British Signalling

Afternoon, everyone.

Let me get right to the point: i have no knowledge whatsoever of how British Signalling on the LMS worked in the late 1930's. I was wondering if someone could tell me how to correctly signal something like this?


As you can see, the blue track represents a double track mainline, with the track on the bottom heading towards the left, and vice versa. The green tracks are transfer sidings for a steel works, with the green branchline in the top right heading towards the works. And i should also mention that the two X junctions in green are double slips.

Does anyone know how one would signal a segment like this? I looked to the PLL and S&C routes for guidance, but to no avail.


Many occasions saw the signals placed with varying spaces, which made for complex track blocks, especially in the tighter yards of large terminals. But I'd place the signals after deciding how often you'll run on the line. As said, the best way is to look at ECML or SnC (best choice for exemplary semaphore placement), or possibly even PLL, which I don't have to confirm.

Shunt signals should be placed about the slips, and considering the short siding stretch, perhaps a combined left-branch signal? I'm not sure how your route is supposed to work, but all I know comes from Doug's link, the SnC guide, and by my looking at how the rules from those links are applied in the routes. It's not as easy as I thought, as it really varies, but you'll figure it out.
The S&C and PLL routes would not be of much help partly because your sidings layout is unusual. Facing points on main lines were kept to an absolute minimum. On the S&C the only facing points into sidings were at Long Meg Anhydrite Mine. The route is quite a few years old and the signalling may not be prototypical since the range of signals available was limited. On PLL the only possibility I can think of is Grange Junction for southbound trains bound for Grange Yard.

The right hand exit/entry to the yard does require modification to remove the facing point for rightward bound trains on the main line. The link line from the yard here needs to go straight across to the leftward bound mainline with a single slip leading to the rightward bound one on the diamond crossing.

I have the track and signalling plan for Long Meg. If you PM me your email I can send a copy but due to travel commitments this will have to wait until the weekend after next.
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That layout is ok. For a prototypical LMS layout on S&C (or S&C Eden Valley) go to the sidings controlled by Howe & Co's Sidings Signal Box. The sidings date back to WWII when a large reserve liquid fuel storage facility was built nearby and at times there was frequent traffic drawing from or replenishing the reserve. The track and signalling is as prototypical as it could be at the time. If I was signalling it now I would use miniature signals rather than ground signals except for the one controlling reversing from the up main into the sidings via HW3b, HW3c, HW7b and HW7a. Also I would change the up and down home signals, HW17 and HW10 to Sig AS UQ semaphore right junction miniature and left junction respectively.

That is a setup for potentially intensive use. If your sidings won't have heavy traffic the railway company would have built to a simplified track diagram. The track from HW28b to HW28a and the track from HW7c to HW7b would not have been put in. HW10 and HW17 would have been UQ homes only. An extra reverse crossover may have been added between up and down mains with the trailing junction on the up line being situated about where junction HW28a had been. The result is that all arriving traffic has to stop and reverse into the sidings.
If you have set this up for occasional traffic then the crossover on the right is not correct because it is a leading rather than a trailing or reverse crossover. Also the exit from the yard at the rh end of the yard crosses rather than trails into the rightward bound through line.

If you are setting the sidings up for regular traffic then you need to alter the single slip at the lh end to a double slip. You should also change the single slip at the rh end by removing the existing slip and replacing it with one that allows access from the yard to the rightward bound through line .
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I do apologise for modifying your picture directly but it was easier to modify it to show a typical steam era setup than try and explain it fully .
As they say a picture paints a thousand words ;)

Simplified set up with no facing connections , Trains reverse into the sidings at each end but have the ability to leave without reversing .
Easily done when you have a guard at the rear of the train in a brake van to call you back once the signal covering entrance to the yard has been cleared .


You could include another trailing crossover on the right hand end of the map .
Track layouts back then seemed to cover for every possible movement with the minimum of wrong line running unlike todays sterilised railway .
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Just a general point (pardon the pun) but on the prototype single & double slips would normally only be used when space was at a premium. They tend to be rather more complex, expensive to make and maintain than normal points and a slip is after all just two normal points back to back - 'scrunched up'.

Slips can also be a real PIA to make & operate in Trainz !

Well, it's all working now: just took some experimentation. Thanks for the help with the optimized track plan, everyone. Everything is working smoothly now.


itareus said:
Slips can also be a real PIA to make & operate in Trainz!

Well, they're a lot easier to make with Andi06's Junction Kit. I place down the junctions in conjunction with the Fixed Track pieces from prjindigo and olegkhim, and then i replace it all with regular track splines. It lets me make sure that the straights are completely straight and the curves are curved correctly, like a real model railway. Yes, it's not prototypical for them to be perfectly correct in real life, but being a kind of perfectionist, i like it to be as "perfect" as possible.

I used to use Andi's JK series but tended to end up having problems with AI trains and their responses to signalling with them (admittedly in complex situations). I experimented with my own fixed track series of junctions for a good while but eventually went back to using the 'normal' methods.

At the end of the day I guess it all comes down to using what you are happy with !