overly complicated point work in old photos

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Michaelaface
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overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby Michaelaface » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:18 pm

was wondering if anyone could give me an answer or reason for this, I've noticed in a lot of old photos and layouts that accurately replicate a prototype there are a lot of points where I just can't work out their reason for being there, at first I thought maybe the avoidance of facing points, but that'll only explain a few

for example, this picture of leeds station (from the david heys website)

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there's a section in the middle where a right hand turnout goes into a 3-way and then into a double slip, but the routing seems to be duplicated about 3 times here, without the space to fit much on the track in between, why was it built like this?

now I know since this picture the layout of the whole place has been changed and is now very simple, does that mean it was unnecessary in the first place or?

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glencairn
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby glencairn » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:41 pm

I think there are seventeen platforms at Leeds City Station and trains can use them all using the pointwork to and from the up and down lines. The complicated pointwork was necessary in the steam era (I believe) so steam engines could get to the turntable to turn round.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby luckymucklebackit » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:43 pm

Can't quite work out the logic of that formation, but some complicated pointwork with duplicated routes was common to provide parallel routes through junctions, Glasgow Central is a good present day example of this.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:57 pm

There's an argument to be had that some of it might have been unnecessary. The victorians had some funny ideas about a lot of things, everyone knows about covering piano legs, but it spread to railways too; valve gear and motion on locos was almost always covered up, they liked to ballast track so you couldn't see the sleepers in some areas, and they did like nice flowing trackwork. If that meant a more complicated double slip as opposed to a simpler but more "ugly" ladder of points, so be it.

However, a lot of it would have been for operational reasons. Back in steam days of course there had to be more provision for running round of trains. Trains would also be re-marshalled far more frequently than today, with portions being added or taken off by other engines to-ing and fro-ing, not to mention freight trains and shunting thereof, especially pickup goods. Essentially it provided a lot more flexibility in days when it was needed. Much of it is not necessary these days so arrangements have been simplified to suit modern needs, but it doesn't mean it was unnecessarily convoluted to begin with.
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Michaelaface
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby Michaelaface » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:12 pm

another example this one from lincoln central, can't find a clear real life shot, but this modeled example appears to be accurate, why is that crossing needed?

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https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/4887-lincoln-central-station/

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Bufferstop
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:18 pm

Parallel routes, demands parallel crossovers, with multiple heavily trafficked routes it had to be possible for two trains on parallel tracks to cross over to parallel lines out of the junction without conflict. Even if platforms were reserved for up and down movements, it would still have been necessary for empty stock to have been brought in "wrong direction". Victorian engineers would have seen it as a failure make two moves if they could do it in one by adding an extra turnout or crossing. Before the sixties a single line of double slips would connect multiple tracks. Double slips and scissors crossovers were a nightmare to provide with overhead line. So they were simplified into ladders of crossovers, and pairs of crossovers in opposite directions.
Once they had done the electrification, the cost benefits of making up crossings and junctions from standard turnouts had been seen it started to become standard practise for any remodelling. Got chapter and verse on it from some of the electrification engineers when we had to liaise with them to shift telephone cables out of the way of their bridge raising.
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luckymucklebackit
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby luckymucklebackit » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:40 pm

A good place to check out old track diagrams is here https://signalbox.org/diagrams.php some superb old diagrams

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stuartp
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby stuartp » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:01 am

As the others have said - parallel routes, lots of light engine and attach/detatch movements (requiring even more parallel routes so that one movement doesn't tie up half the station) and absolute block signalling. The latter isn't a limiting factor as such but it meant that shunting movements were more efficient if kept under the control of one signalman.

Also, manpower to design install and maintain complex pointwork was cheap and plentiful (compared to today), so why not ? Nothing to do with piano legs.
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stuartp
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby stuartp » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:22 am

Michaelaface wrote:another example this one from lincoln central, can't find a clear real life shot, but this modeled example appears to be accurate, why is that crossing needed?


The layout of that crossing has changed a bit over the years, latterly it was a simple main/main crossover, prior to that it was as your photo but with a single slip in place of the diamond, functioning as a main/main and platform line/main crossover. My guess would be that the additional leg allowed a loco coming of a train in the left hand platform line to cross over to run round without having to run over High Street LC (top of pic) to access the main/main crossover. Lincoln Central was an extremely cramped site for the amount of station they managed to squeeze in there.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... 7386_1.jpg
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6C
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Re: overly complicated point work in old photos

Postby 6C » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:30 pm

One simple point is that the railway was hugely busier then - with much less double-ended trains - Multiple Units etc.

The pilot engine was much in evidence then - shuttling all over the place - a large through station like Leeds would have pilot engines at both ends - adding coaches and vans and shunting parcels stock around incessantly - and those engines may be the only ones that used some of the pointwork seen.
I think the idea was that nowhere was inaccessible from anywhere else on the station site.
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