help with the general timeline of the stageworks, which sites transitioned at what points and which boxes were subsequently made redundant, then this would be a great start. Once I have a timeline and general overview, I will then start to dig deeper etc and that is when the diagrams you mention might be very helpful.

I'm slowly piecing it all together with the help of the input from those on this forum.

Thanks
S&T

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