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Author Topic: Cornwall signalling upgrade - ongoing discussion, merged topics  (Read 17104 times)
LiskeardRich
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« on: September 05, 2016, 12:06:49 pm »

BBC Radio Cornwall this lunchtime will be discussing this.

From their Facebook:

Quote
Have you felt the benefits of all the millions of EU cash Cornwall and Scilly has had over recent years? 57% of people who voted in June's referendum wanted to LEAVE. Now Cornwall council's warning key EU funded infrastructure projects still in the pipeline are at risk. Rail signalling upgrades, flood schemes and superfast broadband are among those highlighted in a council report being discussed today. The Government has only promised to take over EU-funded projects signed off before November. Laurence is back in the lunchtime phone in chair from midday. Please start the conversation.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 12:32:26 pm »

BBC Radio Cornwall this lunchtime will be discussing this.

From their Facebook:

Quote
Have you felt the benefits of all the millions of EU cash Cornwall and Scilly has had over recent years? 57% of people who voted in June's referendum wanted to LEAVE. Now Cornwall council's warning key EU funded infrastructure projects still in the pipeline are at risk. Rail signalling upgrades, flood schemes and superfast broadband are among those highlighted in a council report being discussed today. The Government has only promised to take over EU-funded projects signed off before November. Laurence is back in the lunchtime phone in chair from midday. Please start the conversation.

There's a logic in the suggestion.  AIUI, the leave camp suggested that money not going to the EU and coming back as investments could instead be spent on the NHS and similar, so one of the aspects of the leave vote is a desire for spend to - in effect - be moved from these infrastructure projects to health.   Of course, the referendum was a very blunt tool with a single question offering two packages labelled "yes" and "no", so it's hard to know how many votes were swung by the expectation of a change in spend policy, and how many by other factors ... there wasn't a 'pick and choose'.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 12:16:21 am »

And of course those going on about diverting the EU spend that was indirectly paying for this infrastructure had no mandate.

So the big question is will Cornwall get its signalling upgrade after all the years of promise?
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 06:59:45 am »

There are pressures to reduce the CP6 renewals funded by HMG, this irrespective of what Brexit turns out to be.  The all the reports like the Shaw Report into NR and railway funding said the funding needs to be generated more locally, the DfT and Treasury will be looking for Local Authorities etc to seek funds, Brexit will mean that one source the EU will dry up whether UK Central Government will enhance what they intended to do pre Brexit is yet to be seen
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2016, 07:16:54 am »

We've heard that the signalling upgrade will now not be happening but a number of new signals will be installed in Cornwall, I've forgotten the exact locations and number, but enough to break up the longer signalling sections to enable more services to run.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 10:24:25 am by a-driver » Logged
John R
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 07:24:40 am »

We've heard that the signalling upgrade will now now be happening but a number of new signals will be installed in Cornwall, I've forgotten the exact locations and number, but enough to break up the longer signalling sections to enable more services to run.

Maybe they could re-use a few of the ones they've just taken down at Banbury.    Grin
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 08:54:43 am »

Do you want to correct your typo? I'm not sure it says what you mean?

We've heard that the signalling upgrade will now now be happening
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Tim
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 09:29:29 am »

We've heard that the signalling upgrade will now now be happening but a number of new signals will be installed in Cornwall, I've forgotten the exact locations and number, but enough to break up the longer signalling sections to enable more services to run.

Surely that is a win win situation.  more services can still run but less money is spent
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 11:35:09 am »

We've heard that the signalling upgrade will now now be happening but a number of new signals will be installed in Cornwall, I've forgotten the exact locations and number, but enough to break up the longer signalling sections to enable more services to run.
Surely that is a win win situation.  more services can still run but less money is spent
Agreed.  The existing signalling in Devon and Cornwall could carry on for ever if its looked after properly with little more than a minor renewals budget.  Signals could be (and probably would have been under BR by now) converted to all colourlight and points converted from mechanical to power operation but controlled from the existing signalbox lever frames (Penzance is a good example of this). The biggest maintenance and reliabilty issues are the mechanical signal wire runs and mechanical point rodding both of which both need a lot of tender loving care by skilled and experienced technicians that could be eliminated by power operation (the wires and rods that is, not the technicians Roll Eyes ).  The signalbox lever frames are in excellent condition despite the fact some are now over 100 years old.

I understand that new intermediate signal sections will be installed, that would have been added under the resignalling (at Menheniot, Bodmin Parkway, Chacewater, Redruth and Gwinear Road).

Not sure yet about the status of Plymouth Panel but it wil shortly be 56 years old and has pleanty of life left in it yet.

