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Your Layout and Models => Signals => Topic started by: mickster04 on February 05, 2019, 08:25:44 AM

Title: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: mickster04 on February 05, 2019, 08:25:44 AM
Hey team, I am building a new layout, a small branch terminus with a single platform, As per the image below, are the signals correct (enough)


(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/73/3841-050219080948.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=73846)

No signal protecting entry to the station, ( Although that would be a 2 aspect orange/red with position 1,2,3 indicator, right?) But I figured this would be off scene.

Therefore i'm left with a home starter signal and three ground position light signals to control exit form the three sidings?? or is this over kill? Any advice would be great. I have had a hunt around for examples of other real world scenarios similar to this one but can't work out why some signals are where they are!
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: ntpntpntp on February 05, 2019, 12:57:25 PM
Is a train (as distinct from a shunting movement) allowed to depart from the sidings?   

I don't know if the same rules apply to British signalling, but for German signalling which I have on my layout you'd need to have a full Hauptsignal (equivalent to your home starter in this case) for the sidings if a train can depart into the block section. The ground/shunting signal wouldn't be sufficient on it's own (though would be present as a subsidiary signal on the main signal head)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: mickster04 on February 06, 2019, 01:50:23 AM
A good question, yes. I anticipate there would be some permissive workings out of the sidings, up the line a bit to sort out goods trains from the bottom two sidings. and the third-from-bottom siding is used as a DMU park if not for waiting trains.

I would assume there would be a LOS signal futher up the line. which would suggest each siding needs a starter signal? hmmm. Any use for GPLS then on this layout or is it too small?

[Edit]LOS cannot be passed and wouldn't appear on a one line route that is bi-directional[/Edit]
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: PostModN66 on February 06, 2019, 09:09:26 AM
I like the look of this layout!

I'm not saying this is absolutely correct, but I would just have the starter signal on the platform road, and just two shunt signals, one on each of the connections between the yard and the main line.   You don't need the two shunt signals on each of  two sidings that converge before joining the main.

You might argue that you need a shunt signal as a subsidiary on the starter, if trains ever needed to shunt out of the platform road then into the yard, rather than proceeding down the main line.

Cheers

Jon  :)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Delfin on February 06, 2019, 11:44:49 AM
This is a nice layout and shouldn't be difficult to signal.  You are right in saying that the home signal (for movements from the fiddle yard) would be away behind the back scene.  So you don't need to model that.  There would also be a starter signal, again probably off behind the back scene, it needs to be positioned to allow space for shunting.  So the length of the longest train being shunted beyond the sidings dictates the distance as it would also function as the limit of shunt.

The platform starter would probably be on the end of the platform, two aspect as you show is fine, but a position light signal would be needed if you are intending to do shunt moves with empty stock etc. from the platform.  The ground position lights are fine, although you could do it with two.  You also need a GPL for movements into the siding from the main, otherwise the shunt moves would have no signalled move back into the sidings.  This signal would be outside the signal box somewhere. 

Someone will tell you that the sidings should have trap points where they join the main line and they would be right, but I wouldn't bother given the space you have available.

I'm assuming that the layout is set in the sixties to the eighties, you would need main aspect signals for departures to the fiddle yard from the sidings these days. 

Hope this helps.

Sandy
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Caz on February 06, 2019, 12:04:17 PM
I would've thought another couple of shunt signals would be needed for the crossover at the end of the platform to allow the loco to release etc.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Delfin on February 06, 2019, 05:00:44 PM
I would've thought another couple of shunt signals would be needed for the crossover at the end of the platform to allow the loco to release etc.


The crossover in the sidings would not need a position light as it would probably be worked by a shunter.  However, if all moves there were controlled by the signal box then yes more ground signals would be needed, seems a bit overkill for such a layout though.  The other points within the sidings could also be worked by the shunter, reducing the number of GPLs by one as suggested above by Jon.

