Bethesda Sidings

Discussion in 'Entries' started by Captain Kernow, 25 April 2017.

  1. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    I must admit to having been tempted, CK..despite my previous three unsuccessful attempts to secure a usable example.

    I reserve judgement but note that the reduced prices remain in place until the 31st December....

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  2. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I think it must be a question of time-dilation affecting the variable infinity matrix of the time-space continuum, Geoff.

    Personally, I blame the sprouts.
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  3. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    I think it must be a question of time-dilation affecting the variable infinity matrix of the time-space continuum, Geoff.

    Now why didn't I think of that, I just knew there had to be a simple explanation Tim :rolleyes:

    Merry Christmas,
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  4. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    And a Merry Christmas to you, Geoff and everyone else on here.

    PS. The second Hattons/DJM 14XX is trying to trick me. It's pretending to run better.

    I don't trust it.
    AJC likes this.
  5. Geoff

    Geoff Western Thunderer

    PS. The second Hattons/DJM 14XX is trying to trick me. It's pretending to run better.

    Are you going to blame the sprouts for that as well, or have you been taking something stronger? ;)

    simond likes this.
  6. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I think I'm going to have to issue a comprehensive denial of everything, but the 14XX did actually perform in a semi-civilised manner on my AMR slow-speed hand-held controller last night, which is the ultimate measure for me of how a loco runs.

    Sufficiently well, for the moment, that I have now put one of the Vale of Radnor Light Railway locos on the circle of track to run in, a Hornby Sentinel with outside rods purchased secondhand earlier this year.
    Geoff likes this.
  7. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    I recently bought one of the Michael Clemens series of DVDs, based on his father Jim Clemens' cine footage shot in the 1960s. This one covered 'Rural Herefordshire' and showed the workings of the Kington and Presteigne branch goods in some detail. It was really good stuff and very inspiring, because these workings would have been extended through to Bethesda Sidings in my alternative reality.

    There was one thing that puzzled me, though. The branch was freight only by the early 1960s, when this footage was taken, but was otherwise 'fully operational'. Mr Clemens accompanied a typical working along the branch (and clearly visited by car on other occasions for 'infill' shots).

    The train in question seems to have run past Kington Jct signal box at Leominster without slowing down to accept the One Train Working Staff for the single line, but has then stopped just around the corner, clear of the main line junction, for the guard to lay three detonators 'to protect the train while it's down the branch'.

    On the return working, the train stops to pick the detonators up again and then slows at the signal box for the footplate crew to hand the One Train Working Staff over.

    Whilst I can accept that the OTW staff may have been handed to the crew in the yard at Leominster on the outward trip (although that's not too credible) and whilst I can also accept that Mr Clemens may actually have filmed the trip on separate occasions (ie. the returning trip was not the same as the outward one he filmed), what I don't understand is why it was necessary to lay detonators at the main line junction 'to protect the branch?'

    Surely the signal man has 'protected the branch' by handing over the OTW staff and can also use a reminder appliance in the signal box and make a note in the Train Register?

    Does anyone else know what was going on, please?

  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    I don’t know, but I can provide conjecture...

    Would there not (normally?) be a link (mechanical, electric?) between the OTW staff and the frame? In which case I imagine a second train “could not get in” to the section once the staff had been taken by the train (without some kind of override).

    And so I’d imagine that when it became freight only, perhaps the interlocking between staff machine and frame was removed, and the dets were then required to be placed as a precaution?

    Will be interested to hear more...

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  9. phileakins

    phileakins Western Thunderer

    Normally removing the staff from the 'system' would give a one-pull electrical release on the branch starting signal (ie in advance of the signal box) lever, as Simon says. Is there such a signal? If not it would explain the protection in its place as the brach would be operated as 'one engine in steam' and placing the dets are 'local practice'.
    Last edited: 11 January 2019
    simond likes this.
  10. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    You could be right, Phil.

    There certainly were/are (still) some freight-only locations where the One Train Working Staff is not linked to the clearing of the branch starting signal (Lostwithiel to Fowey, for example).

    The thing that has really puzzled me, though, is the use of detonators, which I have never come across in my railway career when not used in the context of engineering work or some kind of emergency/degraded working or incident management.
  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Well, the question provided some fodder for the chewing over last evening over a beer with some pals, one of whom is ex S&T, and another has something of a reputation for knowing about these matters.

    We came to no hard & fast consensus, however, there was considerable support for the idea that the block instrument and frame had been disconnected, leading to the thought that some other form of protection would be required.

    It occurs to me now that a rule 55 collar on the entry point lever would do nicely, but that doesn’t help answer the det question, indeed, perhaps the reverse. I guess you hinted at this in the original question.

    There was a suggestion that the dets were placed to warn the returning train that it had to stop, but I’d assume the driver signed for the route, so he’d know that already, there was presumably a signal, and he had to hand the staff in, so that doesn’t float my boat.

    They could be there to warn the signalman, presuming they were placed in his earshot, of a runaway vehicle, or indeed the whole train’s approach, because he’d have no other advice of its impending arrival. Quite like this idea. Does the gradient support it?

  12. Captain Kernow

    Captain Kernow Western Thunderer

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for your thoughts, all very interesting. Your idea about runaways might have some substance, although I haven't checked the gradient yet. But that would probably only really apply if there was no trapping arrangement to protect the main line from the branch, so I'll have to have another look at the video to see if any is shown (unless someone has access to a signalling diagram for Leominster Kington Junction signal box for 1964?).
  13. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Just had another thought. Perhaps the AWS/ATC no longer functioned - so the dets could be a self imposed fog signal?

    Clutching at straws here :)

  14. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    I've had a look at the SRS site and there is a diagram for Kington Junc, predating the goods only time of the branch. More helpfully there is a dated list of alterations, the branch was worked by Electric Train Staff from circa 1907 until 1958, at which time the ETS was taken away and OES working substituted, additionally the normal lie of the branch facing points was changed and a trap point added, so I cant really understand the need for dets. Two possible clues, the approach to the junction is sharply curved and if there was the possibility of fog then train crews might have thought it prudent for an extra precaution, or since it is unlikely that there would have been any interlock between the OES staff and the signals there is nothing mechanical to prevent a second train being route along the branch and it was a safety measure. Frankly I discount this as it would have needed the contrivance of both the signalman and the driver of the second train.

    simond likes this.