Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Electrical Matters

Now that the  Concentrator Upgrade scheme is completed for now, and thanks to Keverns clever work, we also have fully operational direct comm's between Toddington and Winchcombe.
We had the circuit working before but using a spare phone connected as a phantom SPT.
Since this is safety critical we always had the fallback on the strowger system extensions

Broadway is the final unit and thats presently under construction deep in a garage in Worcestershire.
We have had to modify the original design for these Box to Box circuits  and this has taken time and brain cells to engineer, shortly it will be added to the box to box circuit between Winchcombe. Gotherington and Cheltenham.

Final Installation at Toddington complete with posh engraved signal name labels and new shelf courtesy of Eddie in Carriage and Wagon

 Incidentally the other circuits based on our ancient strowger  exchanges continues to work - more on Toddington 60 a bit later.

We have started to turn our attentions to the  condition of the Signal Post Phones. Initial inspections show that we need to change about half of them for upgrade and refurbishment , that means that I need to get on and build up some more spares,

 Signal Post Phone on Winchcombe signal 3/5

We continue with the programme of cable replacement- getting rid of dodgy old joints like this one  which was at Winchcombe

 This particular one was sorted out  by Neil  and is the reason why there is now a new  small cabinet opposite Winchcombe Signal Box. Its what happen if connections lay damp for many years. The  crimps were originally grease filled  but the grease  does eventually give up and electrolysis sets in giving all sorts of odd faults. Shortly the old joints inside  Greet Tunnel will be in the scrap , sorry recycling, bin and this will also help to reduce the fault liability. They are very difficult to work on safely inside the tunnel.

I said earlier that the Strowger units continue to work well. On the whole, they do, yesterday Paul and I investigated the problems with the Todd Booking Office internal Phone, we eventually proved it to a particular length  of cable close to Todd Box, those hungry meeces again, we surmise.

Mike S, Paul D and of course Kevern O.


  1. The units look very good and 'of an age'. SVR telecoms was a huge ex GPO unit based, at that time, at Bewdley. and the whole system was controlled so as to provide a dial phone (of suitable visual vintage), to all locations, but you could literally walk into the exchange and you seemed to need a Degree to understand half of it!! However it did work well. What the system is like now, I don't know as I am many miles from that railway now. Regards, Paul.

  2. Our PAX units ae very boring, housed in closed steel cabinets with internal heaters to keep out the damp and the cold of the unheated Locking Rooms. Each has now been placed onto a small trolley so that we now have access to front, selectors and alotter uniselecors. The rear is a very large tagstrip which is like an IDF. I was apprenticed in London in the Strowger days and yes it did get a big complicated at times. Circuit Diagrams as big as a desk!. If you get a chance Dean Forest have an excellent display of working strowger and Avoncroft Museum at Bromsgrove has a working UAX 12 or 13- not quite sure, with a demonstration pre2000 director.