KX signal box?

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Mickey
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KX signal box?

Post by Mickey »

Kings Cross abandoned station which since the mid 1980s is on the Thames Link Bedford-Brighton route anyway a decade earlier back in 1974 when I was a secondman at Kings Cross we had a number of weekday morning and evening peak hour services formed by a class 31 loco hauling 6 or 7 inner suburban non-corridor coaches (block enders) from either WGC, Hertford North & Cuffley to Moorgate and return workings over the Widen lines anyway in the first picture below seen in the distance is a small building with a square window so my question is was that a signal box?. Usually on passing that building a man was seen standing at possibly a signalling panel?.

Kings Cross abandoned station possibly during the early 1970s looking west-
http://www.abandoned-stations.org.uk/Ki ... ames2a.jpg

Kings Cross abandoned station possibly during the early 1970s looking east-
http://www.abandoned-stations.org.uk/Ki ... ames3a.jpg

From the Kings Cross route were trains formed of either class 31s hauling rakes of inner suburban non-corridor coaches or Craven units DMUs.
From the St Pancras route were trains formed of x4 car Derby Rolls Royce DMUs.
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Mickey
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by Mickey »

Below some more pictures of Kings Cross abandoned station on the Widen lines with the first picture from the top showing the building that may have been a signal box along with a few pictures showing class 31s hauling rakes of inner suburban coaches.
http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/Kin ... slink.html
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thesignalman
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by thesignalman »

I reckon that is Kings Cross "C" box, Mickey, staffed by London Transport signalmen.

John
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by Mickey »

thesignalman wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:32 pm I reckon that is Kings Cross "C" box, Mickey, staffed by London Transport signalmen.
Thanks for your take on it John.

That abandoned Kings Cross station has always intrigued me for over 50 years and I occasionally wondered if it was a 'signal box' and as I previously posted on passing that building on a train back around 1974 a man was usually seen standing at what looked like a signalling panel?. Yes the signalling along the Widen lines was London Underground and I wonder if the Kings Cross "C" box was manned of staffed continuously or just during the weekday morning & evening peaks although as late as 1974 a Saturday morning limited passenger service use to run Up from WGC & Hertford North around 8:00-8:30am into Moorgate over the Widen lines when some office workers use to go into work for 3 or 4 hours on a half-day Saturday with several passenger trains departing Moorgate station late on Saturday morning with the last Down passenger train running from Moorgate back towards the GN and Kings Cross platform no.16 on the 'Hotel curve' around 12:30pm because I rode on it a couple of times being formed by a x4 car Cravens DMU.

I use to like those quirky little hidden places on the railways which have all but been swept away over the last 40-50 years. Fancy working a 12hrs night turn at an abandoned station like Kings Cross Widen lines station and not seeing anyone else around for the whole shift I presume it probably got a bit on the spooky side once the sun had set and the daylight faded into night...
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Re: KX signal box?/query

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey&Signalman, that begs the question why did the LPTB "own/run" the signalling on the widened lines they not being electrified anyway,&isolated apart from the Moorgate approaches &platforms? I assume their cover on lines started after departure from the York Way platform any starter? in the up direction & finished around about the Hotel? curve in the down but what of the Cross London goods & GWR Westbourne Park to Smithfield running under LPTB signalling all the way, maybe this answers the question?Trip cocks/Condensing all required but not always used for one reason or another& why the LT bullseyes on the platforms @ Kings Cross(Widened lines) when no LT train stopped there before modern times.
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by Mickey »

The question of the 'trip cocks' jj?. It was standard practice of class 31 diesel hauled sets of 'block enders' when arriving in Kings Cross York Road station heading for Moorgate over the Widen lines for the secondman to be seen climbing down from the cab of the loco to 'put the trip cock down' or as it was called in the loco 'the banjo' for working over the Widen lines because of the LT signalling but I don't ever recall putting the 'trip cock back up' again when arriving at the top of platform no.14 the 'Hotel curve' platform?.

I was re-watching a dvd this afternoon called Kings Cross Suburban that is available on Transport Video Publishing and came out almost 20 years ago in 2002 and is 90% amateur colour film footage being filmed during 'my era' 1974 anyway I was especially watching the film footage shot on the Widen lines which was very interesting by a bloke who appears to be filming from the right-hand side from a dropped down door window of a x6 car Cravens unit and is first seen heading west on the right-hand curve running into Farringdon station and stopping then after a brief stop in the station the Cravens unit is seen departing Farringdon station again from the right-hand side window as a LT eastbound silver coloured Circle line tube train is seen arriving as our train proceeds down towards the 'fly under' beneath the Met/Circle line at this point and blackness!. The next scene is filmed again from the right-hand side of the Cravens unit as we trundle along the double track line in and out of a tunnel and between high brick retaining walls as we approach what the commentator calls Kings Cross Metropolitan station (the abandoned Kings Cross Widen lines station) and then we are passing through the station showing the entire length of the empty Up line platform but unfortunately because the person was filming on the right-hand side of the Cravens unit we don't see the Kings Cross 'C' signal box when passing through the station although the driver sounds a short blast on the units horn in about the spot where Kings Cross 'C' signal box was possibly to acknowledge the signalman(?) anyway it's an interesting piece of amateur film all the same.
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Re: KX signal box/trip cocks

