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Watford Junction PSB opened during 1964 as part of the resignalling of the southern end of the West Coast Main Line. Originally controlling from Bushey (fringing with Willesden PSB) to Cheddington (fringing with Bletchley PSB), the box's area has been cut back substantially to the area between Bushey and Apsley. This simulation represents its last days as an independent signalbox before it is scheduled to be resignalled and recontrolled from a new panel in Wembley Main Line signalbox. The latter will then fringe to Rugby SCC (to the ironically-named Watford desk) at roughly the same location as Watford Junction PSB.
An important location on the busy four track West Coast Main Line from London Euston to the north, this area sees the fast trains flying through, only being on your panel for a few minutes, before passing to the next signalbox. However, incidents can occur which rely on you doing some regulation in order to keep the trains moving as best as possible.
The St. Albans Abbey branch is included but apart from entering the train onto the branch in the morning and taking it off in the evening, there is not a whole lot to do! There are no train describers on the branch so Sticky Notes should be used to keep track of which headcode is currently in operation.
The simulation is suitable for one-person operation and is fairly easy so is suitable for those new to SimSig. Chaining is possible to the following:
A slightly unusual indication on the real Watford Junction panel is the track through Apsley platform 2 on the Up Fast. The approaching tracks are combined into one indiction such that it becomes occupied when a train is approaching either of signals WT3134 or WT3138. The TD berth will still step through the two signals.
Each of these switches replace both signals indicated.
Not all theoretically possible routes are provided, as per the real interlocking. For example, the only route from WJ2009 is along the Up Fast to WJ2007. It is not possible to get from platform 9 at Watford Junction into the Neck.
Via buttons must be used when there is a possibility of using either crossover between the Up Fast and the Down Slow. These routes are:
|1||Release||Once the signaller releases the ground frame, this lever can be reversed to operate the ground frame|
|2||Branch Points||This controls the point between siding 1 and the St. Albans branch|
|3||Signal WJ752||Once the signaller has operated the co-operative control on signal WJ752, this can be operated to show a proceed aspect on that signal|
|4||Hand Points 3-7||This hand point gives access to sidings 3-7. It is simulated in the frame for easy access but does not require a release to operate.|
With a train approaching signal WJ759, first (as the signaller) operate the release for ground frame 4002 by left-clicking on the green F circle. As a shunter, take the release by reversing lever 1. Reverse the point towards the branch by reversing lever 2. Set a route from signal WJ759 to the exit triangle near signal WJ2002. Note that there are no train describer berths on the branch line. The train will proceed onto the branch, disappearing momentarily as it traverses the non-track-circuited section.
Once the train has arrived complete at platform 11, normalise the branch points by normalising lever 2. Normalise lever 1 to give the frame back to the signaller. The signaller can then right-click on the white F roundel to restore the ground frame to normal.
With the train at a stand at platform 11, as a signaller release the ground frame by left-clicking on the green F circle for ground frame 4002. As a shunter, take the release by reversing lever 1. Reverse the point from the branch by reversing lever 2. As a signaller, left-click the co-operative plunger next to signal WJ752. As a shunter, give the train a proceed aspect on signal WJ752 by reversing lever 3. As a signaller, when ready, set route from signal WJ2002 to the train's next location. Once the train is clear of the trackwork the shunter may restore the ground frame by normalising levers 3, 2, and 1 in that order. The signaller can then take back the frame by right-clicking on the white F roundel.
|1||Release||Once the signaller releases the ground frame, and a 3 minute timeout has expired, this lever can be reversed to operate the ground frame.|
|2||Branch Points||This lever operates the points leading off the running line into the sidings.|
|3||Siding Points||This lever operates the points determining which siding to access.|
|4||Signal WJ50||This lever operates the subsidiary aspect on signal WJ50. The branch points must be reversed before this lever can be pulled.|
|5||Top Siding Handsignal||This gives the driver of a train in the top siding a handsignal to indicate it is safe to proceed. As this is a handsignal, it is not interlocked with the frame so be careful using it!|
|6||Bottom Siding Handsignal||This gives the driver of a train in the bottom siding a handsignal to indicate it is safe to proceed. As this is a handsignal, it is not interlocked with the frame so be careful using it!|
The single lead ladder immediately south of the platforms was removed during the Watford blockades in August 2014.
Pending renewals, most of Watford North Junction was taken out of use during the same period on 18 August 2014, with only the Down Slow to Up Slow trailing crossover (3034/3035 points) remaining operational. On 7 April 2015, that remaining crossover was taken OOU as well, with the whole junction remaining inoperative until further notice.
The connection to the St. Albans Abbey line was also remodelled in August 2014, with it now directly branching off the connection to platform 10, however this change is currently not modelled within the simulation.
Given the linespeed of the single lead junction immediately to the south of Watford Junction, it would be better to use the faster Watford North Junction instead if crossing from fast to slow or vice versa.
Down fast/slow trains should enter at the Wembley Central departure/passing time. Down DC trains should enter at the Watford High Street departure/passing time. Up fast/slow trains should enter at the Bourne End Junction passing time.
|Bourne End Jn||BONENDJ|
|Harrow & Wealdstone||HROW|
|Kings Langley Loop||KLGLLP|
|Wembley North Jn||NWEMJN|
|St. Albans Abbey||STALBNA|
|Watford High St||WATFDHS|
|Watford North Jn||WATFDNJ|
|Watford South Jn||WATFJSJ|
|WJ2001/WJ2009||WJ2001||For reversing at signals WJ2001 or WJ2009|
|WJ2016/WJ2018||WJ2016||For reversing at signals WJ2016 or WJ2018|
|Name||Entry Point ID||Notes|
Although every effort is taken to check external content, the links below are provided without any claims of quality or appropriateness.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 . When checked during June 2014, it had reached v11 and the download size was just over 70MB.
*Fringe Box, signals not controlled in this simulation.
Non-prefixed signals are controlled by Watford Junction (WJ)
|Peter Bennet's photostream||Detailed panel photos of Watford Junction PSB|
|Class 86 Action x 9 @ Watford Jn, 02-10-13||YouTube video taken on the platforms at Watford Junction|
|87005 London Euston - Watford Junction Driver`s Eye View||YouTube video taken over the driver's shoulder|
|St Albans Abbey to Watford Junction *Drivers Eye View*||Video taken from secondman's position on a 321.|
Many thanks to PP (Guts) for his help in ensuring the simulation is as realistic as possible. Thanks also to Peter Bennet, Stephen Fulcher, and the ICT group for testing and timetabling.
|11301||Watford North GF release not prevented by TC occupancy|
|11156||Sig 2002 & 2003 should have opposing locking ommitted|
|11139||Adjacent Boxes not labelled|
|11132||Train finds buffer stops from WJ752 over ground frame|
|10842||WJ182BR should be tri-state|
First release. No known issues.
Last edited by GeoffM on 15/09/2016 at 03:00