Sandy
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Lankyman on February 06, 2019, 09:20:58 PM
A lot of what has ben said is perfectly correct and I could give you several versions of what would be acceptable depending on the era and the location but it would take far too long to explain in this forum. However, it is one thing to debate all the running and shunt moves that are possible with this layout but one thing that must not be overlooked is the existence of the level crossing across the road through the village. So you first have to decide what type of crossing it is to be and whether it needs protecting signals. I would suggest that any form of automatic crossing would not be acceptable due to the close proximity of the station and yard. That only leaves a manually controlled crossing, either barriers or gates as a viable option. That would probably require a signal immediately on each apprach to the crossing. The one leading into the station could also control the movements into the station or yard with a main aspect and subsidiary signal with route indicator and would also require a distant signal off scene. Going the other way the protecting would function as a limit for shunt moves but if there is not enough space for such moves the signal could be cleared for such moves but that would require the level crossing to be closed. That would annoy the road users. With the two signals I have proposed it would not be possible to make a shunt move towards the crossing when a train is approaching from the fiddle yard taking into account overlap and clearance point requirements depending on the signalling system used on the single line. On that point, if a token system is in operation then you would need a means of issuing and collecting the tokens at the signal box, either the Signaller going out to do the job or I know of several places where a bucket was lowered from the signalbox window. That would be a nice little bit of modelling I hvae never seen done.

It's a nice, compact layout with a lot of possibilities but signalling is a very complicated subject. However, one thing that complicates it for me is what type of passenger trains are you intending to use. Without a run round in the platform only trains with a cab at each end are possible. Any conventional loco hauled trains would have to setback onto the single line, draw into the yard to run round, then draw out of the yard and set back into the platform. Such a requirement was the reason why many branch lines closed down in the past because it was so uneconomical and required so much expensive signalling.

Ron
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Newportnobby on February 06, 2019, 09:33:20 PM
Signalling has always been a mystery to me and, I suspect, many others and there has been talk of LOS, GPLs, starter signals, shunt signals and platform starter to name but a few.
Would anyone care to provide a 'best' list of terms in the this thread.........

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=43315.msg536750#msg536750 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=43315.msg536750#msg536750)

so I can add a block (sorry) of signalling references to the Glossary of Terms in the Knowledge Bank please?
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Lankyman on February 06, 2019, 10:01:06 PM
I would love to but I don't think I could do the subject justice in the limited time I have left in this life. Even if I tried I would probably infringe copyright laws as I couldn't possibly do it all from memory. One of the problems is that different railway companies had there own terminology as did different regions of BR. When I moved to the LMR Regional ofice in Crewe in 1984 I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with different principles and practices in the LM Region, never mind what other Regions did. It was only in the 1980's that BR started to standardise terminology.

I have several books on British Signalling and one on North American Signalling but I have just picked one up off the bookshelf which I have had for many years. It's called "Modern Signalling Handbook" by Stanley Hall and published by Ian Allen. I know he produced later editions but in the back of mine is an excellent Glossary which I would recommend as a starting point for anyone interested in the subject. Unfortunately it doesn't cover semaphore signalling. In the meantime I do try to answer any questions on the subject as I have done on this accasion so long as I can keep my answer concise. Unfortunately that is not always possible.

As you don't live too far away Mick, you are welcome to pop round for a visit sometime and I will try to give you an insight into the subject with a lot of pictures.

Ron
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: nookfield on February 06, 2019, 10:14:03 PM
This website http://www.railsigns.uk/home.html (http://www.railsigns.uk/home.html) gives a detailed explanation of Railway signals historical and current

For an easier read this PDF gves an overview of signalling http://www.railway-technical.com/signalling/british-signalling--what.pdf (http://www.railway-technical.com/signalling/british-signalling--what.pdf)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: njee20 on February 07, 2019, 09:56:49 AM
There’s a chap on RMWeb who’s writing a book on modern signalling practices for model railways, he’s very fastidious in his replies to this sort of question, so I imagine it’ll be a comprehensive tome!