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi Mickey have no knowledge of Eastern or Western locos ref.trip cocks used or otherwise,only the 14B fowler tanks coming back from Derby &condensing not overhauled or working seized solid!cant say for 14A Jintys,I know that some workings on the Fowlers made with trip cock held up so not functioning this only by word of mouth not witnessed or of course condoned either in anyway.
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by Mickey »

A strange bit of railway between Kings Cross York road station & Kings Cross LT junction because on departing Kings Cross York road station the train immediately plunged into the blackness and confines of a single bore tunnel for the entire downwards spiralling journey down to Kings Cross LT junction twisting and turning left and right all the way to the bottom of the grade until a glimmer of daylight was seen shinny off rails at the junction and the abandoned Kings Cross station on the Widen lines came into view in the distance beyond. In steam days I no doubt assume that tunnel would have been full of smoke after a passing goods train bound for the southern and vision ahead for the loco crews would have been down to about zero?.

Trip Cock(s) the working of-

Footplate crews 'lingo' for Trip Cocks was a 'Banjo' which was a pivoted circular shaped piece of hard metal with a metal arm protruding from it (all one piece of metal) that would be pointing downwards towards the ground when running over LT lines which was attached to the front end of the loco near to the ground which also worked in conjunction with the locos brakes anyway when the metal arm struck a raised piece of metal at the base of usually a colour light signal that also worked in conjunction with the signal when showing a red stop signal the locos trip cock would strike the raised metal plate at the base of the signal and the locos brakes would be applied and the loco would come to a 'grinding halt' having just passed a red stop signal at danger but if the signal was showing a green aspect the raised metal plate at the base of the signal would be laying flat to the ground and the loco would just pass the signal normally, well that's how it basically worked.
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thesignalman
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by thesignalman »

Mickey wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:51 pmYes the signalling along the Widen lines was London Underground and I wonder if the Kings Cross "C" box was manned of staffed continuously or just during the weekday morning & evening peaks
I think it was open all the time, when I worked in Kings Cross box 1971-1973, I'm sure they never closed in the formal manner but LT had different ways of doing things and they may have just picked up their bags and gone. Of course, at that time it was that much previously that through freight had stopped running and they would have needed to be open then.

John
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Re: KX 'C' signal box?

Post by Mickey »

thesignalman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:01 am
Mickey wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:51 pmYes the signalling along the Widen lines was London Underground and I wonder if the Kings Cross "C" box was manned of staffed continuously or just during the weekday morning & evening peaks
I think it was open all the time, when I worked in Kings Cross box 1971-1973, I'm sure they never closed in the formal manner but LT had different ways of doing things and they may have just picked up their bags and gone. Of course, at that time it was that much previously that through freight had stopped running and they would have needed to be open then.
Ha ha that made me chuckle John the thought of the signalman in Kings Cross 'C' box on the Widen lines just walking out the door and locking up after the last train had passed through without even ringing up the Kings Cross signalman and was it the Engine Shed Junction signalman(?) just to the north of Kentish Town and the Farringdon LT signalman also that he was closing the box and going home. I suppose if Kings Cross 'C' box just ran a fixed passenger timetable that never deviated from day to day and from week to week unless a Special Train Notice was first published of an extra train running I suppose it could be the practice (on the LT) just to close after the last train had passed through in the evening and to re-open the box before the first train was due to run in the morning without telling any of the other boxes although opening and closing a box without saying anything to the boxes either side of your box is a bit of a peculiar way of working because at least on B.R. a formal procedure of opening and closing a signal box is always instigated which includes at it's most basic level of 'picking the phone up' and informing the other signalmen that you was either closing the box or re-opening the box, anyway an interesting piece of info regarding Kings Cross 'C' box John thanks.

