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Table of Contents

Oxford
Introduction
Workstations
Startup Options
Simulation Eras
2000
Changes from 2000 to 2009 era
Changes from 2009 to 2011 era
Changes from 2011 to 2016 era
Signalling and Operational Notes
Inkpens Crossing
Tackley
Worcester Branch
Bicester Branch (old layout)
Bicester Branch (new layout)
Oxford North Headshunt / Spur
Loco Sidings
Oxford Station
Oxford South LC
Hinksey
Morris Cowley Branch
Regulation Techniques
Gradients
Speed Limits
Platform and Loop Lengths
Hot Keys
Reference Section
Signal Number Plans
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Credits and Acknowledgements
Version History and Known Issues
Version 1.2 (3rd August 2017)
Version 1.0 (6th July 2017)

Oxford

Introduction

Small simulations sometimes deceive the eyes and Oxford does not disappoint. This is not just a case of setting routes for trains to keep them moving: Oxford is technically challenging, with constant communication with the shunter for the many terminating trains that need shuffling from the down platform to the up platform via the sidings, to token instruments, to run-rounds on largely non-track-circuited sidings, to long block sections. Welcome to Oxford PSB!

The screen layout is oriented like the signalbox such that Didcot (and towards London) is to the right, and Banbury (and towards Birmingham) is to the left. North-south is vaguely left-right on the screen.

Workstations

Oxford PSB is just one panel, a Henry Williams Integra turn and push E10k panel and interlocking. The panel was not new even when it was installed in 1973, having been purloined from Twyford which was subsumed into Reading PSB.

Startup Options

  • Scale of problems - how many problems do you wish to deal with at once?
  • Bad weather - More sluggish acceleration and defensive braking means there will be delays
  • TORR on - Train Operated Route Release (set to unticked for realism, but this increases difficulty)
  • Simulation era - See below

Simulation Eras

2000

The layout as it existed in the late 1990s through the turn of the century.

Changes from 2000 to 2009 era

The Up Goods from Wolvercote Junction is now a passenger line. The Down Goods from Oxford station to Oxford North Junction is now a passenger line. Traps have been added to the Down Carriage Sidings because of this. At the same time, the Down Carriage Sidings have been relaid into individually signalled sidings.

Changes from 2009 to 2011 era

The Worcester line to Moreton-in-Marsh has been partially redoubled, reducing the amount of time trains are on the single line.

Changes from 2011 to 2016 era

The Bicester branch has been completely resignalled and is now controlled by Marylebone IECC. Oxford station platforms have been renumbered with the old bays properly signalled.

Signalling and Operational Notes

Inkpens Crossing

If you receive a call asking for permission to use Inkpens crossing, you must phone Banbury South / WMSC Cherwell Valley (depending on the era) as they control the blocking signal in the Up direction. You must also replace signal DM69 to danger and ensure no trains are between the blocking signals and the crossing before authorising the user to use the crossing. After the user has phoned clear of the crossing, you need to phone Banbury/WMSC again to unblock the crossing.

Tackley

The ground frame crossovers are not operational in the simulation as they were out of use before the first era in the simulation.

Worcester Branch

The Up signal at Charlbury/Ascott (depending on era) is actually a slot, though route lights will show when the slot is given. Once the adjacent signalbox sets their end of the route, the signal indication on the screen will show white.

Bicester Branch (old layout)

The branch is controlled with a semi-automatic tokenless block system. To send a train onto the branch from Oxford, click on the Offer roundel. This will light briefly and the Train In Section "A" light will illuminate instead of the "N". Trains may now proceed from signals OX76/26/86, whereupon the Train In Section roundel will fill red.

For a train coming off the branch, you should watch the tail lamp camera to ensure the train is complete. If you do not see it, you must wait until the train passes your signalbox at Oxford to check there. If you fail to do this then the train has to be stopped and the driver asked if his/her train is complete. Once the train is verified complete, the Train Arrived Complete roundel can be clicked upon which will restore the section to normal (clear).

If you offer a train, it's accepted, and you decide not to send a train after all, right-click on the centre circle of the Acceptance switch to turn the switch to the Accept position. This will cancel the offer. Left-click to put the switch back to Normal.

At the Bicester end, if the train proceeds towards Claydon, the driver can operate the controls remotely to restore the section. Similarly, an entering train from there can set the branch to Train In Section remotely.

Bicester London Road

Train drivers press a button to pass signals BT100 and BT200. No intervention is required from the signaller.

Bicester Town

Trains terminating here will telephone to report arrival, and to request departure.

Ground Frames

All ground frames operate similarly on this branch. To operate the F control the Acceptance Switch must be in the Accept position, *or* a train must be on the approach track to the ground frame (detected locally but not repeated to Oxford PSB). The "Annetts Key" must then be ticked to release the ground frame. The Facing Point Lock (FPL) must be reversed, followed by the point, and then the FPL restored to normal. The "authority to Proceed" can then be ticked to allow the train to move (in either direction).

