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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 04:26 #127515
TUT
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Hello,

I'm wondering if anybody could clarify for me the method of working between Usan and Montrose South back when they still existed. I've heard this section was actually the first in Scotland to use tokenless block and you can see the large Scottish region tokenless block instrument on the block shelf in Usan SB in this picture from October 1983:

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/27757/category/3935-1983_october

A 1993 sectional appendix also states that tokenless block applies between Usan and Montrose South.

However.

The tokenless block instrument is conspicuously absent from this picture of Usan taken a few short days before closure

https://www.flickr.com/photos/taysider64/16594774821/

And also from this one:

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/10017/category/913-usan

Which appears old enough to suggest that tokenless block probably didn't go as one of the steps on the road to the resignalling of the area and abolition of Usan and Montrose South.

A little bit of digging around the photos.signalling.org website suggests that Usan's lever 1, which had been the shunting key release lever (https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/27757/category/3935-1983_october) was, as early as 1994, the Up Main direction lever (https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/21264/category/2276-1994_june). Direction levers, a block bell, a telephone and no sign of a block indicator suggests to me TCB with direction levers and description by bell, which presumably came in in 1993/4.

Does anyone have any more details or hard facts?

Ta!

Last edited: 13/06/2020 at 04:31 by TUT
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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 07:07 #127516
Andrew G
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Tokenless Block was introduced in this section on 12th December 1965. Conventional Scottish Region Tokenless Block instruments remained in use until 17th August 1986 when they were replaced by Direction Levers. While the line was fully Track Circuited it continued to be worked under Scottish Region Tokenless Block Regulations (albeit without Shunting Keys) until both boxes were abolished in February 2010. A similar situation still applies today between Perth and Barnhill - in that the line is fully track circuited but worked under Scottish Region Tokenless Block Regulations - with a caveat as far as they can be applied.
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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 10:56 #127518
Ron_J
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What is unclear is what happened to the instruments - the only two Mk1 ScR Tokenless Instruments made. I have been trying to trace them for years now. I believe (but don’t know definitively) that one was broken up for parts but have been told several times by independent parties that the Usan instrument was kept ‘for a museum’. So it could, conceivably, still be out there on someone’s mantlepiece.

It’s TCB now with directional lever controlled from Montrose North box.

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 14:44 #127524
TUT
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That's very interesting, thanks a bunch!
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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 17:51 #127531
Steamer
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How does Tokenless Block work from a signaller's perspective?
"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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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 18:15 #127533
TUT
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Steamer in post 127531 said:
How does Tokenless Block work from a signaller's perspective?
A fatuous answer perhaps, but it depends very much on the implementation!

As I understand things, Scottish region tokenless block is very much AB for single lines and the normal mode of signalling differs very little.

However, other systems are available. Claydon L&NE Junction worked tokenless block to Oxford, but as far as I know it was never provided with any bells. When Marylebone took over the OXD between Bicester Village and Oxford Parkway and the tokenless block section became Claydon L&NE Junction to Gavray Junction, with Claydon working tokenless block to Marylebone rather than Oxford, the instructions I have for sending a train from Claydon to Marylebone go like this (N.B. the line from Gavray Junction to Claydon is in the hands of East West Rail at the moment and this is all now obsolete):

1. The signaller at Claydon L&NE Junction signal box will contact Marylebone ASC [by telephone] and advise them of the reporting number of an approaching train.

2. If Marylebone ASC are in a position to accept the train [they] must turn the acceptance switch from the normal position to the accept position.

3. The signaller at Claydon L&NE Junction signal box will press the train offer button [located in the NX panel, see: https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/14571/category/1391-claydon_lne_jn].

4. Both Claydon L&NE Junction signal box and Marylebone ASC tokenless block indicators will indicate train accepted and the Marylebone ASC screen layout block indicator will display green.

5. The signaller at Claydon L&NE Junction signal box can now set a route from the section signals CN3 or CN5 onto the single line.

