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Table of Contents

Manchester North
Official Files
Introduction
Start-Up Options
Eras
Other Options
Features
Electrification
Absolute Block & Semaphore signalling
Panel Notes
West Panel
East Panel
Vitriol Works
Castleton
Rochdale
Oldham
Shaw
Rochdale West
Timetable Notes
Level Crossings
Multiplayer & Chaining
Hot Keys
Acknowledgments
Reference Section
Signal Number Plan
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Platform & Loop Lengths
Splash Screens
Additional Information
Version History

Manchester North

Official Files

Title Version Released
Simulation (Payware) 2.0 05/07/2021
2009/10/15 (Midnight & 0445 starts included) 1.0 05/07/2021
2015/04/08 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included) 1.0 05/07/2021
2019/01/09 WTT (Midnight, 0400 and 1400 starts included) 1.0 05/07/2021

Additional user-written timetables are available to download here .

Introduction

This simulation covers Manchester North PSB, opened in 1998, replacing 9 smaller lever frame boxes. Manchester North's area fringes to Manchester Piccadilly at both Salford Crescent (Up & Dn Salford) and Ordsall Lane (Up & Dn Chat Moss), and also works to Baguley Fold Junction, Ashburys, Vitriol Works, and, in the 1998 Era, to Oldham Mumps (now part of Manchester Metrolink).

The simulation has been expanded from the Manchester North area, to cover the Calder Valley line beyond Rochdale to the start of Preston PSB's control area at Littleborough. In the earlier era, the Oldham Loop is also simulated.

Start-Up Options

Eras

1998- 2009

Manchester North SCC opened in 1998. This era includes the Oldham Loop (the line between Thorpes Bridge Junction and Rochdale), controlled from Oldham Mumps and Shaw signal boxes. The lever frame box at Rochdale is still open, along with Smithy Bridge box, and Castleton has more semaphores than it did in later years.

2009- 2017

The post 2009 era represents the latter days of Manchester North SCC, and includes the first phase of the north west electrification project, with Ordsall Lane to Manchester Victoria now being electrified.

The Oldham Loop closed in 2009 for conversion to Manchester's Metrolink tram system. The stubs of the line are still in use at Thorpes Bridge and Rochdale, for access to the GMC waste siding and as a turnback respectively.

This era also incorporates the closure of Rochdale and Smithy Bridge boxes in 2011 (being replaced by a new PSB, Rochdale West, located at Castleton), and the removal of most semaphore signalling at Castleton in 2012. Absolute Block working in the area ceased at around the same time.

2017 Onwards

Manchester North closed in 2015, with control passing to Manchester ROC. Though the layout to the East of Victoria remained largely unchanged, the west end was remodlled in 2017 to accommodate the new Ordsall Chord connection to Deansgate, and an additional set of crossovers. This was followed by electrification of the line to Salford Crescent (and thence to Preston) in 2019.

Vitriol Works and Castleton boxes continue to survive the closures of mechanical boxes around Manchester.

Other Options

Scale of Problems:

Choose the scale of train delays and infrastructure failures. The normal SimSig options of “None”, “Low”, “Medium” and “High” are available. Select which one you wish to play from the drop-down menu.

Features

Electrification

2009-2017

In 2015, part of the layout at Victoria was electrified, along with the rest of the Chat Moss route to Liverpool. This is reflected in the 2009 era, with the following lines electrified:

  • Up and Down Chat Moss/Up and Down Salford Slow.
  • Platforms 3-6 at Manchester Victoria, with wires ending at the East end
  • Down Salford Fast
  • The Turnback siding

2017 onwards

Additional electrification was commissioned in early 2019, covering Salford Crescent- Manchester Victoria via Salford Central, and the east-facing bays at Victoria, with the line sufficiently electrified towards Miles Platting Jn to allow trains to reverse at the east end of the station.

Absolute Block & Semaphore signalling

Absolute Block is in use on the Oldham/Rochdale lines in 1998 mode. Details on how to operate the Absolute Block system can be found in the separate Absolute Block manual .

Semaphore signalling is in use at Castleton and, in 1998 mode, Shaw and Rochdale.

Panel Notes

West Panel

The West signaller controls the lines from Ordsall Junction and Salford Crescent, to just past Manchester Victoria.

Reduced overlaps (Yellow Exit Triangle ) should only be used by trains stopping that their respective locations.

Manchester Piccadilly may request a slot to send a train wrong-line on the Down Chat Moss, and in 2017 mode, on the Up Ordsall Chord.