There was never any financial case that 'washed its face' for renewing the signalling in Devon and Cornwall, and probably never will be, so it will probably turn out that NR just tried to push it through its business planning process in a vain attempt to meet its long term plan to have all 'Western' signalling operated by the Western ROC at Didcot.

Its probably best to wait now anyway until ERTMS and ETCS come along and slash the costs of renewals (well in theory, anyway Tongue ).  Oh hang on a minute, we won't be part of the EC soon........ Shocked
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 08:56:30 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2016, 03:50:41 pm »

Thanks.  Always good to have my ill-informed ideas confirmed by an expert.

Regarding the new intermediate signalling sections to be added, will they be installed in the existing lever frame and linked to the existing mechanical interlocking ? (presumably using some of the spare positions or perhaps even putting back what was rationalised out.)

Getting political for a moment, it strikes me that the whole concept of "EU money" is/was not a receipt for wise spending decisions.  The millions of pounds EU money spent on fancy bus-stops in Bath by a Council who not irrationally regards EU money as free money is another example
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ChrisB
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2016, 04:16:11 pm »

My contact at the Banbury North box said some of the frame there was headed down that way - whether to NR or restoration project, he did not say
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2016, 07:02:12 pm »

Regarding the new intermediate signalling sections to be added, will they be installed in the existing lever frame and linked to the existing mechanical interlocking ? (presumably using some of the spare positions or perhaps even putting back what was rationalised out.)

The existing Intermediate Block Signals (IBS) between Lostwithiel and Par are controlled by switches on the instrument blockshelf in the existing signalboxes.  The IBS on the Down Line at Truro is controlled by lever No.45 in the lever frame.  I much expect (although cannot confirm at this stage) that the new IBS signals will also be controlled by blockshelf switches with electrical interlocking as that is the easiest way to do it (mind you this is Network Rail we are talking about of course).
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 08:59:29 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 10:36:52 am »

I have now seen a copy of the Signalling Scheme Plan(s) and can confirm that the additional intermediate signals are going to be installed and controlled from the existing signalboxes.  In addition a number of foot and farm crossings are going to be converted to MSL (Miniature Stop Lights) type.  So it looks as though the committment to the half hourly service is going ahead as planned Cheesy
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Andy
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2016, 04:39:33 pm »

We've heard that the signalling upgrade will now now be happening but a number of new signals will be installed in Cornwall, I've forgotten the exact locations and number, but enough to break up the longer signalling sections to enable more services to run.
Surely that is a win win situation.  more services can still run but less money is spent
Agreed.  The existing signalling in Devon and Cornwall could carry on for ever if its looked after properly with little more than a minor renewals budget.  Signals could be (and probably would have been under BR by now) converted to all colourlight and points converted from mechanical to power operation but controlled from the existing signalbox lever frames (Penzance is a good example of this). The biggest maintenance and reliabilty issues are the mechanical signal wire runs and mechanical point rodding both of which both need a lot of tender loving care by skilled and experienced technicians that could be eliminated by power operation (the wires and rods that is, not the technicians Roll Eyes ).  The signalbox lever frames are in excellent condition despite the fact some are now over 100 years old.

I understand that new intermediate signal sections will be installed, that would have been added under the resignalling (at Menheniot, Bodmin Parkway, Chacewater, Redruth and Gwinear Road).

Not sure yet about the status of Plymouth Panel but it wil shortly be 56 years old and has pleanty of life left in it yet.

There was never any financial case that 'washed its face' for renewing the signalling in Devon and Cornwall, and probably never will be, so it will probably turn out that NR just tried to push it through its business planning process in a vain attempt to meet its long term plan to have all 'Western' signalling operated by the Western ROC at Didcot.

Its probably best to wait now anyway until ERTMS and ETCS come along and slash the costs of renewals (well in theory, anyway Tongue ).  Oh hang on a minute, we won't be part of the EC soon........ Shocked

I'm glad to read that this is still edging forward in spite of Brexit-related upheavals. It's nice (in a sentimental way) to see Gwinear Road and Chacewater, amongst others, returning as signal sections. However, does anyone know what remaining sidings are heading for the chop? Is Lostwithiel down yard (and the bay & a potential run around) going the way of St Erth? Is any further reduction planned at Truro or Penzance?   
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2016, 05:08:37 pm »

Andy, recent conversation with a penzance based employee of GWR they had made plans to use one of the sidings that hadn't been used for a long time at Penzance but the points were stuck when they were planning ahead. The sidings near to the depot are being removed in preparation for depot expansion.

Truro sidings are regularly used so I would expect them to remain in situ.

Lostwithiel bay platform is rarely used - its too short for most of the freight workings to use, so they are normally held in the sidings on the Bodmin end, which are heavily used, both to hold the freight waiting to enter the branch, and as passing for passenger workings to pass the slow freight trains.
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