Detonator Placer Symbol

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David Waite
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Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by David Waite »

Greetings
Firstly thank you to all the posters I read the forum every day and thoroughly enjoy it .
I am drawing a Signal Box Diagram based on the style that was used in the early 1900’s , I have two Detonator Placers that I wish to draw onto the Diagram so the question is , What would the earliest style of symbol look like that represented a Detonator Placer on a Signal Box Diagram? I realise SB drawings could be amended over time so a symbol that would suit the years between 1900 to 1920 would be ok
David Waite Australia.
Hatfield Shed
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Hatfield Shed »

Firstly it's probably as well to ask 'for which company?', as the constituents of the LNER - and indeed of the other groups - were typically inclined to go their own way...

Now I happen to have a very fine illustrated book on GNR signalboxes, and a few diagrams are reproduced in it. Nary a hint of where detonator placers might be located. From the text it appears that the locations requiring fogmen to operate the detonator placers, were defined specific to that signal box, relative to the signals to have detonator protection.
David Waite
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:22 am

Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by David Waite »

Yes companies certainly did do things their own way when they could, frogman and Detonator placers worked from a ground frame near a signal don’t seem to be indicated on Diagrams from what I have been able to find. I am not to fussed about trying to keep to any particular company at this stage as these Detonator Placers seem to be a bit hard to find on drawings around this time frame, so anything that might suit this era I will be more than happy with, providing it wasn’t a one off symbol that some particular draftsman decided to draw I would prefer a symbol that was used on a few drawings at the time then there is more probability it was some form of standard icon for what ever company. The Detonator Placers of mine will be almost adjacent to the S Box and worked from the box, I have found many D Placer symbols on later SB Diagrams drawn like lollipops some black some red in colour and their distance from the rail denoted if they were normally ON or OFF the earliest I’ve found of this type so far was on a 1938 SB Diagram. I have however found a different style on a SB Diagram that stated it was 1906 the letters next to the symbol didn’t match the style of the other letters drawn but the Number did match I would like to find more of the same but so far no luck. Today I finished inking in all the track work on my SB Diagram and I’m very pleased with my result next I will make a template to draw in the Signals this will keep them all to a uniform shape .
Regards David
Mickey
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Mickey »

David Waite wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 8:34 am I have found many D Placer symbols on later SB Diagrams drawn like lollipops some black some red in colour and their distance from the rail denoted if they were normally ON or OFF the earliest I’ve found of this type so far was on a 1938 SB Diagram.
I don't quite know if I have read your post correctly but as far as I know, after taking an interest in British railway signaling from 1967 until the present day and also being a signalman (retired) for over 40 years the way Detonator Placer(s) were usually shown on the s/box track diagrams are as you have described TWO LOLLIPOP SYMBOLS SIDE BY SIDE WITH A LINE DRAWN ACROSS UNDERNEATH THE TWO LOLLIPOP SYMBOLS FACING THE LINE THAT THEY APPLIED TO. If a s/box had 'detonator placer levers' because not all s/boxes did have them that is or was how they were drawn on the track diagrams that I have seen down the years mainly on the Eastern Region and London Midland Region and maybe the Western Region track diagrams. Maybe going back to the 19th century they were drawn differently I don't know?.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
David Waite
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by David Waite »

Yes you read it correctly I haven’t been able to find out how far back the ( Lollipop ) type symbol was first used but I’ve just been given some copies of Midland Railway Diagrams and they are dated 1897, 1902 and 1927 all show a small black rectangle drawn with a radius end the square end contacting the outside rail and with the word DETONATOR next to it .
What were the reasons for needing Detonator Placers at certain locations was there a rule that governed their use ? I’ve seen many track layouts very similar to each other but not all have D/Placers, was this because of gradients or line speed or how busy the line was or was it because of the type of trains that were running on the particular line? any ideas .
Mickey
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Mickey »

