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Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:50 pm
by abenn
I'm in the process of assembling a Ratio signal box to add a bit of interest to my N-gauge layout, and the kit provides a lot of internal detail. The box will be located at a junction between my main line and a branch line. The main line is deemed to be to modern standards, with colour light signalling and remote-controlled points, but the branch line still has a couple of semaphore signals and a set of points deemed to be operated mechanically by the signal box.

The box has provision for a large number of levers, but in my scenario only about four are needed. So my question is, what would normally be done with the redundant levers when a line is modernised? Would they simply be locked off somehow and painted white, or would they be physically removed from the frame?

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:31 pm
by luckymucklebackit
Painted white and left in the frame. For the scenario that you are modelling, you should really have a brick relay room attached to the side of the old box.

Jim

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:26 pm
by abenn
Thanks Jim. Yes, I'll make a brick relay room to go with it.

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:43 am
by stuartp
If there are still mechanical points and signals left then it's likely that the frame is still being used to control the main line as well with the levers working colour light signals and motor points. Paint them as you would for semaphore but cut the handles down to half height so you can only get a one-handed grip on the lever. And yes, any spares left after that painted white and left in the frame.

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:55 pm
by abenn
That's an interesting insight stuartp. I had thought that all motorised points and colour light signals would be operated from a remote control centre, or is that only the case when there are no mechanical signals and points remaining? So my box could be controlling all the points and signals, of whatever vintage, in its vicinity?

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:56 am
by stuartp
A lot depends on the region and the date the signalling system was upgraded. The first couple of boxes I worked were track circuit block (TCB) on a single line, converted from double track in the late 50s. It was all colour lights and motor points, but worked from the original lever frames. The levers in this case were sinply acting as massive switches, the only mechanical linkages were the detonator placers. The junction at one end (Barnsley Station Junction) was TCB coming off our branch, again worked from the lever frame, but absolute block on the main line with a mixture of semaphore signals in one direction and colour lights in the other, and all mechanical points. The box next door (Jumble Lane) was a mixture of colour lights and semaphore, with motor points. The levers working colour lights/motor points had the handles cut down so we couldn't get a two handed swing.

Panels tended to appear where a whole area was converted to TCB and the intermediate boxes removed, all the boxes mentioned above were replaced with a new box at Barnsley in 1998 with an NX panel and new signals. Otherwise, especially in BR days, rationalisation often involved taking bits away and adapting what was left rather than complete replacement.

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:43 pm
by abenn
Thanks for taking time for that explanation. So my box is going to get a full complement of levers, some with cut down handles, and quite a few painted white.

BTW, just out of interest, what was the issue about not getting a two-handed grip on the levers operating modern equipment? Was that simply to prevent you pulling a muscle when the resistance of the lever was not what you expected? And, again out of interest, how did the levers cope with 3-or 4-aspect colour light signals? Was it separate levers for the green and the yellow, with red being the default when they levers are all the same position?

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:25 pm
by Bufferstop
The yellows are powered electrically from relays connected to the home (red) signal in the next block, and the one after that in the case of four aspect signals. Powering the red operated the relay which would open circuit the yellow, and the following one for four aspect.

Re: Signal box redundant levers

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:06 am
by abenn
Of course, silly me! Thanks Bufferstop.