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LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:24 pm
by nutford
Can anyone tell me what this is please - the 'white thing' I've highlighted with the red line. It was in the yard at Ripon station - and as you can see there were a number of them.

Most of the ground signals there were either of the standard type in the foreground of that pic, or the NER McKenzie & Holland type (much larger than the one indicated). Indeed is it a ground signal at all, or something to do with the point operation?

While asking - there are a number of points in the yard which I know were not operated from the box, but I cannot see any sign of a point lever in any of the old pics; not conclusive, given the small size of levers/quality of the pics but - would there have been any? Or would they be operated perhaps from a frame in the goods shed office...? Or were they very small!?

And finally - can anyone tell me roughly when the LNER (if it was them) began replacing the M&H signals with those like the one in the foreground of that pic - or was that a BR thing?

Thanks for any help!

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:44 pm
by Mickey
Sorry nutford my mistake.

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:53 pm
by nutford
Mickey - no, sorry didn't make myself clear, it's not that signal I'm asking about.

It's the one (if it is a signal) at the end of the red line I've drawn in....

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:57 pm
by StevieG
It appears to me that the 'white things' are weighted handpoint levers nutford. They are rather lower than the later, common, upright, straight or 'cranked' type, and are probably rather older.
They have a cast shaft something like two feet long pivoted at the bottom. At the other end is formed a quite large 'disc' part about 2" thick, which is rather heavy (to hopefully prevent the the closed point switch from edging open when wheels pass by). Formed on the centre of the disc, the final part is what might be described as a blunt 'spike' something like 7 inches long, which forms a handle by which to operate the point to the opposite position, which is done by lifting the end, swinging it up & over, and dropping it down the other way, through an arc of around 160 degrees.
The nearest one which you highlighted with the red line is 'pointing' towards the photographer.

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:15 am
by Mickey
StevieG wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:57 pm
It appears to me that the 'white things' are weighted handpoint levers nutford. They are rather lower than the later, common, upright, straight or 'cranked' type, and are probably rather older.
Totally agree Stevie with your post. I guessed it was a 'hand points handle' but after my previous post on this topic I thought I would sit this one out. My previous post I mistakenly thought nutford was asking about the 'white diamond' on the red faced disc signal which wasn't what nutford was asking about.

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:29 am
by nutford
Ah. Now that makes a lot of sense - not least re my comment that I couldn't see any point levers.
Seems I could see them - just didn't know what they were.... Thanks!!!

But now I have this, also at Ripon.... it looks like a McKenzie & Holland ground signal; it appears to have only one disc, nothing odd about that; but the disc is apparently WHITE. All other pics of this sort I have seen with a single disc the disc is (or probably is) red, for obvious reasons. But why would you have a signal disc in white?

Is it the equivalent of the LNER yellow ground signals perhaps - can be passed under certain circumstances?

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:14 am
by John Palmer
The point levers under discussion are, I believe, known as Sommerson's point levers, the most obvious distinguishing feature being their disc-shaped weights. Additional views showing these levers can be found in the Ripon section of the Disused Stations website at http://disused-stations.org.uk/r/ripon/index.shtml.

I have yet to see a colour photograph to prove that qualifying vertically pivoted ground signals had their discs painted yellow, but captions to some monochrome photographs I have seen indicate that such was the case. I agree that the monochrome photograph posted does indeed show a M&H disc, and would have thought the most likely explanation for the light tone of its disc is that it had recently been repainted yellow.

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:57 pm
by thesignalman
Just a bit of extra info . . .

These were often called "throw-over" levers and were actually more efficient than the more common (today) hand levers because no springs are required to maintain the points in their position - it is done by gravity. Nevertheless they are still trailable, you can see the weight bobbing up and down when you do so. I don't know if any survive today - heavy weights bobbing up and down might not survive twenty-first century risk assessements.

I would expect all the points within the yard to be operated by these - a centralised frame is unlikely at an ordinary station. You can see another throw-over lever facing the other way near the steps of the Jocko.

The revolving discs found on many of the pre-grouping railways that went into the LNER survived later than on others of the "big four" and renewal didn't start until late LNER days. (They weren't all made by McKenzie & Holland). That's why LNER enamel-faced shunt signals are "upper quadrant" whereas all other railways' ones are "lower quadrant" in the way they turn. But there is no date for mass renewal, many on the former GER survived well into the 1970s.

Certainly some revolving discs on the GN were painted yellow in later years, so it is quite possible the one in the second picture has been so-treated. In early days, a driver was supposed to know it only applied to one route but over time things changed. Probably after a few little whoopsies.

Hope this helps,

John

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:58 pm
by nutford
John (Palmer) - I didn't specifically mean that type of signal; more that some LNER (and other) ground signals had a yellow rather than a red band, and maybe this was an attempt to match the meaning on a different format signal. But yes, does sound possible doesn't it.

And thanks t'other John - also very interesting.

My reason for asking is I'm modelling Ripon/Melmerby/Tanfield, and while not trying for exactitude I want to get visually right as much as my modelling skills/budget allow me to - plus nice to know how these things worked.

Given the advice here I've now found that Beamish seem to have examples of both signal and lever. I was due a trip there soon anyway, so maybe needs to be brought forward!

As always, many thanks to the many helpful and knowledgeable folk who seem to loiter around here purely to help out me and others when we get stuck with stuff!

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:05 pm
by John Palmer
nutford wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:58 pm
My reason for asking is I'm modelling Ripon/Melmerby/Tanfield, and while not trying for exactitude I want to get visually right as much as my modelling skills/budget allow me to - plus nice to know how these things worked.
In which case you may be interested in the Sommerson's levers offered by Roxey Mouldings - see https://www.roxeymouldings.co.uk/catego ... cessories/. Here's a picture of the 4mm variety, as installed on the yard trap at Burnham-on-Sea, but Roxey can also supply the 7mm vairiety if you're working in that scale:
Sommerson lever 4mm.jpg
<Edited to add that it comes as a small etch of parts that need to to be fitted and soldered together: quite a fiddly task but worth it, I think, for the end result>

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:27 pm
by nutford
Ah - NOW I can make sense of the pics!

Thanks John. Yes I will look at the ones you suggest. At mo all the links to their site seem to be down - hopefully not another supplier gone.....
Some of these sites only seem to work at weekdays, so I'll try tomorrow.

If nothing else now I know what they look like in more detail I can make something that will look the part from 2' away... with one eye shut and wrong glasses on anyway ;-)

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:40 pm
by silverfox
Whilst late looking at the originsal pic, my first thought was

It is a point lever like Triang/Hornby used to use on the 00 points!!

Wasnt far wrong lol

Re: LNER/NER Ground signals....

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:58 pm
by nutford
silverfox wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:40 pm
Whilst late looking at the originsal pic, my first thought was

It is a point lever like Triang/Hornby used to use on the 00 points!!

Wasnt far wrong lol
Yep - I saw some of those on ebay the other day and thought - 'that's them' lol

In fact a lot of the Hornby Dublo stuff was very accurate and way ahead of its time - much more accurate than some of what came later. I am using Dublo electric semaphore signals which will be detailed with cranks, ladders etc - they are surprisingly accurate, to scale, and clearly based on LNER upper-quadrant (as used at Ripon in 1920s/30s). Unlike the Dapol ones you can get them for about £7 each, and although these don't have lights a quick look at photos of semaphores on a sunny day - and you can't SEE the lights; the Dapol ones shine out like miniature searchlights, totally OTT in my view. Nothing to do with saving £30-£50 per signal...... ;-)