David Waite wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 10:23 am What were the reasons for needing Detonator Placers at certain locations was there a rule that governed their use ? I’ve seen many track layouts very similar to each other but not all have D/Placers, was this because of gradients or line speed or how busy the line was or was it because of the type of trains that were running on the particular line? any ideas .
The short answer from me is I don't know?. John thesignalman would probably know the criteria why some boxes had 'detonator placer levers' and others didn't?. From personal experience strangely all the s/boxes that I ever worked in over 40 plus years none of the eight mechanical lever frame boxes that I worked had 'detonator placer levers' in them which may have been a fluke(?) anyway, the boxes concerned that I worked and didn't have detonator placer levers were-

1. Victoria Park. A B.R. London Midland Region box and built during the early 1960s.
2. Junction Road Junction. A Midland Railway box dating from 1885.
3. Western Junction. A North London Railway box probably dating from the 1890s.
4. Willesden New Line. A LNWR box on the Euston-Watford DC lines dating from probably the 1890s.
5. Acton Wells Junction. Not sure if this box was strictly a North London Railway box but it 'looked like one' similar looking to maybe Western Junction,
6. Kew East. Again I am not sure if this box was strictly a North London Railway box but again it 'looked like it was.
7. Acton Canal Wharf. A Midland Railway box probably dating from the 1890s.
8. Neasden (Midland). A Midland Railway box probably dating from the 1890s.

I recall at Latchmere Junction s/box on the West London Railway near Clapham Junction in southwest London the Latchmere Junction home signal which was a B.R. lower quadrant semaphore stop signal carried on a straight tubular metal post coming around from Clapham Junction north side on a double-track section on line that joined the West London Railway near Latchmere Junction s/box anyway that particular semaphore stop signal was worked in conjunction with x2 detonators located at the bottom of the signal post I presume because that stop signal was located 'right on top of the junction' so it was an extra safety measure which meant that the signalman at that box should only put that signal back to danger after ALL OF THE TRAIN VEHICLES HAD PASSED THE SIGNAL otherwise putting the signal lever back in the frame before all the train vehicles had passed the signal would have 'exploded the two detonators' at the bottom of that signal post. Also, I believe at the same box Latchmere Junction another B.R. lower quadrant semaphore stop signal that was again located 'on top of the junction' that came around the curve from the Clapham Junction south side (this double-track line passed underneath the LSWR & LBSCR running lines) was also possibly worked in conjunction with x2 detonators as well although I am just assuming that it did as I never travelled over that piece of railway in the cab of a loco.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
David Waite
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by David Waite »

I have seen a few Diagrams with Detonators having the same number as the signals drawn next to them and replacing a lever before the train had passed is something I hadn’t thought of being Fog signals could their application be just due to the topography of the area that causes the fog to accumulate hence some boxes having them and others not, where I live my town often get mist and low lying clouds but the towns either side of us only 14 kms away very rarely do.
Hatfield Shed
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Hatfield Shed »

David Waite wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 7:09 am ... being Fog signals could their application be just due to the topography of the area that causes the fog to accumulate hence some boxes having them and others not, where I live my town often get mist and low lying clouds but the towns either side of us only 14 kms away very rarely do.
Although conventionally referred to as 'fog signals' the GNR instructions make it clear that detonators are to be used when sighting of signals is reduced to 150 yards or less, and specifically mentions both fog and falling snow. (The signalman must have had a 'fog object' at that distance from the box, but as with no indication of detonator placers I don't see that marked on the GNR diagrams either...)

As for where the detonator placers were positioned, the GNR specified at all running line signals at stations and junctions, but not at intermediate block sections where there were no shunting sidings, through lines or crossover roads. At these latter the signalman was required to place two detonators on the line when the home signals were at danger 'as far as practicable'. Well that must have been fun, running to and fro between box and signals and crossing the lines as required, and being in place at the open box window to show a red light to passing trains (rule 64)...
Mickey
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Mickey »

