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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment

You are here: Home > Forum > General > General questions, comments, and issues > Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment

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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 11:45 #139747
bugsy
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I've just been reading about the refurbishment of the Grade 11 listed Shrewsbury signal box.

It has 180 levers in it. How many signallers would operate this box and would they need to learn what every lever does?

Everything that you make will be useful - providing it's made of chocolate.
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 12:02 #139748
TUT
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Are you thinking of Severn Bridge Junction?

Two at least in its heyday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvhWHYX_lNE

Yes of course you'd need to learn the whole frame, although of course you've got a box diagram and lever leads showing the pull sequence so you have that there to refer to if signalling a very unusual move. But of course all the regular movements will quickly become second nature so that you could do them with your eyes closed.

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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 12:08 #139749
jc92
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Its double manned except on Sundays and possibly nights. It has 180 but only about 80 are actually in use. Im fairly sure crewe junction has more working levers, but they're more conveniently spaced!

As TUT says. The diagrams show what everything does, but after a while it becomes second nature anyway. After a short while working exeter west I could remember what pretty much ever lever was and did and there's about 120.

"We don't stop camborne wednesdays"
Last edited: 27/05/2021 at 12:11 by jc92
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 12:58 #139751
bugsy
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Do they also communicate with adjacent boxes using AB system or has modern technology taken over?
Everything that you make will be useful - providing it's made of chocolate.
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 13:11 #139752
jc92
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Still absolute block on all lines with block bells, just BR penquins nowadays though rather than the old LNWR tombstones.

I wonder if the needle and pin train desriber is still in there or not.

"We don't stop camborne wednesdays"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 13:30 #139753
TUT
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bugsy in post 139751 said:
Do they also communicate with adjacent boxes using AB system or has modern technology taken over?
Just a point of interest, it's worth mentioning that block bell communication does not necessarily mean AB and even AB does not necessarily always mean communication by block bell.

Indeed, in the old days, track circuit block with train description by block bell was quite common and block bells were often provided for emergency communication (obstruction danger, train or vehicles proceeding without authority etc.) and as a fallback system for train description. A lot of the old power boxes did have block bells for communicating with adjacent signal boxes when necessary.

Also AB can be done over the telephone during failure modes. I'm not aware of any AB boxes which do not have block bells, but I happen to have experience of a box that works electric token block without bells.

Last edited: 27/05/2021 at 13:31 by TUT
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 15:23 #139754
elltrain3
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Severn Bridge Works AB On:
Up & Dn Hereford to Sutton Bridge Jn
Up & Down No2 Main To Abbey Foregate
Up & Down Bays To Abbey Foregate
Up Main Platform/Down Main Platform To Crewe Jn
Up Main/Down Main To Crewe Jn
UP & Down Platform To Crewe Jn With Acceptance levers

and In Its Heyday it was operated with 3 people in the day and 2 on the night shift with 1 "booking lad"
Nowadays though its 2 in the day and 1 at night I belive an sadly no "booking lad"

and the needle TD's are still in both Crewe Jn & Severn Bridge Jn Though sadly no longer used

"The Out-of-control Host"
Last edited: 27/05/2021 at 15:25 by elltrain3
Reason: adding more text

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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 18:06 #139755
jc92
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TUT in post 139753 said:

A lot of the old power boxes did have block bells for communicating with adjacent signal boxes when necessary.
A lot still do. Doncaster has one to Maltby colliery which can be used for emergencies or for description purposes if the regular deacriber fails.

The only railway I can think of which works AB without bells (failures exempted) is the RH&DR which handles block messages via radio and telephone. They also don't have instruments, or certainly didn't last time I visited.

"We don't stop camborne wednesdays"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 19:21 #139756
clive
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jc92 in post 139755 said:
TUT in post 139753 said:

A lot of the old power boxes did have block bells for communicating with adjacent signal boxes when necessary.
A lot still do. Doncaster has one to Maltby colliery which can be used for emergencies or for description purposes if the regular deacriber fails.
Donny has one to Peterborough.

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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 19:34 #139757
elltrain3
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Eggington Jc - Derby PSB also had one, (though not sure if the bell was retained following Derby PSBs abolition to the EMCC)
"The Out-of-control Host"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 20:51 #139758
Steamer
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elltrain3 in post 139754 said:

and In Its Heyday it was operated with 3 people in the day and 2 on the night shift with 1 "booking lad"
Nowadays though its 2 in the day and 1 at night I belive an sadly no "booking lad"
Does make me wonder where the last 'booking lad' (or Train Recorder as I believe the formal term was?) worked? I can't think of any locations which are busy enough these days to justify one.

I'm speaking in the traditional sense of the role in an a mechanical box, not clerks in PSBs and the like.