For trains to be shunt into the siding, the "Train arrived" button should be pressed. This is similar to the "Train arrived complete" control in that the local ground frame operator is visually checking that the train is clear of the main line in its entirity.

For trains exiting the siding, the Train In Section indicator will light red as the train exits the siding.

The "authority to proceed" should be unticked, the FPL reversed, the point normalised, and the FPL normalised. Annetts Key should be unticked, and then the signaller can cancel the ground frame release by right-clicking on the green F roundel.

Bicester Branch (new layout)

Two slots are provided, one for Oxford PSB to allow trains from Marylebone IECC onto the single line, and one for Marylebone IECC to allow trains from Oxford onto the single line. Click on the OX26/76/86 roundel to request the slot for Down trains, and if Marylebone is requesting on OB1762/9004 then click to accept.

Oxford North Headshunt/Spur

This short siding is accessed from Oxford station by electrically detected hand points. Route to or from the siding is set to or from the exit triangle or signal that also deals with Siding 3 (i.e. shared signal and exit triangle). The hand point which directs traffic into or out of the headshunt/spur instead of Siding 3 is operated by a lever frame in the simulation ('Down CS Handpoints')- there is no release for the lever on the panel, simply find it in the lever frame list and operate accordingly. The point should be set correctly before routing a train towards the sidings/spur or allowing the train to approach OX129.

The Loco Sidings is accessed from the headshunt/spur by verbal authority only. The train will phone for permission to pass the stop board (in reality there is no stop board but simulation limitations require one here) whereupon it will proceed to the loco sidings and then exit the simulation.

When going from the loco sidings to the headshunt, the train will first ask for permission to enter the area. This also gives it permission to pass over the hand points into the headshunt/spur.

Loco Sidings

A ground frame in earlier eras gives access from the loco sidings to Oxford station. The ground frame is released by the signaller in the usual way. The ground frame operator can take control by ticking the Annetts Key checkbox. The Facing Point Lock lever (FPL) can now be reversed, the points lever reversed, the FPL normalised, and then the Authority to Proceed checkbox operated to allow the train to progress.

Once the train has passed the ground frame, the Authority to Proceed checkbox should be unticked, the FPL reversed, the points lever normalised, the FPL normalised, and the Annetts Key checkbox unticked to restore the ground frame. The signaller can now take back control by cancelling the release in the normal way.

Oxford Station

OX21 to OX75 is a shunt route only. Do not route passenger trains over this route (generally described with a prefix of 1, 2, or 9). OX21 to OX25 (main route) is approach controlled if OX25 is at red and points 238 (in rear) are normal - double red protection.

OX135 to OX71 in later eras is still only a shunt route, despite the former gaining main aspects. Do not route passenger trains over this route. In addition, there is no TD step.

Oxford South LC

When the sim starts the gates should close automatically (it's a SimSig limitation that they can't start closed).

In real life there aren't any controls on the panel, it's worked by the user on the ground. A user (generally MOM or historical equivalents) has to open gate on one side; drive their vehicle onto the railway; close and secure gate behind them; unlock and open the other gate; drive off railway; secure gate; then walk back across to return key to the instrument. Oxford signalmen suggested minimum times to achieve this in the region of 5-8 minutes; open/close times were set accordingly in the Sim.

The process is then:

* A user will phone wanting to cross.

* Ensure no trains approaching/routes set.

* Release Frame

* Remove (tick) Annetts Key

* Open Gates

* Close Gates

* Replace (untick) Annetts Key

* Restore Frame.

Carry on signalling trains.

Hinksey

Hinksey consists of a couple of reception through roads and a yard, the latter of which is only accessible from the south end from the main lines. Some trains run round here - mainly those to and from Morris Cowley. Others stop for a crew change only while others still originate or terminate within the yard.

Use of the reception lines and the Down Sidings is under your control. The Hinksey shunter will phone for permission to use any of these lines whereupon you must confirm the line in question is actually clear before granting permission.

Access to the yard from the south end requires use of the ground frame. This is a very simple ground frame - you, as the signaller, grant a release, and the local ground frame operator can then reverse the single point into the yard.

Three stop boards around the point granting access to the yard are provided to allow you to control movements. When a train phones for permission, check the line is clear and the point is in the correct position before granting permission for the train to pass.

It is not possible to set routes into both ends of the same reception road at Hinksey. Furthermore, there is a time delay from clearance of the last track circuit into the opposite end of the reception road until a route can be set in this end. For example, a train goes into Reception road #1 from the Oxford end. Next, a train wants to enter Reception road #1 from the Kennington end. The route from 16 cannot be set until the track circuit between 179 and 114 has been clear for two minutes, and no routes into Reception road #1 are set.