Hatfield Shed wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 10:25 am Although conventionally referred to as 'fog signals' the GNR instructions make it clear that detonators are to be used when sighting of signals is reduced to 150 yards or less, and specifically mentions both fog and falling snow. (The signalman must have had a 'fog object' at that distance from the box, but as with no indication of detonator placers I don't see that marked on the GNR diagrams either...)
With regards to a s/box 'fog object or fog marker' I never saw anything ever written down in any s/box 'Special Instructions' at any s/box about where that particular s/box 'fog object' was?. I just always use to assume that it was left up to the signalman's own judgment as to when he thought it was bad enough weather-wise be it fog or falling snow (or both?) as to whether to institute 'fog working' with any other boxes either side of his box once his 'fog object or fog marker' had 'disappeared' so to speak?. With regards to an actual 'fog object' I just use to find something that was roughly 200 yards away from the s/box such as a signal or a building or anything else that was situated in a permanent location and use that as 'my fog object' or fog marker' so when that 'fog object' became 'difficult to see' I would be 'keeping an eye on it' and once it became completely obscured' then institute 'double-block working' with the box in the rear especially if 'my box' had a semaphore distant signal(s)?. In days of old, the 'fog signalmen would be called out' either directly by the signalman or via the control. These fog signalmen were usually P.Way blokes who were certificated to act as fog signalmen and had already been allocated to a certain signal which they would always go to and 'fog at' when they were called out.

A memory of fog working at Welwyn Garden City box in 1972.

I recall one very foggy weekday evening at Welwyn Garden City box back in 1972 when I was a 'box lad' at the box it had been misty all evening through the evening peak service as well and at about 8:30 pm it 'came in thick' through the station and around the box so the signalman on duty Cecil White an old bloke of around 64 or 65 at that time decided to 'call out' the fog signalmen to 'fog' there allotted signal posts at the box. Three P.Way men were called out to act as fog signalmen and in the meantime, double-block working was 'put in' by Cecil with the two boxes on either side of 'Welwyn Garden City' box. The three P.Way men who were acting as fog signalmen duly arrived at the box which was around 45 minutes for all three of them after being called out by the GN control and came up in the box to speak with Cecil before commencing their 'fogging duties' at their allotted signal posts. All three P.Way men had in their possession a bardic lamp each and about 24 detonators each and had to sign the train register box to show them commencing duty at their allotted signal post after which all three P.Way men left the box to walk through the fog to there allotted signal post which in the days before mobile phones the signalman had to estimate how long it would take for all three P.Way men to arrive at their allotted signal post before Cecil White withdrew 'double-block' working with the two boxes either side of Welwyn Garden City box and worked normally again (Welwyn's distant signals were all colour light signals which made it easier) anyway from memory the three 'fog signalmen' were stationed at the following signals-

1. The Down fast line outer home signal no.22 just north of the tall Twentieth Mile bridge.
2. The Up fast line outer home signal no.34 a tall co-acting arms signal south of the Knightfield overbridge.
3. The Up fast line 'starter' no.32 signal near to the opposite Down fast line outer home signal no.22.

From a faded memory of 50 years ago of the above 'calling out' by the signalman of those three P.Way men for 'fogging duties' that foggy evening at Welwyn Garden City box back in 1972 those three fog signalmen remained at their allotted signal posts for the rest of that night and in fact 'fog working' wasn't withdrawn until around about 9:30-9:45 am the following morning that's how bad the fog had been. As for the three original P.Way men who arrived at the box at around 9:15 pm the evening before I assume they were all relieved by three 'fresh fog signalmen' at around 6:00 or 7:00 am the following morning?.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
Hatfield Shed
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Hatfield Shed »

Mickey wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:18 pm ...From a faded memory of 50 years ago of the above 'calling out' by the signalman of those three P.Way men for 'fogging duties' that foggy evening at Welwyn Garden City box back in 1972 those three fog signalmen remained at their allotted signal posts for the rest of that night and in fact 'fog working' wasn't withdrawn until around about 9:30-9:45 am the following morning that's how bad the fog had been. As for the three original P.Way men who arrived at the box at around 9:15 pm the evening before I assume they were all relieved by three 'fresh fog signalmen' at around 6:00 or 7:00 am the following morning?.
That is so interesting. I suspect it isn't coincidence: fifty years and more before your experience the GNR fog signalmen, (also drawn from Permanent Way men) were expected to work up to 10 hours at their 'signed for' locations before being relieved. There was provision to send out food and a beverage after four hours (and hopefully after a further four hours had elapsed) but the instruction isn't specific on that final point, perhaps common sense was sufficiently powerful a hundred years past to suggest that this might be a good plan...
Mickey
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Mickey »

