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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    It could be a breakdown train going to clear the line. :)
     
  2. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think it’s actually an inter-regional Bournemouth West - Oxford (GW) code, which would explain the western engine ...

    Tom
     
  3. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Well-Known Member

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    " in my dotage " Surely Robin you're still a babe . Good that it is that your plan is to " banish vinyl lettering from West Somerset , I must agree that they are just not right on a Herritage Railway . I have seen some wonderful work done on lorries in the past but rarely seen now , except by companies that care . As wonderful as the I.O.M. is not being able to ride my motorbike does take a lot of the possible pleasure away , so I am hoping to move closer to the WSR so volunteering is possible , so watch out you might be seeing more of me .
     
  4. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Well-Known Member

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    I would think just about all the sidings on the WSR must be empty bar a few van bodies and tankers after assembling that open wagon train . How I miss the sound of an unbraked goods train either when taking up the strain or braking .
     
  5. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    I can’t see any headcode?
     
  6. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    In this case the headcode is the Loco lamps.
     
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  7. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  8. Paul Kibbey

    Paul Kibbey Well-Known Member

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    Thak you very much for that very comprehensive list . Yes, I knew all about the lamps but wouldn't had a clue to all the variations . Only being an enthusiast I don't think it is necessary for me to know . When talking to an old steam driver based at Reading he asked me " what does it mean if you don't see a red light on the back of the tran ? He told me with a silly grin on his face , " it's obvious boy , it means a carriage has fallen off .
     
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  9. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    Well that's essentially it!!! If a train passes you without a tail lamp then there is immediate cause for concern!
     
  10. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    I never knew that with lamps . That’s interesting
     
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  11. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    The Southern Railway and successor Southern Region used their headlamps mainly to indicate the routing. This was a continuation of the practices of the three main constituent companies.

    There is a website giving listings of all those route headcodes, but it is quite complicated and detailed. I've looked at it but never tried to learn them.

    I believe at one time some of the Scottish companies used routing codes which involved different coloured lamps, and a miniature set of semaphore style arms below the chimney.
     
  12. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    The simplest explanation between the Southern system and what became the standard system across much of the country is that on the Southern the headcode generally specified a train's routing (I think some light engine moves used the standard code, as well as some interregionals as previously mentioned), whereas in almost every other instance (I say almost as there's bound to be some exceptions) in Britain the headcode specified what type of train it was. The Southern sometimes used lamps to indicate its route headcodes, and at night exclusively used them I should think (The LBSCR had some headcodes formed of both lamps and disks!), and some other areas used disks to indicate the standard ones (the GER appears to have done so, and I believe this was carried through to BR days).

    Route indication on the front of trains was far from a purely Southern affair. I think some other companies had route indicating headcodes (I.E. using the lamp/disk positions to indicate the route), the Caledonian certainly used the semaphore device mentioned above (Possibly the lamps indicated the type of train, the semaphore device its routing?).

    The LMS, I believe, developed the 4-character system (referred to as a 'Train Reporting Number') that became a standard for BR and is what was used on diesel locos in the headcode box, displacing lamps and discs (some earlier diesels were fitted with standard lamp positions and folding disks). On steam locos it was carried on a small board, mounted on a lamp iron, the figures printed onto small pieces of paper. This style of headcode (an example of which might be the famous '1T57' - Probably the last reporting number a steam loco had to carry.), I gather, gives an indication of both the type of train and the routing. I believe this system, or a variant of it, remains in use to this day for train description, though the trains themselves no longer carry the reporting number.

    The GWR had a similar sort of set up, but a 3-character system rather than a 4-character one, using large stencils mounted on the Smokebox. This seems to have been largely concentrated on express workings, though I may be wrong.

    Oh, and if a loco is carrying lamps (or possibly also disks?) on all lamp irons (other than on the Southern - in that instance it's all except the pair mounted generally halfway up the smokebox) then as I understand it that's a sure sign that the train in question is the Royal Train. As with all of this, though, I could be wrong.

    Southern Railway (and the preceding LSWR, LBSCR and SECR, plus the subsequent BR(S) route-indication headcodes can be found here: http://www.semgonline.com/headcodes/sheadcodes.html

    Standard Lamp codes can be found here: http://www.wheeltappersdccsounds.co.uk/page72/index.html

    The GER appears to have had its own system, more here: https://www.gersociety.org.uk/index.php/locomotives/information-leaflets/headcodes-part-1

    An example of an LMS Headcode+Reporting number combination can be seen here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_01_2010/post-6751-12623749706836.jpg

    And a GWR one here: http://www.davidheyscollection.com/userimages/000-0-a-rs-greenwood-C62-R.jpg

    An explanation of the diesel equivalents - https://www.2d53.co.uk/Headcode/headcode.htm

    It's a minefield, and once again I seem to have written a huge post that isn't related to the WSR and probably few people care about. Oh and it's probably wrong too! :p
     
  13. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    Appendix VIII of Great Western Way contains useful lists of GWR headcodes.

    So what would be a more accurate headcode for a daytime goods train with three brake vans & no broccoli?
     
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  14. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    "K" I would have thought.
     
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  15. R Kenning

    R Kenning New Member

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    At last a sensible post from a sensible person. There are many changes happening on the WSR, all are designed to ensure that there will be a WSR to visit in the future. Under the chairmanship of Jonathan Jones-Pratt things can only get better. All strength to JJP's elbow.
     
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  16. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    Bringing this closer to home, there are pictures from the early 1950s which show Barnstaple and Minehead line trains displaying a large white disk (larger than the standard SR size) on the central buffer beam lamp bracket. In the centre of the disk was a large black "B" for Barnstaple line and "M" for Minehead line. Captions of photographs suggest that this was for the benefit of the Norton Fitzwarren signalman who therefore knew where to send the train. I find this very hard to believe because the lettered disks only appeared to be used for a fairly short number of years, and in any case would not have been visible in the hours of darkness. Even odder is that they were also displayed on the return (up) journey, in which case there wasn't much choice as to where to send the train! My guess is that they may have been introduced to enable the station staff at Norton Fitzwarren to know where the train was going, or had come from, because the timetable sometimes got out of sequence. I cannot remember the platform configuration at Norton, but I recall both Barnstaple and Minehead line trains normally used the same platforms, which would also have been used (?) by slow trains on the main line.

    All this begs a number of questions and it would be interesting to know if anyone has any answers. Was there any distinctive bell code from Taunton to Norton Fitzwarren to indicate destination? What were the purpose of these disks, and why were they only used for a short period? Why were they also displayed on the return journey - was it simply to get them home?

    Frank
     
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  17. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Nice to watching shunting this afternoon 2F2428DA-9825-453B-B01B-AB7F02F71D83.jpeg
     
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  18. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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  19. Jim O'Brien

    Jim O'Brien New Member

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    I can't read the small print on the signs, nor make out the gauge size. Is that replicating the WSR original broad gauge, or a link from the later West Somerset Mineral Railway, or just a dock access track not connected to anything else? Thanks in advance. Nice pic too.
     
  20. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    A720E2F5-116F-4E35-A3FF-490A8648521C.jpeg
     

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