Saturday, 18 June 2011

Traffic Movements on the Stour Valley, 1961-1962 (Part 2)

My original notes appear in italics with minimal editing, followed by my recent comments attempting clarification. In some posts where a number of movements are only briefly described, numbers in brackets have been added to assist in locating entries.

There's an introduction to Watery Lane (with a signalling diagram) here.

Watery Lane Tuesday 17th October 1961

At 2.23 p.m. T347 is offered from Tipton. Great fun! The up express is right behind him. What nit loosed this joker onto the main line? T258 was already in the Up Loop and 347 was far too long to be sent in behind 258. T347 arrived with 'Western Star' and put off 18 wagons on the front road of the down sidings. He then drew the remainder of his train forward over points 30 and reversed it through the crossover onto the down main. By the time the whole train was across, the brake van was almost at Tipton's crossing gates. Since T347 had a van to put off at Dudleyport, we despatched the train 'bang road' on the Down Loop to Dudleyport. [Wrong direction movements were authorised on the Down Loop to Dudleyport]. The express was stopped at Bloomfield Junction only for about 4 minutes. Pretty swift working! Cheers for 'The Team'.

Watery Lane Saturday 4th November 1961

T200 goes up the loop with the irate guard, Billy Cook, complaining 'We're right away Albion!' The loop points are put back to allow us to pull off for the following express 1G20. The signal lever comes half-way over (dropping the Block Stick) but the signal detectors hold the lever back. [The Block Stick Relay ensures 'one needle, one pull' to minimise the risk of a confused signalman ending up with 'two in a section'. The signal detectors at the points prevent the signal from being cleared if the point blades or facing point lock are not fitting-up accurately]. Oh well, display a green flag, the Black 5 chugs past. When the train has cleared the section, we attempt to free the signal, obtaining a fresh 'Line Clear' from Dudleyport so that we can test the signal. But, to no avail. The whole thing is failed and flag working was instituted on the Up until 8.00 p.m.