Hatfield Shed wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 9:09 pm
Mickey wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 12:18 pm ...From a faded memory of 50 years ago of the above 'calling out' by the signalman of those three P.Way men for 'fogging duties' that foggy evening at Welwyn Garden City box back in 1972 those three fog signalmen remained at their allotted signal posts for the rest of that night and in fact 'fog working' wasn't withdrawn until around about 9:30-9:45 am the following morning that's how bad the fog had been. As for the three original P.Way men who arrived at the box at around 9:15 pm the evening before I assume they were all relieved by three 'fresh fog signalmen' at around 6:00 or 7:00 am the following morning?.
That is so interesting. I suspect it isn't coincidence: fifty years and more before your experience the GNR fog signalmen, (also drawn from Permanent Way men) were expected to work up to 10 hours at their 'signed for' locations before being relieved. There was provision to send out food and a beverage after four hours (and hopefully after a further four hours had elapsed) but the instruction isn't specific on that final point, perhaps common sense was sufficiently powerful a hundred years past to suggest that this might be a good plan...
I am glad that you found my account of that foggy evening at Welwyn Garden City back in 1972 interesting Hatfield Shed.

With further regards to P.Way men acting as 'fog signalmen' stationed at a particular signal post sometimes in fairly isolated locations sometimes a small wooden hut-like structure with a tar roof may have been provided for some sort of shelter for the fog signalman to sit in during his lonely vigil. These small wooden structures could be found at many semaphore signal posts on the railways and also of importance to a man who was 'fogging' for maybe 8 or 10 hours straight especially in the wintertime on a cold and foggy night was a nice warm brazier to keep warm by that was usually banked up with a load of coke.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
Mickey
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Mickey »

David Waite wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 7:09 am I have seen a few Diagrams with Detonators having the same number as the signals drawn next to them and replacing a lever before the train had passed is something I hadn’t thought of being Fog signals could their application be just due to the topography of the area that causes the fog to accumulate hence some boxes having them and others not, where I live my town often get mist and low lying clouds but the towns either side of us only 14 kms away very rarely do.
With regards to detonators (x2 side by side) that work in conjuntion with a semaphore stop signal the lever was usually painted thus the top half of the lever was painted RED and the bottom half of the lever was painted with the BLACK & WHITE cheverons (the cheverons pointing upwards for a UP LINE and downwards for a DOWN LINE) and of course if that signal required a 'line clear release' from the next s/box in adavance before that signal could be 'cleared to the off position' then a WHITE band would also be painted at the halfway point of the lever between the RED top half and BLACK & WHITE cheverons of the bottom half. As previously said a signal that worked in conjunction with deonators (usually at the base of that signal) the signalman would have to wait until the whole train had passed the signal before returning the lever back in the lever frame and thus returning the signal to danger or the 'on' position behine the whole train.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
David Waite
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by David Waite »

Thanks Mickey I didn’t know about those levers having a red upper section most of my photos are black and white on my lever frame I built there are two black levers with white chevrons one for the up and one for the down but of course they have nothing to do with home signals.
Mickey
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by Mickey »

David Waite wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:13 am Thanks Mickey I didn’t know about those levers having a red upper section most of my photos are black and white on my lever frame I built there are two black levers with white chevrons one for the up and one for the down but of course they have nothing to do with home signals.
What I mean David is I would guess most 'detonator placer levers' where they were provided were just painted with BLACK & WHITE chevrons from the bottom of the lever handle to the bottom of the lever in the lever frame it was only if the detonators were worked in conjunction with a stop signal off the same lever as the signal that the top half of the lever would be painted RED and the bottom half of the lever would be painted with the BLACK & WHITE chevrons pointing upwards for a UP LINE and pointing downwards for a DOWN LINE.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.
David Waite
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Re: Detonator Placer Symbol

Post by David Waite »

Hi Mickey
I was going to attach a photo of the Lever Frame I built showing the two Detonator Levers but the system says it’s too large or something like that so I am unable to do it sorry.
David
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