KX signalling in 1971

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Mickey
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KX signalling in 1971

Post by Mickey » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:52 am

Just a minor signalling query at Kings Cross back in the early 1970s?.

Does anyone know why was the yellow disc signal leading from the buffer stops in Passenger loco to either the re-fuelling point (along side the Down Slow line) or to the Down Slow or Down Main no.2 or Down Main no.1 line was replaced by a red disc signal?. Apparently this disc signal was no.231 according to a track diagram of Kings Cross in 1971.
Last edited by Mickey on Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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StevieG
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Re: Disc signal query?

Post by StevieG » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:57 pm

Mickey wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:52 am
Just a minor signalling query at Kings Cross back in the early 1970s?.

Does anyone know why was the yellow disc signal leading from the buffer stops in Passenger loco to either the re-fuelling point (along side the Down Slow line) or to the Down Slow or Down Main no.2 or Down Main no.1 line was replaced by a red disc signal?. Apparently this disc signal was no.231 according to a track diagram of Kings Cross in 1971.
I wonder if S&T might have a positive answer Mickey.
But otherwise, 231 was changed from yellow to red along with the other minor changes (mostly removal of some other ground discs) that were done when control was transferred from the old box at the end of old platforms 5/6 (later 4/5) to the large IFS panel in the 'new' box.

As to why, well of course when it was a 'yellow', strictly, it only applied through No.230 motor points Reverse, when going out to the DS, DM2 or DM1, as moves through them Normal, towards 'the elephant house' had to pass it when it was 'On'; (even though moves through those 230s Normal in the opposite direction were controlled by 232 red disc).
Only when its relay interlocking circuitry was altered so that the disc could be changed to red, did it then also apply for 'straight on' moves towards the elephant house'. Presumably that 'straight' move from 231 when it was yellow was done so often (in diesel days at least: Don't know about when the locos were all steam), that the resulting move over those 230 points without a signal positively cleared was too risky to allow the convenient opportunity of the transfer of control to be missed for converting it to red and adding the additional route.
BZOH

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Mickey
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KX signalling in 1971

Post by Mickey » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:36 am

An interesting reply Stevie thanks. So it was changed when the old 1933 box was decommissioned and the 'new' 1971 box was simultaneously commissioned because I wondered when it was changed?.

Talking of disc signals and ground position light signals in general something I liked in the 1980s where I am was all six ground position lights (reduced to five after 15 years when a route was abolished) all originally had 'back lights' which was handy at night as I could look out the box windows and see the 'clear white' back light of several nearby ground position lights but sometime during the 1990s the S'&T replaced the backs of all ground position lights and platted them over thus abolishing the back lights at a stroke. Also I noticed during the early 2000s the 'white' light that sat beside the red light in ground position lights were abolished and replaced by a second 'red light' thus when the position was 'on' two red lights were displayed instead of one white and one red light that it had been for the previous three or four decades I presume this came about due to a 'incident' happening somewhere whereby I presume a 'red' light had gone out possibly 'confusing' a driver who may have SPAD the position light?.
Last edited by Mickey on Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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StevieG
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Re: Disc signal query?

Post by StevieG » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:31 pm

Mickey wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:36 am
An interesting reply Stevie thanks. So it was changed when the old 1933 box was decommissioned and the 'new' 1971 box was simultaneously commissioned because I wondered when it was changed?.

Talking of disc signals and ground position light signals in general something I liked in the 1980s where I am was all six ground position lights (reduced to five after 15 years when a route was abolished) all originally had 'back lights' which was handy at night as I could look out the box windows and see the 'clear white' back light of several nearby ground position lights but sometime during the 1990s the S'&T replaced the backs of all ground position lights and platted them over thus abolishing the back lights at a stroke. Also I noticed during the early 2000s the 'white' light that sat beside the red light in ground position lights were abolished and replaced by a second 'red light' thus when the position was 'on' two red lights were displayed instead of one white and one red light that it had been for the previous three or four decades I presume this came about due to a 'incident' happening somewhere whereby I presume a 'red' light had gone out possibly 'confusing' a driver who may have SPAD the position light?.
I would think that was the reason Mickey.
To me it looked even more strange when around that time, the few remaining 'yellow' ground position-lights (there never were that many anyway) were changed from older filament lamp types that showed yellow/white when 'On', to LED type showing two yellows.
BZOH

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Mickey
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KX signalling in 1971

Post by Mickey » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:39 am

StevieG wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:31 pm
To me it looked even more strange when around that time, the few remaining 'yellow' ground position-lights (there never were that many anyway) were changed from older filament lamp types that showed yellow/white when 'On', to LED type showing two yellows.
Yes two yellow lights does sound a bit odd considering the clearing of a ground position light (and a disc signal as well) only takes the driver AS FAR AS THE LINE IS CLEAR?.

Now that you mention it Stevie regarding the rare yellow ground position lights I have a vague feeling of seeing the odd one or two maybe around the York area back in the 1970s?.
Last edited by Mickey on Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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thesignalman
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Re: Disc signal query?

