Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Traffic Movements at Tipton Station box, 1964

There's an introduction to Tipton Station box (with a signalling diagram) here.

Tipton Station box Wednesday 7th October 1964

(1) I arrive on the 1.13 p.m. Up Local (late, of course) in time to swing the gates behind my own train and give 'Train out of Section'.
(2) Tipton Curve opens just after Princes End has sent on ‘58’ (this irregularity is not shown in The Book!) and the train creeps gingerly past behind a ‘Black 5’.
(3) Afternoon trade is quite quiet, although there is plenty of road traffic (a moral?) but things liven up when ‘38’ comes past on the Down for Spring Vale.
(4) The Diesel Parcels Unit comes Up as ‘Empty Stock’ from Wolverhampton, to work the Tipton Parcels. The DPU is usually put ‘across the road’ at Watery Lane but today we cross him at Tipton and put him on the Back Road on the Down.
(5) Road traffic has become very heavy by the time ‘38’ returns Up Engine and Brake. Every motorist seems determined not to wait and takes the most outrageous risks. Strictly, once the gates have left the Stops, the road traffic loses right of way. Drivers seem to think they can bluff their way across by refusing to stop but they fail to realise that, even if your reactions are fast enough to stop the gate wheel, the mechanics of the system are such that the gates can still swing and give a hefty clout to a car. I get one driver stuck in the middle and he just manages to creep out, with inches to spare. Another driver comes round the blind corner on the Up side of the crossing, starts to cross and then loses his nerve. I make him reverse.
(6) As the Up Local coasts into the station at 6.4 p.m., we loose the DPU out. When the Up passenger clears the junction, the Parcels departs for Walsall, with 3 vans tail traffic.
(7) At 6.54 p.m., there is just time to clear the “back ‘uns” for the Down Local, then its down to the platform to board him.