He’s a NR signalling engineer.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Newportnobby on February 07, 2019, 10:42:04 AM
Thanks All. @nookfield (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7153) I've added that pdf to the Glossary :thankyousign:
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: LAandNQFan on February 07, 2019, 02:06:42 PM
Thinking of Lankyman's expert advice about the level crossing, it occurs to me that you could keep it simple, keep it accurate and justify your scenic break by turning the level crossing into an overbridge.  Sorry if you have your heart set on mechanising the level crossing gates!
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: mickster04 on February 07, 2019, 10:00:33 PM
My heart isn't set on the crossing, I was thinking of just hiding the entrance with some trees :D As for passenger running, DMUs mostly, I'm actually aiming for 70s80 and creeping into 90s with some of my stock. Blue to sectorisation roughly. I can see that this is all a little small to be too prototypical, and half of the signals I might need won't exist in N.

I will probably drop the crossing to simplify things. and from what it sounds like, the signals I have proposed are possible, but the layout doesn't really lend itself to accurate signalling...
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: LAandNQFan on February 07, 2019, 11:38:32 PM
Don't knock yourself out over accuracy - remember that we are modelling.  The art is in giving yourself something which looks convincing, is plausible, and is fun to operate.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Lankyman on February 08, 2019, 09:44:17 PM
Please don't take my comments the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with your layout, i have seen many such in real life. I was just highlighting the problem that the level crossing gives and which, in real life, would have to be considered. You don't have to have a signal immediately on each side of the crossing, these days it would have to be at least 200 yards if it was a colour-light anyway. The platform starter could serve this purpose and, in the opposite direction the protecting signal could be off scene which is what you have depicted. All this means is that every shunt into and out of the yard must have the crossing gates/barriers closed to road traffic. If you intend to do a lot of shunting then that means the road will be closed for long periods so it becomes a road traffic bottleneck. If you think about, for a through train the gates will be closed from the moment the signal is cleared for the train to depart from the platform to it clearing the crossing. In the other direction the gates will be closed from a time before the train reaches the distant signal. wherever that is, until it clears the crossing. This is not a high speed route so trains will be travelling relatively slowly. For a shunt move the gates will be closed from the time a signal is cleared to depart from the yard until the movement returns clear of the crossing.

Unless you are going to model a working level crossing none of this matters because the gates will probably be closed to the road perpetually anyway so Rule 1 applies. Forget about historical accuracy and do it your way and you will find that your trains work fine. Alternatively do what I do with my layout and ignore the signals because I have made my layout too complicated. I can signal it in either colour lights or semaphores but is it simply too complicated and nobody makes the configuration of signals that I would need. In my head I know where the signal would be, what they would look like and how they would function. Remember that in real life many signals are bespoke and the design is a one-off so if you want to model it you will have to scratchbuild it. My previous comments were only made to illustrate the fact that, as you have a level crossing in your design, you will need to take into account of its type and how it works. Every level crossing has its own legal order produced by the Department of Transport which stipulates what type of crossing it is and whether the crossing is normally open for road traffic and closed to rail or vice-versa. It will also stipulate how and when the crossing can be used.

Don't let the detail bog you down, just get on with building your own railway and make your own rules.

Ron
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: mickster04 on February 08, 2019, 10:46:14 PM
Wow. Gotta love this forum. Such a wealth of knowledge! Yeah, I'm dropping the crossing as it would require sacrificing a lot of proximity to protototype. I don't need my. Layout 100%, but I do want it vaguely. Feasible at least, and a level crossing would push that envelope too far I think. Thanks!
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on February 16, 2019, 12:38:19 AM
Great thread and comments everyone and I've learnt something about signalling. Just in passing if you've not seen it, I can recommend: https://signalbox.org/ for historic data and a concise summary of signalling practice.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on January 27, 2020, 09:53:45 AM
Hi all, progress on my layout (Springwood) continues..slowly! Amongst a myriad of other things, I am thinking about signals. It's era 7 (BR blue, TOPS etc). I certainly want some signals, but just can't fully decide whether to go semaphore or colour lights  :hmmm:
As per comments in the prior threads, I am not looking to go to the n'th degree of detail and get it exactly like the real thing, merely after a bit of 'basic' guidance. Would I be ok to post some photos/sketches and try and solicit some help in this regard from you 'experts' out there??
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: mickster04 on January 27, 2020, 09:02:03 PM
Please share your layout :) I would like to see what others are doing :D
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on January 30, 2020, 09:36:02 PM
Didn't really hear much back following my post of a few days ago so thought I would share a few pics and a diagram with my thoughts on 'going semaphore'. Please come back to me with your comments and suggestions and ask away if you have questions! You will see on the diagram I have '??' at the end of the branch bay platform. Really not sure here as a train could proceed straight on and continue on the branch or possibly cross onto the down main. Thank you