In 2017 mode, the Up Chat Moss is also bi-directional, use of which requires a slot to be granted by Manchester Piccadilly. The Down Ordsall Chord is also bi-directional. Note that using the Down Ordsall Chord in the wrong direction will lock up the line as far as Manchester Oxford Road; given the typical density of traffic, this is not a move that should be undertaken lightly!

Note that the Up Ordsall Chord is not accessible from Platform 6 at Manchester Victoria.

In 2017 mode, the Salford Central location exists on the Chat Moss/Ordsall Chord lines. For reasons which aren't clear, the real box has platforms drawn on these lines, even though there are no operational platforms on the ground, and the simulation reflects this.

All platforms at Manchester Victoria are permissive , and platforms 1 and 2 are fitted with Lime Street controls.

The connection to Metrolink at Victoria East Junction is for use during engineer's possessions only.

Steam trains are prohibited from stopping in Platforms 5 and 6 at Victoria, due to the low roof and insufficient ventilation.

East Panel

The East signalman controls the junctions to the east of Victoria station, along with Newton Heath TMD. In the 1998 to 2009 era, you additionally control the line to Oldham Mumps. In the 2009 - Present era, the former Oldham Mumps line is now part of Manchester Metrolink, and an engineer's connection is provided.

It is possible to leave the route set from Newton Heath Loco Sidings set into the neck all the time. If a train wishes to use the mainline, simply replace signal 902, and set the appropriate route.

To route into Newton Heath TMD, you will first need to phone for a slot for the appropriate end of the yard.

VW32 is approach released from red with 716 at red; when replacing 716, take care not to cause an ACOA to a train approaching Vitriol Works.

Baguley Fold Junction is controlled off sim automatically. Trains may receive a small delay here, however, you should not receive any phone calls or delay penalty for a train held here.

With Signal 812 at Red, trains from Baguley Fold will receive a double yellow the instant they enter the simulation; where possible, the signal should be cleared well in advance of a train entering. The Baguley Fold signaller will phone to advise of an approaching train booked for Brewery Jn, which will give you the opportunity to replace the signal without penalty.

Vitriol Works

The layout at Vitriol Works, already much reduced from its heyday, has been gradually simplified. The UGL is out of use from the 2009 era onwards, and from 2017 the crossover was taken out of use as well.

Vitriol Works works AB to Castleton in 1998 mode.

In 1998 mode, VW52 also acts as Castleton's Down distant signal, and will only show green when all of Castleton's Down Main signals are clear. From 2009 era onwards, the signal was re-controlled to Castleton, becoming CE33.

VW32 is approach released from red if MN716 is at red.

Castleton

General

Routes cannot be set to any of the disc signals unless the disc signal is clear- this means that routes involving discs must be set counter-sequentially. For example, to signal a train from Castleton station to the Down Sidings, routes must be set from CE20 to the Down Sidings, then CE23-> CE20, and finally CE50-> CE23.

There is no route from CE1 to Castleton North Junction.

An indicator is provided at CE52 to indicate the presence of a train at that signal.

1998 Era

The box works AB to Vitriol Works and Rochdale. Trains cannot be accepted from Vitriol Works unless the line is clear to CE34's overlap markers, and the points to Castleton North Jn Normal.

CE34 is approach released from red unless CE35, CE36 and CE37 are clear. If any of these signals are at red, CE34 will show a yellow aspect when a train approaches it.

VW52 acts as Castleton's down distant.

The subsidiary disc at CE30 is out of use and cannot clear; only the main arm.

CE59 also carries the distant signal for CE57 beneath it. CE59 also has a banner repeater, labelled 'BR' to distinguish it from the shunt discs.

CE61 will clear provided CE60 and CE59 are clear.

'Shunting into forward section' is permitted towards Rochdale. This is for long trains needing to pass CE37 in order to reverse behind CE50. For trains requiring to shunt into the section, a route should be set from CE37 to the white shunt arrow, which will cause the disc mounted beneath it (a shunt arm in reality) to clear instead of the main arm. The route can be set provided the block instrument is at 'Line Clear' or 'Train on Line'. The shunt arrow must not be used for trains continuing through to Rochdale.

2009 and 2017 eras

The Down Goods Loop is permissive; call-on routes should be set to the white shunt arrows.

Rochdale

In use in 1998-2009 era only

Rochdale works AB to Castleton East Jn and Smithy Bridge.

A slot must be granted to Shaw to allow the Shaw signaller to send a train towards Rochdale.