Morris Cowley Branch

The short single line to the Morris Cowley vehicle factories is controlled by a token system. At the north end (Kennington) the driver must collect the token from a token machine adjacent to signal OX79, though the train can proceed from any of OX79, OX29, or OX99 as long as the token is held. Left click on the "Morris Cowley Token Release: UP" to grant the token.

When an up train arrives at Morris Cowley it will relinquish the token. You do not need to do anything.

When a down train wishes to proceed to Kennington, you will first receive a phone call asking for permission to proceed to the token machine. Another phone call will be received when the token is being requested. Left click on the "Morris Cowley Token Release: DOWN" to grant the token.

When a down train arrives at Kennington, it must return the token to the token machine adjacent to signal OX12. This signal is held by the interlocking at red until the token is back in the machine.

Regulation Techniques

To the north of Oxford are some long signal sections (blocks) - several miles long each. It will take some time for a train to proceed along the Worcester line - longer than one from Aynho to Wolvercote, for example. You should thus consider trains that aren't even in the area before setting routes at Wolvercote and Oxford North junctions.

Freight trains towards Aynho might only be able to travel at 60mph, while passenger trains may be able to progress at 90mph most of the way. In other words, it'll take a slow freight train 50% longer or more to proceed through the section. Consider use of the Down Loop at Oxford North to give preference to passenger trains if appropriate.

If a train is running around at Hinksey, and another freight also wants to use the Reception or Yard, care should be taken to avoid the two blocking each other and/or the main line. Consider using the loops to recess anything which might conflict with other activity already at Hinksey.

Gradients

Although a few gradients exist, nearly all are insignificant to most trains.

Speed Limits

From Culham to south of Oxford the maximum speed limit is 90mph; slightly less for non-HSTs. Crossovers are all 25mph, as are the Kennington Loops, Hinksey Yard, and passenger loops at Oxford. The Oxford Through lines are 75mph before rising to 90mph through Oxford North junction, and going as high as 110mph for HSTs near Roundham LC through the boundary with Banbury South / WMSC.

The Bicester branch varies from 20mph to 40mph in the older eras, or up to 75mph in the newer eras.

The Worcester branch is 40mph over the connections and crossover at Wolvercote Junction, before rising to 100mph on the branch itself.

Platform and Loop Lengths

Location Platform/Line Length
Oxford (old) P1 274m
Oxford (old) P2 275m
Oxford (old) P3 106m
Oxford (new) P1 106m
Oxford (new) P2 106m
Oxford (new) P3 230m
Oxford (new) P4 275m
Oxford UPL (OX90-OX75) 680m
Hinksey Rec 1 and 2 1170m
Kennington DGL 520m
Kennington UGL 580m
Oxford DGL/DPL (OX123-OX74) 300m
Oxford DCS 1 275m
Oxford DCS 2 265m
Oxford DCS 3 205m

Hot Keys

Number keys 1 to 5 scroll the view from left to right.

Reference Section

External links are not guaranteed to remain to be safe, meaningful, or appropriate as time goes by.

Signalbox photos can be found here . External photos can be found here . An amateur video of the station can be seen on Youtube .

Signal Number Plans

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
AW Ascott-Under-Wychwood*
BT Bicester Town level crossing signals
DM Down Main automatic signals
DX Down Oxford automatic signals
OB Oxford- Bletchley line signals
OL Oxford- Leamington line signals
SB Swindon B IECC*
UM Up Main automatic signals
UX Up Oxford automatic signals

*Fringe box, signals not controlled in this simulation.

Non-prefixed signals are controlled by Oxford (OX).

Credits and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Stephen Fulcher for his expert knowledge of E10k interlockings and HW panels. As usual, Paul Biddle has written not just one but two great timetables. Thanks also to the various testers including Kev Meredith, Andrew Gardiner, James Nelhams, John Mills, and Noel Young.

Version History and Known Issues

No known issues.

Version 1.2 (3rd August 2017)

- 0017595: [2000 era specific] Departures from DCS 2-4 (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017610: [Simulation] OX15 location check (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017620: [2016 era specific] OX22 to DCS 3 produces error message (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017177: [Simulation] TD lost if train held at AW2 (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017593: [Simulation] Wrong Route Calls - Up Direction moves into Down Passenger Loop (v1.1) (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017291: [Simulation] DM72/UM72/UM69 (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017675: [Simulation] Cowley Token Request Messages (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017676: [Simulation] Hinksey #2 Reception Stop Boards (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

- 0017695: [Simulation] S72 to S150 Route (GeoffMayo) - resolved.

Version 1.0 (6th July 2017)

First release.


Last edited by Steamer on 08/08/2017 at 19:06