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Author Topic: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)  (Read 1073 times)

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Offline Vigo

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Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« on: October 30, 2018, 06:00:05 PM »
Looking at the number of 'Help Me' posts in this section it seems I'm not alone here. Somewhere there must be a definitive guide to the what goes where but not necessarily the why of railway signalling. There must be but I can't find it.

Many times I've come across this conundrum and many times I've had to either sit through boring lectures by retired signalmen on blocks, tokens, feathers and other meaningless words or been subjected to posts on forums comprising an unabridged history of signalling from the very beginning of time when all I want to know is 'where should I put this ****** signal'?

I don't need to know why, just where and what kind. It should be simple enough I would've thought..... but I'm still no wiser.


Which brings me nicely to the point of this post.

Knowing that I'm 'into trains' as he so delightfully put it, one of my work colleagues handed me a scruffy hand drawn scribble the other night, saying "can you put some signals on this for me and make it work?"



I've redrawn it a bit more neatly so it's a bit easier to understand. Ignore the numbers, they were points but we changed them.



Unfortunately my simple answer at the moment is No but I'm determined not to be beaten so I thought I'd give you chaps a shot at it. Any thoughts?

Ideally I'd like some kind hearted soul to take the bottom diagram and mark on it what needs to go where. It's not that I'm lazy or anything like that, it's just that I think signalling is a black art that you either get or you don't. In my case I don't.

Please help   :helpneededsign:
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Offline Bob G

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 06:27:06 PM »
Hi there

Just three starter/home signals at the end of each platform on the way out of the platform. That's all you need.
Maybe another home signal just before the overbridge, and another facingthe station between teh bridge and the station, but the real blocks between signals would have been longer than the layout.

If coloured lights, then two aspect red/green lights = home signal.

Ground discs, now that's another story.

Bob

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Offline mickster04

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 08:49:21 PM »
Does anyone know who maintains signalbox.org? no new layouts in a while, I'm vaguely concerned?

Offline Steven B

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2018, 09:00:20 AM »
If coloured lights, then two aspect red/green lights = home signal.

Maybe in the early days, but when multiple aspect signalling was introduced (i.e. adding a third and forth yellow lamp to the signal) then you wouldn't see red and green together. Red and yellow would be seen together.


Online njee20

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2018, 09:24:53 AM »
You still see two aspect red/green signals now... You do also get red/yellow, for example the last signal before a terminating station will be red/yellow, but it's not a given.

Obviously two aspect signals are much less common than 3 and 4 on the network today, mind.

Online longbow

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2018, 09:39:10 AM »
As above, plus a bracket signal with main and subsidiary homes placed before the pair of main line crossovers to control access from the blue line into main and bay platforms. Plus ground signals to control movements between sidings and main lines/bay platform, and reversing movements across the main line crossover.

Access to the coal yard via the bay platform would make operation awkward as shunting would not be possible whilst the bay was occupied. And access to the lower yard would normally be via a trailing crossover for safety reasons.

Offline Bob G

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 10:12:00 AM »
If coloured lights, then two aspect red/green lights = home signal.

Maybe in the early days, but when multiple aspect signalling was introduced (i.e. adding a third and forth yellow lamp to the signal) then you wouldn't see red and green together. Red and yellow would be seen together.

I grew up with four aspect signalling in the 1960s in Portsmouth so I know what the issue is. I'm just trying to make it simple for the OP.
Bob

Offline scott1983

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2020, 10:27:47 PM »
Hi Vigo,

In order to signal a layout you must first decide 'operationally' what you want rail vehicles to be able to do, there is no definitive way to signal any track, there are just rules and equipment that govern how the movement of rail vehicles is achieved safely.

For instance if you were to come out of a depot track heading 'outbound' on an 'inbound' line there must be a reason to do this, i.e. you want to come out of the depot to head 'inbound', for this move you would need the following

1. A controlled exit signal
2. A limit of shunt on the 'inbound' line

As the Limit of shunt is always displaying a Danger aspect, the controlled signal must have an ability display a cautionary aspect indicating to the driver that the next signal is set to Danger, normally the depot exit would provide access to both inbound and outbound lines.  Therefore if the controlled exit signal was a 2 aspect Red/ Green;

3. For the outbound line a green proceed aspect would be shown
4. For the 'inbound' line a red Danger + subsidiary would be shown.

The key to placing signals, blocks and all the other trackside stuff starts with knowing where the 'trains' need to go!

Kind regards

Scott

Offline PLD

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 07:49:53 AM »
Three vital questions, that all previous response have made (different) assumptions for:

  • What era? - in the early days, signalling was basic or non-existent, increasing in complexity over time to mid 20th century then tending to simplify.
  • Where is the location - everyone is assuming UK? The GWR tended to signal every possible movement, other companies much less
  • What is the usage of each section of track? Which lines carry passenger services, which are freight only? are the sidings each side of the main through lines both goods yards or is one a loco depot?

Offline Bealman

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2020, 08:14:52 AM »
The original post is almost two years old. I'm wondering if it may have been solved!
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Online njee20

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2020, 08:17:36 AM »
Just to say this is a 2 year old thread. Scott - it’s very helpful to go back through the old signalling threads with input, but you may not get many responses.

FWIW Simon Paley has written a book called  “Colour Light Signalling for Model Railways” or something. It’s quite involved, but well written. 

Edit: beaten by Bealman.

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2020, 08:19:46 AM »

Offline Vigo

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2020, 08:35:12 AM »
Thanks for the responses even after all this time.
As suspected, the original plan for which this question was asked has been shelved but it's still interesting or useful to have this as a resource.

Cheers everyone.
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Offline scott1983

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Re: Signalling for dummies (ie Me)
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2020, 01:01:06 PM »
All,

Obviously I starting replying before realising the date but I though I might as well continue, hopefully it helps people trying to signal using prototypical signalling.  I will always try and create a much realism as possible on my layout due to me being a Railway Signal Engineer, sometimes space however causes one to condense some signalling schemes.

If anybody would like any further information than let me know.

Kind regards

Scott

 

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