Thursday, 2 March 2017

Connecting the Signals

Tuesday 28th Feb

Six of us in action today with several objectives at Winchcombe:

To replace the remaining signal wire stakes with their pulleys.
To connect all the signal wires to the re-positioned starter signals and their banner repeaters.
To continue laying the concrete cable troughing from the line side cabinet to the connection point for the new point motor.
Fit approx 120 track bonding wires (all holes in rails previously drilled)
Re-connect the track circuit wiring.
Clean and paint the wooden signal post at the end of platform 2 ( now the repeater).

Malcolm W has been busy since last week preparing the 2 Banner Repeater discs , here's the second one finished and  ready to take up and fit:

And here it is fitted


And it does work!


Signal wire can be very tricky to uncoil and great care must be taken to keep the coil from springing open because once it gets tangled it can be a swine to straighten, hence a steady 2 man operation with Keith holding tight and Jim easing it out:

And a couple of shots of the connections at the signals. This one of the platform 2 starter has ended up with 3 pulleys to reach up the bank. The wire coming down from the upper pulley is the return pull to activate the banner repeater at the end of the platform.


The arrangement for the platform 1 starter is more straightforward requiring only one pulley for the return pull to its banner. This shot not too clear as I was put off by the approach of the tamper! A lot of activity going on today, dodging around P.Way activity!

John P and Jim P were busy with the bonding wire fitting. Quite a long job which took all day. Luckily Neil C had pre-drilled the two holes in the rail ends a couple of weeks earlier. Bonding wires are fitted in pairs so that there is always continuity in case one gets broken or disconnected.


There has been  a visit by S & T to the Great Central Railway at Loughborough to collect a purchase of point rodding. This is another essential supply required for Broadway. It is looking a bit rusty at the moment so another few hours of angle grinding with wire brushes required followed by a bit of anti-rust treatment.  Never a dull moment!

 I'm afraid I didn't get any more photos of the rest of today's activity but I can report that we achieved most of our objectives.
Four of us were at it again on Wednesday. Neil C was beavering away to finish  installing the new cabling for the track circuits. Richard C , Ian R (all the way from Bletchley) and Malcolm W spent the day installing the point stretchers and linkages for the point motor. A lot of adjustment was necessary with trial and error spacers to ensure that the point blades were in the correct position and within tolerance.  Some work still required to determine the length of the detector linkages once the motor is positioned. 
The plan is to instal the point motor on Thursday. Hope it all works by Saturday!



  1. Pardon my asking, but as an ex BR Guard, I seem to remember banner repeaters were in cases so that they can be front lit. I take it that this is not the case at Winchcombe. How then, is the banner illuminated at night time? I ask as I am quie interested in signalling infrastructure. Regards, Paul.

  2. It was not intended to illuminate them. Most movements will be operating in daylight or twilight - We shall have to see how it works out in practice.

  3. The electrically operated cased banners were back lit through white glass. We have one in use at Toddington. Unfortunately very few are recovered intact from modern dismantling and we have been unable to sorce more. The mechanilcal banners at Winchcombe could be front lit using swan neck lamps if we find it necessary.

    Neil C.