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/7301-300120213006.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=86840)


(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/7301-300120213055.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=86841)


(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/7301-300120213135.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=86842)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: njee20 on January 30, 2020, 10:08:42 PM
A layout of that size would basically be one signal block, so you need one signal in each direction, potentially at the end of the platforms, plus one at the end of the bay platform.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 30, 2020, 10:21:12 PM
Colour signals are ok to wire and solder .just need wires, screwdriver, solder, iron, just ask @DarrwestLU6 (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=6745) who kindly helped me wire up my berko eckon signals. How we managed. Semaphore plenty has been put on here but would look good too.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Train Waiting on January 31, 2020, 09:12:08 AM
Hello

That's a very nice-looking layout.

As you asked, for basic signalling, which will look great on this layout, I can make a few suggestions.  Your layout is set around 1980 or so, when there were still a lot of semaphore signals around and many of the track and signal layouts had been simplified.  From your locomotives, this layout does not appear to be set in the Western Region, so the semaphores will be upper quadrant.

I am assuming that branch line services are restricted to locomotive movements and, perhaps, some freight traffic and that there would not be passenger train movements from the main line to the branch platform.

For the up line, a home signal before the facing crossover and a starting signal where you have the up home signal.  The distant would be the other side of the tunnel but if you want a nice yellow signal on show, then put it a little closer to the tunnel mouth, say at the end of the curve, and enjoy the fun of Rule 1.

For the down line, a home signal between the tunnel and the platform, a starting signal where you have the down home signal and an advanced starting signal beyond the facing crossover.  There is not enough space, in my view, for a down distant signal.

This arrangement defines what is known as 'station limits'.  If I'm correct regarding the branch line, entry to it from the main line could be controlled by ground signals beside the points.  For your era, these would be ground disc signals. 

How does that look to you?  If remotely helpful, please say and we can then have a think about the branch line.  If I have misunderstood the possibility of passenger movements to/from the branch line, please say and I'll provide you with a suggestion.

Best wishes.

John

Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 31, 2020, 09:28:50 AM
I share John's thoughts. Scenery and station buildings. The loco shed area are you using a modern kit ? Bh enterprises has a card variety that would not look out of place.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on January 31, 2020, 10:33:16 AM
Thank you, John (Train waiting), very much for your opening comment and guidance - most helpful!
Yes, the intended era is late 70s/early 80s and approx location would be (not surprisingly!) around where I live, which is 10 miles or so NE out of Chester. Mainlines (on the layout) will see the usual variety of passenger and mixed freight activity, depicting services to and from the Warrington/Manchester area to the east and via Chester to the north wales coast in a westerly direction. As the branch line is essentially end-to-end, the intention is to just run a local 2-car DMU sort of 'shuttle' service (see DMU parked at branch station in pic 1 and steam specials. There may be instances when a service needs to join the down line from the bay at the main station.
Note: Any locos running light engine returning to the yard from the mainlines have to use the branch line and crossover at the branch station to enter the yard.
I like your suggestions for the placement of signals and I have revised my sketch diagram - see attached.

