Sunday, 8 January 2012

Tipton Station Shunting Frame

In other posts, I've written about Tipton Station box as I first knew it and, later, after it was modernised. In August 1965, Tipton Station box was downgraded to Tipton Station Shunting Frame when Wolverhampton Power Signal Box was commissioned. The details of the Power Signal Box commissioning were given in Special Notice 745G and the diagram below, abstracted from this Notice, shows the revised arrangements.

Signalling at Tipton Station, after Wolverhampton Power Signal Box had been commissioned.

The mechanically-worked level crossing remained and Tipton Station Shunt Frame controlled slots on the signals protecting the level crossing - WN188 on the Down and WN187 on the Up. The connections to the down sidings (and the venerable elevated ground signal mounted on the Goods Shed wall) remained mechanically operated from the Shunting Frame but an electrical release was first required from the Power Box.

The earlier illuminated track diagram was replaced by another, showing the revised arrangements. The new diagram was supplied by Westinghouse who were the main contractors for the West Midlands power box schemes. The block signalling equipment was taken away and the approach of trains was indicated on Train Describers. These were crossbar-switch equipment supplied by Standard Telephones and Cables.

A sketch shows the new illuminated track diagram:-

Sketch of illuminated diagram in Tipton Station Shunt Frame (after Birmingham New Street Power Signal Box had also been commissioned).

I worked the box as a Shunting Frame a number of times but a lot of the interest had gone. There are more details here.

Further changes lay ahead. The Down Sidings were taken out of use, the gates were replaced by four lifting barriers with skirts. Tipton Station Shunting Frame was finally closed when Closed Circuit Television was installed and the level crossing was remotely monitored from Watery Lane Crossing. Eventually, the long-promised underpass was constructed and Tipton Owen Street now dives under the railway. There is now very little evidence of how things used to be, apart from the passenger station itself.