Thursday, 30 June 2011

Track Diagrams: Dudley

(Click on image to enlarge)

By 1967, the Dudley station I grew up with had been swept away and the area was being prepared for a new life as a Container Terminal for 'Freightliner' trains. In March of that year, I recorded what I could see and produced a 'fair copy' at home (oddly, using a blue fountain pen).

The station and platforms had gone, although the signal box which used to stand on the platform was still in use. The new signal box, a British Rail standard design, was under construction.

The line towards Blower's Green and the tunnel was little changed, but the Great Western main line towards Wolverhampton had been singled and truncated at Princes End (GW). This was presumably to serve the South Staffs Wagon Co. (visible from Bloomfield Junction box).

As far as I remember, most of the signals were Western Region tubular pattern, apart from the Up Home. This was the LMS-style steel bracket signal originally the Up Home for Dudley East, now shorn of all arms but one. I think the doll reading out of the LNW Yard was the original upper quadrant retained.

I found the whole business very depressing. Dudley had always been a 'Mecca' for me with Midland Region and Western Region joining up and locomotives from two of the 'Big Four' on view side-by-side (and whilst the Zoo didn't particularly appeal, it did have a rather nice miniature railway). I don't think I ever went back after making this survey.