Also one other thing regarding the signalling between both the Kings Cross 1933 box and the subsequent 1971 PSB and Kings Cross 'C' box I presume it was TCB (Track Circuit Block) on both the Up & Down Widen lines between both boxes but would I be correct in thinking before the Kings Cross signalman could clear the signal on the end of Kings Cross York road platform the Kings Cross 'C' box signalman had to operate a 'release switch' to allow that signal on the end of York road platform to be cleared?. Likewise would the Kings Cross signalman have to operate a 'release switch' to allow a train to approach from Kings Cross 'C' box up the 'Hotel curve' and into platform no.16 subsequently being re-numbered platform no.14 in May 1972.
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Re: KX signal box?/query

Post by StevieG »

rockinjohn wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:26 am Hi Mickey&Signalman, that begs the question why did the LPTB "own/run" the signalling on the widened lines they not being electrified anyway,&isolated apart from the Moorgate approaches &platforms? I assume their cover on lines started after departure from the York Way platform any starter? in the up direction & finished around about the Hotel? curve in the down but what of the Cross London goods & GWR Westbourne Park to Smithfield running under LPTB signalling all the way, maybe this answers the question?Trip cocks/Condensing all required but not always used for one reason or another& why the LT bullseyes on the platforms @ Kings Cross(Widened lines) when no LT train stopped there before modern times.
Apart from official ownership of the City Widened Lines (CWL) rockinjohn, dating back to the 1960s and before, like most of BR's network then, LT's signalling was controlled pretty locally. As well as Kings Cross 'C' (which I think may then still have controlled the Met/Circle lines at KX as well**), there were boxes controlling all lines at Farringdon (including a running junction then, at the KX end of the station, providing moves from eastbound (EB) 'Met' to EB CWL and Westbound CWL to WB 'Met'.), (Aldersgate &) Barbican (a striking, perhaps 'Art Dec'-style building on the KX end of the centre platform), that I believe was abolished earlier than Farringdon {although the structure was only demolished within the last few years], and presumably another at Moorgate.
However, sometime, possibly around 1960, Farringdon box got control of at least Farringdon-Moorgate, inclusive, using a (typical for the time) LT-style push-button desk panel.
As for where KX 'C' box took over from the BR main line KX Box, you're about right rockinjohn. The York Road-located Starter, although slotted by KX main box lever 4, was an LT-style two-headed signal on the left at the platform end (also with a co-acting signal on the right), ID plated OJ.1 IIRC, for the top (red/green) signal head, and ROJ.3 IIRC for the yellow/green head below.
The Down line between the boxes was, in about 1969, worked using an Absolute Block Instrument and bell between 'C' and the main line box; with 'C's last signal being the junction signal that directed trains towards either KX or Kentish Town, with KX main Box having a yellow/green Distant signal No.222 beyond the junction in the Hotel Curve Tunnel, applying to the twin-headed KX Platform 16 (later 14) platform starting signal (the Home signal for the box) KC221.
Mickey, the 'abandoned' station, as well as being boldly named KINGS CROSS on the platforms, was also well known, and perhaps was also in documents such as WTTs(?), as 'Kings Cross (Met)'.
And between then and becoming King's Cross Thameslink, you may recall that, pre-Thameslink, on being significantly improved and modernised for the St.Pancras/Moorgate - Bedford Midland Suburban Electrification, it had the name "King's Cross Midland City" station.
Last edited by StevieG on Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: KX signal box?/query

Post by StevieG »

rockinjohn wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:26 am Hi Mickey&Signalman, that begs the question why did the LPTB "own/run" the signalling on the widened lines they not being electrified anyway,&isolated apart from the Moorgate approaches &platforms? I assume their cover on lines started after departure from the York Way platform any starter? in the up direction & finished around about the Hotel? curve in the down but what of the Cross London goods & GWR Westbourne Park to Smithfield running under LPTB signalling all the way, maybe this answers the question?Trip cocks/Condensing all required but not always used for one reason or another& why the LT bullseyes on the platforms @ Kings Cross(Widened lines) when no LT train stopped there before modern times.
Apart from official LT ownership of the City Widened Lines (CWL) rockinjohn, dating back to the 1960s and before (like most of BR's network then), LT's CWL signalling was controlled from fairly local boxes.
As well as King's Cross 'C' (which I think may then still have controlled the Met/Circle lines at KX as well**), there were boxes controlling all lines at : -
- Farringdon (including a running junction then, at the KX end of the station, providing moves from eastbound (EB) 'Met' to EB CWL and Westbound CWL to WB 'Met'.),
- (Aldersgate &) Barbican (a striking, perhaps 'Art Deco'-style, building on the KX end of the centre platform), that I believe was abolished earlier than Farringdon [although the structure was only demolished within the last few years], and
- presumably another at Moorgate.

** - (When alighting from Westbound Met./Circle trains at the present day King's Cross St Pancras LUL station, there was a signal at the east end of the platform for crossing to the EB line, and I'm fairly sure that its ID plate also had an OJ prefix.)

However, sometime, possibly around 1960, Farringdon box got control of at least Farringdon-Moorgate, inclusive, using a (typical for the time) LT-style push-button desk panel.