Questions:
1. Visually, are a home and advanced starting signal the same?
2. To cater for movements from mainstation branch bay to down main, would I require a home junction signal? As per this link https://www.petersspares.com/ratio-262-junction-or-bracket-home-or-distant-signal-plastic-kit-n-gauge.ir (https://www.petersspares.com/ratio-262-junction-or-bracket-home-or-distant-signal-plastic-kit-n-gauge.ir)
3. Certainly would like to have working signals, but do you think there is any scope to automate??!

4. The attached pic shows 2 signals at my local station - are these both upper quadrant home or would the top photo show an advanced starter?

Thanks again - look forward to hearing from you..and others.


(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/7301-310120102826.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=86851)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 31, 2020, 10:37:05 AM
I f I'm thinking correct Frodsham/ helsby. Plenty of class 20, 25 37  40 47 action. I used berk eckon and cr signals. . Plenty on the market if Google  n gauge semaphore signals⁶
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Train Waiting on January 31, 2020, 02:51:22 PM
Thanks you very much.  Let's start with your questions:


Questions:
1. Visually, are a home and advanced starting signal the same?
2. To cater for movements from mainstation branch bay to down main, would I require a home junction signal? As per this link https://www.petersspares.com/ratio-262-junction-or-bracket-home-or-distant-signal-plastic-kit-n-gauge.ir (https://www.petersspares.com/ratio-262-junction-or-bracket-home-or-distant-signal-plastic-kit-n-gauge.ir)
3. Certainly would like to have working signals, but do you think there is any scope to automate??!

4. The attached pic shows 2 signals at my local station - are these both upper quadrant home or would the top photo show an advanced starter?

(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/86/7301-310120102826.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=86851)

Q1: Yes, home, starting and advanced starting signals look the same.  A red arm with a white band to the front and a white arm with a black band to the rear.  The correct terminology nowadays for one of these signals is a 'stop signal'.  A driver cannot pass one in the 'on' position without authority.  For a stop signal, the on position is with the arm horizontal.  You could also call this signal aspect 'stop'.  The stop signal furthest in advance of the signal box is nowadays called a 'section signal'.  This signal allows a train to proceed into the next block section.  A lot of modelling terminology simply calls a semaphore stop signal a home signal.

Q2: Let's cover this later, if you would like us to consider the branch line.

Q3: Automation is for another ForumFriend to deal with; it's not my thing!

Q4: Thank you for these super photographs!

The signals stuck up on posts are all upper quadrant stop signals.  Upper quadrant means that when the signal is cleared to the 'off' position, the arm is raised about 45o upwards.  By your period, upper quadrant signals were almost universal on BR apart from the Western Region which used lower quadrant signals.  When these are pulled off, the signal arm falls by about the same amount.  The model signals illustrated in your link are lower quadrant stop signals from the Western Region. 

Your first photograph is of interest as it shows the ground disc signals controlling access to the siding and crossover.

Without seeing the location or a signalling diagram, I think the first photograph shows a starting signal and, in the background, a home signal.  As the trailing crossover is in advance of the starting signal, I think there is a good chance that there might be an advanced starting signal ahead, beyond the crossover.

I'm fairly sure that the second photograph shows a starting signal.

As for your revised diagram; I think it is excellent and ideal for your layout.  You could move the down home away from the tunnel and a bit closer to the platform.

I realise that I've rambled on a lot here.  Please let me know of any questions you have and whether or not you wish to think about signalling the branch line.  The really important thing to consider is, when a train is moving from the branch bay platform to the down main, could there be passengers on it?

Best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 31, 2020, 03:02:34 PM
If its helsby theres a good shot on geography.org.uk , google semaphore signals helsby. This is where the the control of the block  section from chester to warrington is. The photo shows another signal controlling exit from ellesmere  port
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Train Waiting on January 31, 2020, 07:15:35 PM
If its Helsby...

Thank you very much for this.  I don't know much about the Birkenhead Joint.

But with your kind guidance as to the location, I have found the signalling diagram:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4761/40305624151_e44c1a56b1_b.jpg

I am relieved to see that there is indeed a signal in advance, after the trailing crossover.

An interesting location; I notice that the junction signals are now two separate semaphores (on the 'wrong' side of the line for sighting reasons) which is fairly typical of recent renewal work.