Post by thesignalman » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:49 am

I was there at the time of the change. The reason the disc was changed to a red face was that the signalmen could not observe movements from the new box.

At the time there were strong vibes that signalmen in "modern" power boxes should not look out of the window, and the windows in the new box were so arranged that you either had to be seven feet tall or a midget to use the wondow arrangement that was deliberately provided. At any rate, I suspect the view from the new location on York Road platform was probably too distant.

There were quite a few other changes to the signalling at that time - not so much visible as changes to footplate staff, but the locking arrangements were brought up to modern standards. This initially caused all sorts of major issues - for example it did not provide for the long established practice of starting long trains outside the platform starting signals and total chaos resulted when attaching motorail vans to the overnight sleepers because the route wouldn't cancel when the pilot came off after placing them on the train.

It was a classic example of the designers and the operators not working together.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

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StevieG
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Re: Disc signal query?

Post by StevieG » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:41 am

thesignalman wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:49 am
"I was there at the time of the change. The reason the disc was changed to a red face was that the signalmen could not observe movements from the new box.

At the time there were strong vibes that signalmen in "modern" power boxes should not look out of the window, and the windows in the new box were so arranged that you either had to be seven feet tall or a midget to use the wondow arrangement that was deliberately provided. At any rate, I suspect the view from the new location on York Road platform was probably too distant. .... "
An obvious point John, thanks. I should have thought of that one.
thesignalman wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:49 am
"....There were quite a few other changes to the signalling at that time - not so much visible as changes to footplate staff, but the locking arrangements were brought up to modern standards. This initially caused all sorts of major issues - for example it did not provide for the long established practice of starting long trains outside the platform starting signals and total chaos resulted when attaching motorail vans to the overnight sleepers because the route wouldn't cancel when the pilot came off after placing them on the train.

It was a classic example of the designers and the operators not working together.

John"
I never got to hear about all those sort of problems (mind you, I wouldn't be working on the GN for another almost three more years at the Sep. '71 changeover time).
I quite agree with your last comment.
Did any of the locking get 'eased' as a result?
BZOH

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thesignalman
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Re: Disc signal query?

Post by thesignalman » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:40 pm

StevieG wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:41 am
Did any of the locking get 'eased' as a result?
I can't be certain but I don't think so. The method of working was changed so the train engine attached the motorail vans to the sleepers, this was done literally just before departure so no routes needed to be cancelled. It is all a long time ago and I can't remember all the details but I think they started out on a red off the platform which caused confusion with platform staff and guards, although the engine was ahead of that at all times of course.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

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StevieG
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Re: Disc signal query?

Post by StevieG » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:36 pm

thesignalman wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:40 pm
StevieG wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:41 am
Did any of the locking get 'eased' as a result?
I can't be certain but I don't think so. The method of working was changed so the train engine attached the motorail vans to the sleepers, this was done literally just before departure so no routes needed to be cancelled. It is all a long time ago and I can't remember all the details but I think they started out on a red off the platform which caused confusion with platform staff and guards, although the engine was ahead of that at all times of course.

John
.... Rule Book : "Starting of trains not completely within fixed signals" if I recall correctly John !
BZOH

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thesignalman
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Re: KX signalling in 1971

Post by thesignalman » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:09 am

Yes, I am familiar with what the Rule Book says but my point was that an unplanned change in operating practice caused a lot of confusion. If platform staff and guards have been used to seeing a green signal before giving "right-away" for many years, there are bound to be delays to departures whilst they adapt to a new, more difficult and complex, way of working. They need to learn the difference between a red signal meaning "stop" and a red signal meaning "go" which might seem perfectly simple when you quote the Rule Book but in the real world it is a quite different kettle of fish.

John
"BX there, boy!"
Signalling history: https://www.signalbox.org/
Signalling and other railway photographs: https://433shop.co.uk/

Mickey
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KX signalling in 1971

Post by Mickey » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:09 am

thesignalman wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:40 pm
I can't be certain but I don't think so. The method of working was changed so the train engine attached the motorail vans to the sleepers, this was done literally just before departure so no routes needed to be cancelled. It is all a long time ago and I can't remember all the details but I think they started out on a red off the platform which caused confusion with platform staff and guards, although the engine was ahead of that at all times of course.
From memory of nearly 50 years ago didn't all the main colour light signal aspects at the platform ends at Kings Cross have (S)-Shunt Ahead subsidiary signals (a red S inside a banner type signal) mounted directly beneath the main colour light signal head so if the train loco was standing beyond the platform ends and occupying the track circuits ahead of the main colour light signal at the end of the platform wouldn't the (S)-Shunt Ahead subsidiary signal be showing OFF along with the main colour light signal aspect and roller blind route indicator on the bracket signals opposite the box?. Granted any platform staff standing further along one of the main line platforms towards the rear of the train would hardly see the S-Shunt Ahead banner signal showing OFF further along the platform towards the rear of the train.
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