6. As the train passes the section signals CN3 or CN5 it will occupy a dead track section of the tokenless block section, this will set the tokenless block control indicator to train in section and the Marylebone North Workstation screen layout block indicator will display red.

7. The train will continue through the single line section and occupy the overlay axle counter section.

8. As the train exits through Signal OB9022 a sequence of track occupied and directional treadles will prime the block normalisation circuitry. Once the train has cleared the overlap of signal OB9022 and the overlay axle counter section has returned a zero evaluator count the train arrived complete indicator will illuminate on the Marylebone ASC tokenless block control.

9. The train arrived complete indicator gives [the signaller at Marylebone ASC] an assurance that the train has left the single line complete; [they] must turn the acceptance switch to the normal position and press the train arrived button for 5 seconds.

10. The Marylebone ASC screen block indicator will display white.

11. As there is no Train Operated Route Release (TORR), Automatic Route Setting or Automatic facility provided on signals associated with the exit signal on tokenless block lines, [the signaller at Marylebone ASC] must manually cancel the route from signal OB9022.

It's essentially the same thing to go back the other way, except of course the Claydon signaller will be able (and therefore required) to visually observe the tail lamp.

Last edited: 13/06/2020 at 18:32 by TUT
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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 18:18 #127534
TUT
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Good old Oxford panel's tokenless block controls for the line to Claydon:

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/4941/category/370-2007

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 18:59 #127537
jc92
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Another example is Maltby Colliery to Worksop.

Both boxes will normally have their acceptance switches at accept, allowing the other box to set a route.

the sending box returns its switch to normal and then offers the train which will normally turn the instrument to accept. If it doesn't a telephone call is in order to discuss the situation.

The protecting signal for the single line is cleared and when a train occupies the TC's at the junction, the machine goes to occupied. it then will not clear until the train passes the TC's at the receiving box and the signaller observes the tail lamp and presses train arrived.

Normally there is no Block bell (apart from emergencies) or verbal communication as both boxes have train describers to each other.

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 20:08 #127539
TUT
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jc92 in post 127537 said:
Both boxes will normally have their acceptance switches at accept, allowing the other box to set a route.
As for Claydon, on this point I'm not sure, I should probably find out. One set of instructions, which I think are an East West Rail document state quite clearly under 'starting conditions' "The Marylebone and Claydon L&NE Junction acceptance switches are both in the accept position." However Claydon SBSIs are equally clear "The Marylebone and Claydon L&NE Junction signal box acceptance switches are to be maintained in the normal position prior to the acceptance of a train."

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 21:43 #127549
bill_gensheet
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TUT in post 127534 said:
Good old Oxford panel's tokenless block controls for the line to Claydon:

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/4941/category/370-2007
I take it that the 'wiper' switch on the top row next to the red ring magnet was for the branch tail lamp camera ?

Bill

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 22:31 #127550
TUT
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bill_gensheet in post 127549 said:
TUT in post 127534 said:
Good old Oxford panel's tokenless block controls for the line to Claydon:

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/4941/category/370-2007
I take it that the 'wiper' switch on the top row next to the red ring magnet was for the branch tail lamp camera ?

Bill
I expect you're right, yes

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 13/06/2020 at 23:26 #127551
Ron_J
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Scottish Region Tokenless Block is completely different to the later English type. The definitive writing on the subject is Forbes Alexander’s 1989 SRS paper “The Scottish Region Tokenless Block”.

It’s certainly a bit of a stretch to call it “very much AB for single lines”.

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Method of working Usan -- Montrose South 14/06/2020 at 09:26 #127557
kbarber
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For the WR tokenless block on the Salisbury - Exeter line, I believe the instructions simply stated that the switches/buttons should be operated in accordance with the timetable. Alterations would be advised by phone, and there was no exchange of bell signals (nor any other indication, apart from the instruments, that a train was expected). My understanding is that it was anticipated signalmen would have other duties, and this allowed them to be out of the box until train time. For the same reason, the circuits were arranged so that returning the acceptance switch to 'Normal' after a train had been offered would restore the starter of the box in rear to danger.
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