I'll have a look for pictures of the lever frame which, I expect, will be of LNWR origin with front 'drop handle' catches.

Thanks again and best wishes.

John



Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on January 31, 2020, 07:39:36 PM
Yes, Helsby is my local station and indeed where I live! Frodsham (not Fordham!) is the next station along, travelling east. We have a lovely signal box on the 'V' of the junction, dating from around 1849 and it does have an  original 45 lever London and North Western Railway Tumbler frame.

Robin
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 31, 2020, 07:40:46 PM
Google helsby railway map then see Cheshire area railway services john. Plenty of dmus. Class 25, 20, 37, 40 and 47 plus odd 45 llandudno manchester mk1 haulage plus stanlow oil tanks, vda van vba for port sunlight and bennington south wirral and Dee peninsula. Plus diverted shotton steel could trains would have used the line
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 31, 2020, 07:46:25 PM
Google helsby signal box theres an excellent signalling diagram. Chris
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on January 31, 2020, 08:05:46 PM
John (Train waiting) has already given us a link to it!
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on January 31, 2020, 08:08:26 PM
Yes also other useful pieces of info. Wish your project well
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on February 05, 2020, 03:43:20 PM
Please let me know of any questions you have and whether or not you wish to think about signalling the branch line.  The really important thing to consider is, when a train is moving from the branch bay platform to the down main..

John, certainly could do with help on signalling the branch line! Had an exchange of emails and a brief telecon with the technical chap at Peco, but without much success! The easy bit is a starter at the branchline station itself to allow trains to exit the station. The 'problem' area is what to do at the end of the bay (on the mainline station)..I am told that as there is a trailling point involved, I could not have a bracketed starter signal to control trains leaving to continue down the branch line or diverging onto the down main.  :hmmm:

Can anyone help me here. Clearly I don't want to end up with a 'forest' of signals..it needs to be really simplified - particularly as I might try and mechanise them. Thank you
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on February 05, 2020, 04:28:30 PM
You planning to use colour light or semaphore please ?
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on February 05, 2020, 07:44:13 PM
semaphore
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: DarrwestLU6 on February 05, 2020, 08:18:10 PM
Hi @springwood (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=7301) - you mentioned working semaphores, you have two options:

1 - Easy option - Buy Dapol upper quadrant home and distant signals - pricey but work well. Requires a 12v DC supply to the semaphore, and a push-to-make switch to make it move to on or off. https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/motorised-signals (https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/motorised-signals) - you can pick them up for less than shown on the Dapol website at your favourite retailer, e.g. Hattons sell them for £27.50: https://hattonshobbies.com/products/signal-motorised-lms-home-upper-quadrant-ex-nsign3?variant=12516094115934 (https://hattonshobbies.com/products/signal-motorised-lms-home-upper-quadrant-ex-nsign3?variant=12516094115934)

One thing to note- Make sure you follow the NEW instructions: https://www.dapol.co.uk/index.php?route=blog/post&post_id=37 (https://www.dapol.co.uk/index.php?route=blog/post&post_id=37)

2 - Harder option, if you have more experience with modelling, slightly cheaper - build the signals using kits (many available) and automate using a wire and servo hidden below the baseboard. Many kits available. See for example: https://www.heathcote-electronics.co.uk/servo.html (https://www.heathcote-electronics.co.uk/servo.html)

Hope that is useful.
Regards
Darren
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on February 05, 2020, 08:23:30 PM
Maybe a home starter signal at the end of the platform
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Train Waiting on February 05, 2020, 09:28:36 PM
The 'problem' area is what to do at the end of the bay (on the mainline station)..I am told that as there is a trailling point involved, I could not have a bracketed starter signal to control trains leaving to continue down the branch line or diverging onto the down main.  :hmmm:

Who told you this, please?

Will there be passenger movements onto the main line from the bay or just light engines, goods trains and empty stock?  Your answer to this is important for the type of signal likely to be used.

