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Table of Contents

Watford Junction
Official Files
Introduction
Start-Up Options
Scenarios
Operating Notes
Up Fast Approach
Emergency Replacement Switches 182 / 766 and 183 / 768
Available Routes and Via Buttons
Watford Yard Ground Frame (4002)
Watford North Ground Frame (4003)
Crossovers at Watford
Watford DC Lines connection
Fringe working
Electrification
Level Crossings
Multiplayer & Chaining
Acknowledgments
Reference Section
Signal Number Plan
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Platform Lengths
Timetabling Details
TIPLOC Codes
Line Speeds
Splash Screens
External Resources
ARS / Route Data
Version History

Watford Junction

Official Files

Title Version Released
Simulation (Payware) 1.3 15/09/2020
15/10/2009 WTT (Midnight and 0445 Start included) 5.0 23/04/2021

Additional user-written timetables are available to download here .

Introduction

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 was cut back substantially to the area between Bushey and Apsley from 7th June 2004. This simulation represents the box during this later stage of its life. Watford Jn PSB closed on 29th December 2014, the area being resignalled and recontrolled from a new panel in Wembley Main Line signalbox. The latter fringes 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.

Platforms 1-4 at Watford Jn (there is no platform 5) are controlled by Wembley Suburban , and form the northern terminus of the 'Watford DC' suburban lines from Euston. However, there is a connection from these lines to the Down Fast, which is used by the occasional empty stock or engineer's train.

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.

Start-Up Options

Scenarios

Easy mode

No trackside equipment failures and minimum delays

Normal mode

Standard scenario with some delays and failures

Fast line platforms closed

Platforms 6 and 7 are closed; you must carefully regulate all traffic on the Slow lines through the station. Note also that the connection to Wembley Suburban is unavailable; you must adjust the timetable you're playing to account for this.

Operating Notes

Up Fast Approach

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.

Emergency Replacement Switches 182/766 and 183/768

Each of these switches replace both signals indicated.

Available Routes and Via Buttons

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:

  • WJ2004 to WJ744
  • WJ756 to WJ744
  • Both routes can be set via B or via C.

Watford Yard Ground Frame (4002)

Lever Operates Notes
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.

Sending a Train on to the Branch

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.

Getting a Train off the Branch

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.

Watford North Ground Frame (4003)

Signals 50 and 51 operate automatically for trains to and from St. Albans.

Lever Operates Notes
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!

Crossovers at Watford

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.

Watford DC Lines connection

You must grant a slot for trains crossing from the Watford DC lines to the Up Fast; on grating the slot, the Wembley Suburban signaller will set the route from WS77/WS309 to 761. The slot applies to both WS77 and WS309.

You must request a slot (located next to signal 2006) to Wembley Suburban if you want to send a train towards the DC lines; the route can be set once the slot has been granted.

There is an additional control for Watford Jn to release the crossover points; this does not need to be used if the slots are used.

When not chained to Wembley Suburban, you have the ability to control Wembley Suburban's signals as if they were your own, however the slots must still be granted to allow the routes to be set.

Fringe working

Entering BLOK or similar codes at the first controlled signal from Wembley or Bourne End will cause all trains to enter on the alternative line.

Note that from the south, trains can only be switched between the Fast and Slow lines; closing both will not force trains to enter from Watford High Street. In reality, this isn't a practical diversion as WCML drivers generally do not sign the DC lines, and vice-versa.

Electrification

All lines are electrified with standard 25kV AC overhead wires, with the exception of the connection to the Watford DC lines.

The Watford DC lines are electrified with 750V DC third rail. The Down Fast from the connection to the Watford lines to Platform 6 is also fitted with third rail, in addition to overhead wires.

Level Crossings

There is a single ABCL crossing at Watford North; this requries no intervention from the signaller.

Multiplayer & Chaining

The simulation can easily be managed by a single player, and is ideal for a beginner.

The simulation chains on all fringes:

Simulation Location
Rugby South Bourne End Jn
Wembley Mainline Wembley Central
Wembley Suburban Watford High Street

Acknowledgments

Simulation by: Geoff Mayo

15/10/2009 WTT by: Unknown

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.

Reference Section

Signal Number Plan

Watford Junction Signal Number Plan

This is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. 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 .

Signal Box Prefix Codes

Code Box
WM Wembley Mainline*
WS Wembley Suburban*

*Fringe Box, signals not controlled in this simulation.

Non-prefixed signals are controlled by Watford Junction (plated WJ on the ground)

Platform Lengths

Platform Lengths

Location Platform Length (m)
Watford Junction 6 253
7 253
8 253
9 269
10 165
11 88

Timetabling Details

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.

TIPLOC Codes

TIPLOC Codes

Line Speeds

  • The Fast lines are 110mph throughout, plus EPS-enhanced limits of 125mph south of Bushey and north of Kings Langley.
  • The Slow lines are mostly 90mph with a 75mph restriction through Watford Junction and an 80mph restriction near Bushey.
  • Watford South Junction is rated at 50mph fast to slow and vice versa on the double lead, and just 15mph on the single lead.
  • Watford North Junction is rated at 50mph fast to slow and vice versa.
  • The St. Albans Abbey branch is 50mph once north of Watford North.

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.

Splash Screens

Splash1 The fringe at Bushey on the real panel
Splash2 Watford Jn station on the real panel
Splash3 Watford Jn station on the real panel
Splash4 The St. Albans branch on the real panel
Splash5 Watford South Jn on the real panel. The design of Watford Jn box has two panels: one at a lower level for the signal controls, the second at a higher level with indications.

External Resources

Pictures

Peter Bennet's photostream Detailed panel photos of Watford Junction PSB

Videos

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.

ARS/Route Data

Route Notes

Version History

Version History


Last edited by Steamer on 23/04/2021 at 20:31