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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    I can’t offhand remember the distances but I’m sure we have a couple of 3/4 mile pulls on the GCR. But in my experience the thing which makes them hardest to pull is certain signalmen not understanding how to work wire adjusters and just tightening everything up like banjo strings. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve relieved a signalman on a split shift, pulled one lever and then stopped to let out 10 turns on all of the wire adjusters to restore the box to a workable state.


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  2. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Just watched "Walking Britain's lost Railways" on My5, and what a superb plug for the railway that was. I really hope it got a good audience.
    Lovely to see Bill Pryor looking so well, too.
    I remember 25 years ago, travelling down to Devon with my wife to be, and on spec, calling in at the station house. Bill was the perfect host, showed us all over, and we must have stayed a good couple of hours talking with him.
    Its effectively what got my romance with the L&BR up and running, and also give my intended a chance to see what she was letting herself in for!
    Shame that "Brunel" hasn't weathered quite so well, though :(
    Smashing programme.
     
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  3. Michael B

    Michael B Member

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    There are references at three different dates to the distances of signals from the signal cabins, sometimes agreeing but often with disparities which even Railwest has been unable to think of an explanation :


    Pilton Up home 227 yards 1898, 227 1922, 229 c1928
    Chelfham Down home 193 yards 1898, 206 1922, 230 c1928

    Measuring a map suggests the c1928 figure is excessive. Not being able to walk across the viaduct makes it difficult to confirm the exact distance.

    Barnstaple advance/Pilton Down Home (south of Braunton Road crossing) had the longest pull :

    not listed 1898, 312 yards 1922, 490 c1928. The higher figure for circa 1928 is apparently from the ex LSWR box.

    There would have been slight changes in some cases when signals were renewed, for instance when the Chelfham Up Home was renewed on the other side of the line probably because of tree growth.

    The Bratton distants, while they lasted, were 836 yards down and 504 yards up from the cabin. They certainly existed on the strength of a Summer 1898 picture looking through Southacott Bridge (SR No 36) where half the lower part of the post can be seen on the west side of the track.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
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  4. Axe +1

    Axe +1 New Member

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    Michael, to your knowledge or opinion, were the Bratton 'distant' signals either operational semaphore or fixed types?
     
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  5. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    At least it has not been scrapped and could be restored?
    Might be a bit small and low powered (compared to the Pilton diesel) to be much use at the current L and B railway?.
     
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  6. DcB

    DcB Well-Known Member

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    Good the L and B are helping to support the Paracombe community shop and cafe, but might need more to win over the remaining reluctant land owners who probably get Waitrose deliveries and will oppose anything that will make the village busier?
     
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  7. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    There are some "interesting" comments on the planning application for the new "tea room" at Woody Bay. Here is a link https://planning.agileapplications.co.uk/exmoor/application-details/21788
     
  8. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    "A glazed conservatory type extension would be much more in keeping"
    Obviously a fan of the "Home counties modern domestic" style, then? :Depressed:
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
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  9. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Well-Known Member

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    "Home counties modern domestic": reminds me of Hamilton Ellis's comment on late Victorian LSWR buildings - Built in the style of people who had lost all sense of taste, but had rather more money in the bank.
    Pat
     
  10. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Not Michael, but....:)

    According to the original 1898 BoT Inspection Report, the box at BF was the only one of the four loops to have all 7 levers in use, so on that basis I think that we may presume that the distants were worked. Admittedly the BoT Inspectors did not always get their sums right when reporting the varying numbers of workings and spare levers in a frame, but I think it would have been hard to get it wrong with only 7 in total !

    As an aside....in the early days of the provision of distant signals, especially at locations where there were no starting signals, there was a tendency to regard them simply as 'repeaters' for the Home (usually provided because of sighting problems) and so they were worked simply on the basis that if the Home was off then the Distant was pulled off too. It was not until later that the principle was applied that a Distant could be cleared only when all stop signals in advance and worked from the same box were 'off'. Even so, it was not unknown to find locations at single-line passing-loops where the old interlocking still existed well into late 19th Century simply because it had not yet been upgraded.

    In any case, in later years a working distant at a single-line block post was pretty much superfluous anyway, given that (a) distants ceased to be worked for routes where the speed limit was <40MPH and (b) regardless of the line speed, there was always a lower speed limit (usually 10MPH) at block posts for the exchanges of staff/tablet/token. Although, like with most signalling 'rules', there were always exceptions....:) Coupled with the relaxed requirements for Light Railways, a large number of the (fixed) distants seen on heritage railways these days are really there just for 'tradition' purposes and serve little actual signalling function (as opposed to the operational function of reminding drivers where they are!).
     
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  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    What would an Southern Railway refreshment building have looked like , if that's the era that's being portrayed? the only ones i have seen are the art Nuevo design But is this later than any period that could be set on the L&B ?
     
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  12. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It's a very difficult one to answer. One things for sure- it wouldn't have been an Anglian Home Improvements job.
     
  13. Llwyngwern

    Llwyngwern Member

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    Period wise that would fit with 20's/30's. Architecturally though it would certainly stand out from other L&B structures.
     
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  14. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    I think the proposed design is good - much better than the tent! As for the idea that a glazed conservatory would be more in keeping.........
     
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  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The style you are thinking of is Art Deco rather than Art Nouveau. The archetypal "Southern Odeon" buildings on the SR seem only to date from 1937 onwards as far as I can tell (Surbiton station was the first significant one I believe; there are some earlier buildings that are technically Art Deco but not the specific "streamline moderne" form. London Underground also rebuilt some stations in a similar style around that time. Odeon had clearly built sufficient cinemas in an Art Deco style to cause the name to be - perhaps mockingly? - attached to the SR station style).

    Probably the one thing you can be sure of is that the SR weren't likely to have unveiled their strikingly modern new vision of station architecture on a backwards branch line high up in the hills more than 200 miles from London!

    Tom
     
  16. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    The name of the objector sounds familiar. I think he has another agenda....
     
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  17. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    It was a familiar name to me too. However we musn't forget that this is intended to be a temporary structure as stated in the application. Also the design was modified following comments from the planning authority who seem to be supporting the current revised design.
     
  18. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Which document is that mentioned in please? Everything that I can see looks like it's meant to be permanent.

    Thanks

    Keith
     
  19. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    Hi Keith - The Additional Information document - page 2 - it mentions that in the long-term Woody Bay may revert to a through station and the demand for the Tea Room could reduce - so they are not proposing a masonry building. Harold
     
  20. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Quite. A rather "transparent" one. (Sorry- couldn't resist it!)
     

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