Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Making Connections

Tuesday 2nd Oct

Seven of us at Broadway today to carry on with the connecting up of signals. All the eight wires have now been threaded through the rollers down both platforms. There are now a lot of connections to make to the signals and signal box. Here are a few of them:
Starting to get a little congested at the tunnel

And several connected up in the locking room:

And at the other end connected up to signal 39 - after a bit of tweaking this signal operates perfectly:

And two wires to the double ground signal at the base of the direction indicator

Who can resist a shot of P & O running round and passing the signal on the opposite side

This is a close up of one of the joints attaching the end of a wire to a pulley sling. To ensure that the joint is secure each individual wire is unpicked and wound round progressively locking it all together.
The ends of the slings are made by bending the flexible multi-stranded wire round a thimble and crimping with two aluminium alloy collars. Should have taken a photo of the crimping tool but if you can imagine a pair of bolt cutters with attitude that's what it looks like! A batch of these of varying lengths have been made back in our workshop  at Winchcombe.

And further jointing in progress at the pulleys opposite the box on platform 1

Now that the majority of the work is completed at the north end we have made a start with the southbound wires. There will be a total of 6 wires here (all on platform 1 side) - four to the bracket signal (still to be installed), one for the Advanced Starter and one for the Outer Home (posts soon to be erected and "dressed").
Remember that the wooden post starter signal is already connected from a wire crossing from platform 2 and the single arm on the existing bracket is also connected down platform 2.

John P and Malcolm spent most of the day sorting out the wire routing from the end of platform 1 up to Evesham Road Bridge and beyond. Some brackets have been fixed to the bridge to carry the sets of rollers. Although there are only six wires crossing the bridge there will be two unused rollers.
The reason for this is that we are very short on 2 and 3 wheel castings and have plenty of 4 wheelers!

To avoid the brickwork underneath platform 1 ramp the wires will be directed down by passing underneath the rollers:

Here is a view towards the bridge using a rope to get the best position for the rollers. Another set will have to be placed  just past the ground pulley to ensure the wires are clear of the point rodding cranks

The jigsaw is gradually coming together!!

Having got across the bridge there is quite a distance to go to the outer home - this is 720 yards from the signal box - so many more stakes to install yet.

Finally, the story of the golden T-bolt! All the correct t-bolts have now been fitted to the rodding runs. Not quite the same as the golden spike of American fame but nevertheless the end of a long rodding journey (sorry, not quite accurate - the compensators are still awaiting their connecting linkages!) Neil C poised here for the final tighten with an impact socket.



  1. Tut, tut! The "Outer Home" is in fact the "Home" in GWR parlance, then the bracket signal will be the "Inner Home" You'll never see the term "Outer Home" on a Western lever lead plate. 720 yards is going to be a heavy pull, I hope you're going to fit a help-spring to the lever!

    1. Thanks for your observation. I believe the outer home designation is probably more of a Midland designation. My dad was a signalman in the Nottingham area - so that's my excuse!!
      The 720yard pull won't be a problem. The distant at Gotherington is a distance of approx 1400 yards from the box and I am told that the pull on this is well OK. A distance of up to a mile is considered OK without any assistance.
      I'll let you know when we have it connected.

  2. Very well done on all the work so far.
    Great pictures Curly.
    Regards, Paul.

  3. I thought there was going to be another barrow crossing at the southern end - are you going to run the wires in plastic pipe to allow for this?

  4. There will be. Actual design of cable ducts to be decided.

  5. Well done the S & T department, when all is connected up will there be a test run of all the levers and signals? if so, then a couple of days notice so we can attend and watch, then help you with the celebrations. You all deserve a good drink for this job. All this and looking after the rest of the line! Well done all.
    Paul & Marion

    1. Yes, they will all be tested mechanically as we go along. But until all the cabling and signal box instruments are installed and everything is commissioned they will not be used in anger.
      If you happen to be on platform 1 at Broadway on a Tuesday I'm sure we could give you a wave with an arm or two!
      By the time you read this all the northern end signals should have been connected up as there was a small team there on Thursday to move this on - mainly connecting up in the locking room.

  6. Fascinating stuff - makes you appreciate what has to happen before the signalman just pulls the levers!