As for where KX 'C' box took over from the BR main line KX Box, you're about right. The York Road-located Starter, although slotted by KX main box lever 4, was an LT-style two-headed signal on the left at the platform end (also with a co-acting signal on the right), ID plated OJ.1 IIRC for the top (red/green) signal head, and ROJ.3 IIRC for the yellow/green head below.
The Down line between the boxes was, in about 1969, worked using an Absolute Block Instrument and bell between 'C' and the main line box; with 'C's last signal being the junction signal that directed trains towards either KX or Kentish Town, and with KX main Box having a yellow/green Distant signal No.222 beyond the junction in the Hotel Curve Tunnel, applying to the twin-headed KX Platform 16 (later 14) platform starting signal (the Home signal for the box) KC221.
Later though - possibly when control of the KX terminus signalling was transferred from the miniature-lever box to an IFS panel in the new PSB building - 222 Distant was abolished and function 222 instead made a slot on KX 'C's last Stop signal.

Mickey, the 'abandoned' station, as well as being boldly named KING'S CROSS on the platforms, was also well known, and perhaps was also in documents such as WTTs(?), as 'Kings Cross (Met)'.
And between then and becoming King's Cross Thameslink, you may recall that, pre-Thameslink, on being significantly improved and modernised for the St.Pancras/Moorgate - Bedford, Midland Suburban Electrification, it had the name "King's Cross Midland City" station.
Last edited by StevieG on Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: KX 'C' signal box?

Post by Mickey »

An interesting post Stevie and it fills in several gaps in particular that the Down 'Hotel curve' line between Kings Cross 'C' box and Kings Cross box was worked under Absolute block via a block instrument that is interesting and also as for the station bearing the name KINGS CROSS yes you are correct the name is clearly seen on a dvd of the Widen lines that I recently watched and I do actually remember seeing the station name Kings Cross back in the early 1970s.

With regards to Farringdon LT box I presumed it had some sort of control of the signalling with the Widen lines as a crossing existed from the Widen lines leading into the LT lines pretty much opposite the box but interesting to know when it took over the signalling through to Moorgate station though.

From what I can recall going back to 1974 the line east of Farringdon station was on departing Farringdon station out in the open and via a large left-hand curve which then straightened out briefly before going through a short covered section on the approach to Barbican station and then via a sharpish right-hand curve with check rails which was immediately at the western end of Barbican station which ran out in the open and on a straight line through the station. On departing Barbican station it was immediately under cover all the way from the eastern end of Barbican station for the short run to Moorgate station which was basically via a long right-hand curve on a falling gradient which brought you down into the straight platform lines at Moorgate and the buffer stops. The Eastern region trains use to use one platform and the Midland region trains used the other platform at Moorgate.
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Re: KX signal box?

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi StevieG&Mickey,thanks for the wealth of info. on the above I remember @ least the entrance on Pentonville Rd being called Kings +(met)& bearing signage to this fact, with lattice shutters being closed &locked apart from the peak rush hours,I think I mentioned in a past post,but will mention/ask again about the 350hp shunter that was stationed @ Farringdon St.,was it manned?&if so over what hours,& if unmanned( I never sighted a crew ever) how was it crewed if required in an Event?, did it bank the Midland freights(mainly early hours) or any freights if indeed unless in trouble, little work for the loco once Farringdon Goods closed "55/'56?(only ever remember the turn being a diesel in my time early class members initally121XX&did it ever move from that buffered spot it stood on,My wife's grandfather told me he shunted the Yard&Depot, quite busy in years gone, by with a J52,I seem to remember another buffered siding the loco stood on before the Farringdon St lines were remodeled, but could be mistaken,I shall search for a photo showing the tunnel mouth, after your tip on the York Way platform starter.
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Re: KX signal box?/farringdon rd shunter

Post by rockinjohn »

Hi, few more notes to add to my previous post on the Farringdon Street shunter,that I omitted,I had gleaned it was a Hornsey(34B) turn with crew travelling up by train to Kings X and tube to Farringdon St &never looked on as a favourable turn,much to my surprise nearly all banking done Southbound quite the reverse of what I thought for all those years & most work completed by 2AM,Southern never very happy about Cross- London freights in the peaks,now many moons ago as I said, the shunter could stand on the old MET goods siding of Vine Street(closed) & the track layout had a cross over from just before the northern end of the station before the LT electrified lines were cut off from the widened lines.Also someone somewhere asked about the SR 33's (65XX)sometimes Dbl/headed going thru the widened lines on the Clffe-Uddingston cement workings that had in the latter part had them working right thru after change over with an Eastern crew,I witnessed this in the UP direction a few times&think I saw a photograph of a down working,So the answer is Yes (hope it helps answer this query from someone/somewhere) think this train would be a sight in the down direction alongside the Surburban Platforms @ the Cross after rounding Hotel Curve.
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