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 20:57 #139759
Splodge
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A few modern IECC style boxes have block bells too - Manchester East to Dinting for example
There's the right way, the wrong way and the railway.
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 21:04 #139760
headshot119
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Splodge in post 139759 said:
A few modern IECC style boxes have block bells too - Manchester East to Dinting for example
It's quite bizarre standing behind the workstation at Manchester East, then hearing the ding of bells.

"Passengers for New Lane, should be seated in the rear coach of the train " - Opinions are my own and not those of my employer
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 21:09 #139761
jc92
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Splodge in post 139759 said:
A few modern IECC style boxes have block bells too - Manchester East to Dinting for example
Barnham is the same. Computer workstation with a Block instrument to Bognor Regis.

York PSB was another curious example that worked AB to Burton lane (or bootham when BL was switched out), but TCB from them, hence the inner north panel having a block bell and instrument built into the panel itself. If you watch "this is York" you can hear it if you listen carefully at one point.

"We don't stop camborne wednesdays"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 27/05/2021 at 21:50 #139762
elltrain3
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Steamer in post 139758 said:
elltrain3 in post 139754 said:

and In Its Heyday it was operated with 3 people in the day and 2 on the night shift with 1 "booking lad"
Nowadays though its 2 in the day and 1 at night I belive an sadly no "booking lad"
Does make me wonder where the last 'booking lad' (or Train Recorder as I believe the formal term was?) worked? I can't think of any locations which are busy enough these days to justify one.

I'm speaking in the traditional sense of the role in an a mechanical box, not clerks in PSBs and the like.

I wonder if the Stockport boxes (Nos 1 & 2) were some of the last? I think I recall from the SRS "Sounds Of Stockport" that they retained them well into the 80s though not sure how much further they stayed. So I'd hazard a guess at around the early 90s?

though Banbury North chose to retain manual TRBs but I suspect most "busy" boxes were made to abolish them in aid of computer recording, as saves a whole lot of money.

"The Out-of-control Host"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 28/05/2021 at 03:50 #139764
Hawk777
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If an IECC uses bells and block instruments for a fringe, are those integrated into the electronic display (e.g. bell operated by the trackball buttons), or is it a separate traditional wooden box sitting on the desk?
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 28/05/2021 at 07:37 #139765
jc92
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Hawk777 in post 139764 said:
If an IECC uses bells and block instruments for a fringe, are those integrated into the electronic display (e.g. bell operated by the trackball buttons), or is it a separate traditional wooden box sitting on the desk?
Harrogate workstation has a Block instrument next to the workstation, albeit the block section isn't worked from the workstation itself.

Barnham has a Separate Bell and instrument (or certainly did on commissioning)

Manchester East has the block indicator and tapper built into the screen. Not sure about the bell. Headshot will doubtless confirm.

"We don't stop camborne wednesdays"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 28/05/2021 at 10:23 #139767
headshot119
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Manchester East has the needle and commutator built into the screens; you click a button adjacent to the line clear roundel to move the block to line clear, akin to turning the commutator. The tapper is a physical button built into a small plinth under the screens which also contains other buttons for things like the TD alarm, and emergency alarms to other adjacent locations.

I can't remember which box it's linked to, but there's a block bell and tapper which sits on the desk between the two duplicated workstations, it's used as an emergency alarm.

"Passengers for New Lane, should be seated in the rear coach of the train " - Opinions are my own and not those of my employer
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 28/05/2021 at 10:27 #139768
elltrain3
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headshot119 in post 139767 said:


I can't remember which box it's linked to, but there's a block bell and tapper which sits on the desk between the two duplicated workstations, it's used as an emergency alarm.
There are still the odd "signal boxes" in the area like Diggle jn/ Baguley Fold (panel)/ Denton Junc it could be connected too?

"The Out-of-control Host"
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 28/05/2021 at 11:38 #139770
Splodge
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Or possibly Ashton Moss when it existed
There's the right way, the wrong way and the railway.
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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 28/05/2021 at 12:17 #139772
Ron_J
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Hawk777 in post 139764 said:
If an IECC uses bells and block instruments for a fringe, are those integrated into the electronic display (e.g. bell operated by the trackball buttons), or is it a separate traditional wooden box sitting on the desk?
The ultimate technology clash was the Westcad workstation/Tyer’s Electric Key Token combo at Nairn -


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Shrewsbury Signal box refurbishment 29/05/2021 at 14:52 #139780
elltrain3
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[/quote] Does make me wonder where the last 'booking lad' (or Train Recorder as I believe the formal term was?) worked? I can't think of any locations which are busy enough these days to justify one.

I'm speaking in the traditional sense of the role in an a mechanical box, not clerks in PSBs and the like.[/quote]

After asking the wonderful world of Facebook it appears Stockport No2 had the last booker and they retired in 2004!
so only 17 years ago!

"The Out-of-control Host"
Last edited: 29/05/2021 at 14:53 by elltrain3
Reason: Can't fix quoteing :P)

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