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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Where/why did the GWR use the Whittaker system, were the designs 'in the public domain' did they use it on other lines, etc?
     
  2. Maverick

    Maverick Member

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    The WSR’s loco situation is supported by emergency government loans from the National Collection.......not quite!


    Not sure of the year but found these pics during A clear out today. My first memories of the west Somerset railway was watching someone dressed as IKB on a pump trolley make their way through BL station!
     

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  3. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Summer Saturday use on the WSR at Crowcombe, Leigh Woods and Kentsford to speed the trains through.
     
  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Actually, AFAIK they had it at all the signal-boxes on the line, same thing applied on the D&SR (Barnstaple line).

    As to why they used it, presumably 'cos whatever trials they did suggested to them that it was more suitable than Manson or other types. I /think/ I have some notes about the background somewhere......:(
     
  5. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    The Manson pattern was deliberately left unpatented so as to avoid the dangers of tablet exchange. I don't know if the same was true of the Whitaker apparatus.
     
  6. Maverick

    Maverick Member

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    I recall the one conversation in BL loco mess room a few years ago where two ex Taunton shed staff recalled a time where they were working towards Williton at speed and hit the Whitaker apparatus at Leigh loop at speed. The token flew up in the air and disappeared down onto the valley not to be found for over a week...for which pilot man working had to be introduced.
     
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  7. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I gather that over the years, several tokens ended up in the roof (Thatch?) of The Hope and Anchor at Midford
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    One of the very serious invocations to novice cleaners on the Bluebell when approaching Sheffield Park is to not even think about hanging the token out until you are safely across the River Ouse Bridge!

    Tom
     
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  9. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    In the tram / US trolley world, we call them 'trigs'.
    Nobody knows why.
    It may be to do with the trigonometric attributes of a triangle with a curved hypotenuse.
     
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  10. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...and it is reported that one was found many years after the closure of the railway when the owner of one of the neighbouring houses drained his water-butt :)
     
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  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I wonder if that is an NG practice because I think the FR is the same?



    One for you fans of token changes.
     
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  12. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I don't think anyone used pouches for electric train staffs as seen in this video. Because of the size and shape of them a pouch is unnecessary. Pouches tend to be used for various forms of tokens and tablets which are smaller and less easy to hand over without some form of case or pouch.

    Peter
     
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  13. 46229

    46229 New Member

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    Agree 100%. The GWSR carry on the front locomotive as do most other heritage railways now for very good reasons. The post further up criticising this completely ignores the fact that railways do actually talk to each other at an operational level and particularly at a signalling level where, I understand, there is a great deal of co-operation.
     
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  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    And also a great deal of volunteers who work at more one railway, so having rule book harmony is good from that perspective too.
     
  15. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    In the Isle of Wight, one section used the Miniature Electric Staff for a period and utilised pouches. One survives.
     
  16. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    They're a lot smaller than the Electric Staffs in the video @Monkey Magic posted, though.

    Having said that, the Ffestiniog uses both sizes currently, definitely used miniature staffs before preservation, and I don't believe has ever used pouches for them.
     
  17. MG 7305

    MG 7305 New Member

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    The back of the casting has a cut-out through which the colour of the token can be seen.

    I once had the privilege of travelling the full length of the WSR in the cab of D832. I noted that the tokens each had one of four colours. I raised the four colour map theorem (you cannot colour a 2 dimensional map of shapes, such as a world political map, with less than four colours if you do not want colours touching) and wondered if the GWR used the same theory to ensure that the tokens could not be confused, one with another. Can anyone confirm this?

    Best regards

    Julian
     
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  18. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    From memory, the ones you use when Minffordd TyB is a long section are shorter. I assume the bigger ones are used to facilitate exchanging tokens.

    Does anyone know what they use on the VoR or WLLR? Did they adopt GWR practice?
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't think it can be true, because in principle you could have a signal box controlling a junction with more than four diverging single track lines - in fact it could have an arbitrarily large number, though it would be unlikely. There is also the issue of overlapping token sections where you have "long section" working. (For example, on the Bluebell, we have SP - HK (green); HK - Kingscote (blue); Kingscote - EG (red) but also SP - Kingscote long section (yellow); plus HK - Ardingly (colour =??) so in principle five tokens in use, though no more than three should ever go into one signal box.

    As a related point: on a train staff, there are a series of discs at one end:

    [​IMG]

    The one at the far end is for alignment; the others have precise (but variable) spacings so that they fit the machine they are designed for. As I understand, in the UK there are only four different combinations of spacings that were used; however, on Irish railways there were six (analogous to having six different token colours). That is presumably because the most extreme condition considered in Britain was four single lines meeting and therefore the signal box needing four distinct token machines (for example, two singe track lines joining then diverging at a station), but in Ireland, with a greater prevalence of single track, it was thought conceivably a signal box might have six token machines, all of which needed to be distinct so that a token couldn't physically be inserted in the wrong machine.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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  20. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    As you say, the four colour map theorem applies to a two-dimensional map. A railway is, for this purpose, essentially one-dimensional except at junctions, so just two colours would suffice to avoid having the same colour for two adjacent sections, or three where there is a junction. But it seems better to use more.

    Edit, I see that Tom has replied in similar terms, but more comprehensively.
     

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