Best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: springwood on February 05, 2020, 10:28:02 PM

Who told you this, please?

Will there be passenger movements onto the main line from the bay..?
Hi John,

It was the technical dept at Peco (i.e. Andrew Beard).
Despite my explaining things clearly and in some detail, his email responses were quite the opposite and very brief..so much so that they immediately prompted further questions! He offered to speak to me on the phone - and we did - but again he was economical with his words of advice and didn't have a lot of time for me. Consequently, I came away more confused!

In answer to your question re passenger movements, have to say I am not 100% sure, but I think I would have to keep the option open to have such movements, albeit they will be few and far between. Big question, what difference does it make to the signalling?
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Train Waiting on February 06, 2020, 09:43:03 AM
Super, Robin, thank you.

Peco are normally very helpful and Mr Beard is certainly knowledgeable.  In this case he maybe does not have a full appreciation of what you are trying to achieve.

No Passenger Train Movements from the Bay Platform to the Down Main Line
Please imagine you are in the cab of your favourite locomotive and it is standing close to the buffer stops in the bay platform.  You walk to the other end of the locomotive and are ready for a journey along the branch line.  The branch starting signal is a simple upper quadrant semaphore, situated just beyond the facing crossover to the down main (you quoted Peco calling this a trailing point):

The easy bit is a starter at the branchline station itself to allow trains to exit the station. The 'problem' area is what to do at the end of the bay (on the mainline station)..I am told that as there is a trailling point involved, I could not have a bracketed starter signal to control trains leaving to continue down the branch line or diverging onto the down main.

In this direction (down the branch line) it is actually a facing crossover.

The signal clears and your driver gives a toot on the horn.  Taking power, the locomotives approaches the crossover and you notice a little ground signal situated to the side of it (your driver might call this a 'tommy dot', tommy dod', or if a Southern man, a 'dummy') which controls movements over the crossover.  This is fine as these are non-passenger movements.

The locomotive passes the starting signal and enters the section.  At a place of your choosing, either before or after the tunnel (the joy of a model railway!) you notice the driver shutting off power and you then pass a distant signal in the 'on' position.  Looking at the signal, you observe that it has only a yellow aspect glass.  Noticing your look of surprise, the driver says, "That's a fixed distant signal and can't pull 'off'."  A couple of minutes later you come to a stop at the signal protecting the branch line terminus.

Let's leave the signalling of the terminus until later to give you time to work out how it will be operated.

Leaving the terminus in the up direction. you will again pass a fixed distant signal at a place of your choosing, either before or after the tunnel.  Signals are pretty things on a model railway and you can choose an arrangement that looks pleasing to the eye.  A few minutes later, you come to the branch up home signal, situated before the crossover and before the branch down starting signal.  When the signaller observes the driver has the train well under control, s/he clears the branch home signal and you run slowly into the bay platform, stopping clear of the buffer stop.

Passenger Train Movements from the Bay Platform to the Down Main Line 

Almost the same as before except that there would be two starting signals before the facing crossover.  These could be arranged as a bracket semaphore signal, with the higher arm for the most important route and the lower arm for the lesser route (sometimes, both routes are of the same importance and the two arms are at the same height).  You can choose what arrangement you like although I'd be inclined to make the arm controlling access to the down main line the highest.  To make the signal operation much easier, as this is a fairly modern layout, you could have two simple semaphore signals, located side by side, as at your local station.

I hope this helps and should be glad to discuss.

Best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: flyingsignalman on February 06, 2020, 10:43:44 AM
Yes, Helsby is my local station and indeed where I live! Frodsham (not Fordham!) is the next station along, travelling east. We have a lovely signal box on the 'V' of the junction, dating from around 1849 and it does have an  original 45 lever London and North Western Railway Tumbler frame.

Robin

Regarding Frodsham Junction signal box; it was opened in the early years of the 20th century and is a LNWR type 5 ( Helsby is a type 4).
The lever frame was replaced last year by a panel in connection with the reopening of the line to Runcorn.
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on February 06, 2020, 10:47:15 AM
The halton curve chord linking Chester to liverpool
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: swisstrains on February 06, 2020, 11:32:09 AM
If its Helsby...