Smithy Bridge

Due to complexities around the different eras, the fringe to Preston and future chaining to that simulation, Smithy Bridge signalbox is included within the Rochdale workstation. However, the AB working between Smithy Bridge and Rochdale is fully simulated.

SB2 also acts as Rochdale's Up distant, and will only show green when RE25 and RE24 are clear.

Oldham

In use in 1998-2009 era only

Oldham works AB to Shaw. OM20 is provided to allow trains to turn back towards Manchester in passenger service.

Shaw

In use in 1998-2009 era only

Shaw works AB to Oldham.

Shaw crossing must be lowered and cleared before a route can be set over it.

Note that a train stopped in the Down platform will prevent a train leaving the turnback siding to the Up platform.

A slot must be requested to Rochdale to send a train towards Rochdale.

Rochdale West

In use in 2009 and later eras only

During the mid 2010s, the Manchester-bound platform at Rochdale changed number from P4 to P3; there was a period of time where timetables had some trains using the old number and some the new, and this is reflected in the supplied 2015 TT. A new platform 4, the Manchester-facing bay, opened in 2016.

Beyond the turnback siding on the stub of the former Oldham line is provision for a connection to the Metrolink route. However, despite the relevant stop boards being installed, the connection has never been fully installed, with either gaps in the track or other obsructions. The connection cannot be used in the simulation.

Until 2015, Smithy Bridge LC was controlled from the local signalbox, which had been downgraded to a gate box, before being converted to Obstacle Detection. As such, in the 2009-2015 era, the crossing works entirely automatically. In the 2017-2021 era, the crossing is MCB-OD, and again signals will clear automatically when a train approaches. The crossing is also provided with non-stop controls which should be operated for Down trains not stopping at Smithy Bridge and Up trains not stopping at Littleborough.

Timetable Notes

Any required information on supplied timetables is supplied in the Timetable Description tab.

Level Crossings

There is an MCB crossing at Shaw.

Smithy Bridge LC changes type from a MCB to Crossing Keeper to MCB-OD through the eras; see the Rochdale box notes for details.

Multiplayer & Chaining

The simulation chains at the following locations:

Simulation Location
Manchester Piccadilly Ordsall Lane
Manchester Piccadilly Salford Crescent
Manchester Piccadilly Water Street Junction
Manchester East Ashburys
Manchester East Baguley Fold Junction

Hot Keys

In addition to the standard shortcut keys , the following are available:

Key Panel Area
1 Deal Street Junction & Salford
2 Manchester Victoria
3 Miles Platting Junction, Philips Park Junction & Brewery Junction
4 Newton Heath TMD, Oldham Loop

Acknowledgments

Simulation by: James Pedrick (pedroathome)

08/04/2015 WTT by:John Mills (Meld)

Reference Section

Signal Number Plan

These are Adobe Acrobat PDF files. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer you can get a free download of the latest version from the Adobe website . Use the built-in Find function (Ctrl+F) to locate signal numbers.

Signal Box Prefix Codes

Code Box
AS Ashburys
BF Baguley Fold
CE Castleton
MC Manchester ROC (Manchester Central area)
MN Manchester North
MP Manchester Piccadilly
OM Oldham Mumps
PN Preston
RE Rochdale
SB Smithy Bridge
SW Shaw
TH Rochdale West
VW Vitriol Works

Platform & Loop Lengths

Platform Lengths

Location Platform Length (m)
Manchester Victoria 1 120
2 100
3 260
4 260
5 245
6 245

Loop Lengths

Location Loop Name Length (m)
Brewery Junction DPL 530
UPL 485

Siding Lengths

Location Siding Name Length (m)
Manchester Victoria Turnback Siding 215
Collyhurst Street Siding 245
GMC Siding 320
Peakstone Arrival & Dep Line 300
Neck 50

Splash Screens

Splash Screens provided by Andrew Gardiner

Additional Information

Beyond Castleton North Jn, the line continues to Hopwood Ground Frame, from which ownership of the line changes from Network Rail to the preserved East Lancashire Railway. The line between Castleton North Jn and Hopwood is controlled by a single line staff, with a second staff covering Hopwood GF to Bury South (on the ELR). Both staffs are required to operate the double trap points at Hopwood. Each movement to or from the ELR involves each staff being brought to or from Hopwood by road, depending on the direction of the train's travel. For simplicity, the staff is not represented in the simulation.

Version History

Version History


Last edited by Steamer on 07/07/2021 at 17:15