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Birmingham New Street
Centre panel controls the entirety of Birmingham New St station, and very little else.
- New Street station has no
overlaps because it both has a low line speed and the overlaps would make the layout too restrictive and the interlocking too complex. This is true to life.
- New Street station has mid-platform signals on all platforms, except 11 and 12 where the mid-platform signals only exist in the Down direction. Trains may be signalled towards either end of the same platform, but only one movement at a time. The first movement has to come to a stand at the mid-platform signal before the opposite move should be signalled. The
interlocking does not prevent such moves, as per reality, but good practice means signallers avoid such situations. The line speed may only be 10mph but two trains travelling towards each other at 10mph make a combined speed of 20mph which can be nasty if either train were to overshoot only slightly.
- Platforms 11 and 12 excluded, the interlocking permits trains to be signalled into 'A' and 'B' ends from opposite directions simultaneously. However, given the obvious danger of either train overrunning, signalling trains in this way is forbidden by the signal box special instructions. Selecting 'Platform arrows' on start-up will enforce this rule; in 'Standard' mode, the operator is responsible for setting routes correctly, as per real life.
- When signalling a train into New Street station, and that train has to go to the far end of the platform, always signal the route in reverse. That is, set the route from the mid-platform signal first, then set the route from outside the station to the mid-platform signal. This gives the driver of the inbound train a better aspect. This behaviour is the same as that performed by the real life signallers.
- If the mid-platform signal is clear when the train arrives in the platform, the driver will continue to the far end of the platform, regardless of the timetabled platform. Similarly, if the mid-platform signal is at danger, the train will stop at it and start station duties (opening doors, dividing etc.) there, again regardless of which end it was supposed to use. Take great care when signalling trains into the station that you have set the route as far, and only as far, as the required part of the platform.
- Trains arriving at platforms 11B or 12B in the Up direction and which do not continue to the 'A' end of the platforms will cause the route locking to drop out in the 'A' end after a couple of minutes. It is then safe to bring another train in the Down direction into the 'A' end.
- Timetables officially label the New Street platforms as a whole number, or with a letter suffix (A or B end). Where a number is used without a suffix, that generally means it is a long train which will use both halves of the platform. Unofficially the suffix M is used to denote "somewhere in the middle" of the platform! Use of the timetable and signals will allow you to stop the train in the appropriate place.
Platform end signals
- Several platforms at New Street have a short signal section at the end of the platform. Don't route right up to the platform end unless it is a
very long train. When the train is ready to start, signal to the end of the platform and then out to the next signal. Note that there is no train describer berth for the end platform signals so the TD won't step until the train passes the end of the platform. Note also that a train will not depart New Street until it has a proceed signal aspect out of the station.
- There is no route from 207 (platform 3A) to 177 (platform 4A platform end signal).
- A route should not be set from 168 (P7A) to 167 (P8A platform end signal) with a route set towards signal 170.
- Signal 165 applies only to trains departing from platform 9A; it does not apply to trains from 10A to the Up Stour.
Train Length Checks
- Trains requiring both the A and B parts of the platform (ie a long train) do some cursory checking at NS151, NS154, NS243, and NS244. As per real life, you should signal from the mid-platform signal first, before setting a route from NS151/154/243/244 to the mid-platform signal. This includes calling-on.
- If the driver thinks the train won't fit, you'll get a call indicating this.
- This is by no means perfect: a driver won't know the length of another train in the platform, so don't rely on it! Just like real life.
TRTS indicators are provided for each half of each platform at Birmingham New Street. The indicators do not indicate direction unlike most TRTS indicators so read the train's timetable to determine which direction it is going in. There are no indicators for the sidings.
- Routes in the New Street station throats that pass a "
via " button will need use of that button (or those buttons) to select which of the alternative routes to use, if there are any. Click on the entrance signal, then the Via signal(s), and then the exit signal. The buttons must be used for all routes which pass them, even if there is only one possible route between the two signals. This does not apply to routes from shunt signals.
- "Platforms" 1SG, 2SG, and 3SG refer to the middle sidings.
- There are only two
TD berths per platform at New Street. With three or more trains in the full platform, or two or more in one half, you will need to remember each of the train's identities, perhaps by using sticky notes . Other situations may require you to manually interpose or cancel descriptions in the "wrong" end of the platform, though this should be avoided as the automated platform announcements may well send passengers to the wrong end of the platform. Similarly, interposing departure times is not recommended as the automated system treats it as an unidentified train blocking the platform.
- The middle sidings, docks and engine sidings do not have TD berths. The docks and engine sidings 2 & 3 have a 'scratch pad' that can be interposed into, however this description will not move with any trains signalled to or from the sidings.
Shunt exits are provided towards the first signal out of New St on the Up Stour, Up Derby, Down Gloucester and Down Stour. Setting routes to these arrows causes a shunt aspect to be displayed to the driver, and the train description will not step with the departing train. This should only be used for shunt movements, for example a loco detaching from a train.
When a train is at or beyond Bournville, the train approach berth will show the approaching train.
New Street Contents
Last edited by GeoffM on 16/08/2020 at 04:20