Thank you very much for this.  I don't know much about the Birkenhead Joint.

But with your kind guidance as to the location, I have found the signalling diagram:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4761/40305624151_e44c1a56b1_b.jpg

I am relieved to see that there is indeed a signal in advance, after the trailing crossover.

An interesting location; I notice that the junction signals are now two separate semaphores (on the 'wrong' side of the line for sighting reasons) which is fairly typical of recent renewal work.

I'll have a look for pictures of the lever frame which, I expect, will be of LNWR origin with front 'drop handle' catches.

Thanks again and best wishes.

John





Hi John. Surprisingly I don't think Helsby ever had a "proper" bracket junction signal. From the very early days it always seems to have been two separate signals, initially with high level repeater arms. In my youth they were a lovely pair of tall latticework posts with repeater arms. Always difficult to fit them in a photo. :D
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: swisstrains on February 06, 2020, 02:46:22 PM
Apologies to Robin for partially hijacking his thread but I have found this photo in my collection:
40106 on Manchester-Bangor working. 26th February 1982.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/193-060220143801.jpeg)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: crewearpley40 on February 06, 2020, 02:56:50 PM
Is your photo of a location on the warrington to Chester line please?



robin



just if interested heres a link or two :


https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/signalling-in-chester-surrounding-areas.194184/ (https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/signalling-in-chester-surrounding-areas.194184/)



https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6197099 (https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6197099)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/43709405@N07/38491459010 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/43709405@N07/38491459010)

https://www.roscalen.com/signals/Helsby/index.htm (https://www.roscalen.com/signals/Helsby/index.htm)
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: Train Waiting on February 06, 2020, 07:43:47 PM

Hi John. Surprisingly I don't think Helsby ever had a "proper" bracket junction signal. From the very early days it always seems to have been two separate signals, initially with high level repeater arms. In my youth they were a lovely pair of tall latticework posts with repeater arms. Always difficult to fit them in a photo. :D

Very many thanks for this and your subsequent photograph.  Perhaps it was the height of the repeater arms, due to the bridge and the curve, that was the reason for the separate signal posts.  This is an excellent example of the variations in signalling practice required due to specific locations.  More recent semaphore installations tend towards simple installations, but your photograph shows that this was also the case (perhaps for very different reasons) in earlier practice.  One assumes that the lampman had nerves of steel; not a job for someone with a fear of heights.

I wonder if the present day arrangement has banner repeaters the other side of the overbridge.

Thanks, again, for this.

All best wishes.

John
Title: Re: Please help me signal my layout
Post by: swisstrains on February 06, 2020, 09:11:06 PM

Hi John. Surprisingly I don't think Helsby ever had a "proper" bracket junction signal. From the very early days it always seems to have been two separate signals, initially with high level repeater arms. In my youth they were a lovely pair of tall latticework posts with repeater arms. Always difficult to fit them in a photo. :D

Very many thanks for this and your subsequent photograph.  Perhaps it was the height of the repeater arms, due to the bridge and the curve, that was the reason for the separate signal posts.  This is an excellent example of the variations in signalling practice required due to specific locations.  More recent semaphore installations tend towards simple installations, but your photograph shows that this was also the case (perhaps for very different reasons) in earlier practice.  One assumes that the lampman had nerves of steel; not a job for someone with a fear of heights.

I wonder if the present day arrangement has banner repeaters the other side of the overbridge.

Thanks, again, for this.

All best wishes.

John

I'm not 100% sure about the banner repeaters but I don't think so. The only obvious change to the layman since my photo was taken is that the UP distant is now a colour light. Could the change in traffic flows over the years have made the high level repeaters unnecessary? Most passenger trains now stop at Helsby and are DMU's. Hardly any freight.
Many of Helsby's signals have been pruned in recent years. Even the DOWN starters had a bit of height to them originally.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/87/193-060220204600.jpeg)
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