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Author Topic: Oxford Area Resignalling 2018  (Read 4499 times)
SandTEngineer
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« on: July 06, 2018, 10:37:20 pm »

Just to let everybody know that another ex-WR panel signalbox closes early Saturday morning 07 July 2018.  Oxford Panel, as it is known, was opened on 14 October 1973 and was one of the smaller such WR control centres.  The new signalling will be commissioned in three stages and will be controlled from the Thames Valley Signalling Centre at Didcot:

Stage 1
FROM Monday 9th July 2018 – New Signalling commissioned from Didcot as far as temporary stop block approaching Hinksey South Junction to include Morris Cowley Branch to enable the Morris Cowley Plant to be accessed.

Stage 2
FROM Monday 16th July 2018 – Further signalling commissioned at the Didcot end to include access to and from Oxford Station Platform 4 from the south only. Note; From Hinksey South, only the Down Oxford and Down Oxford Relief are commissioned to enable trains to arrive and depart Oxford platform 4.

Stage 3
FROM Monday 23rd July 2018 - Main and Final Commissioning.

Overview of Oxford Phase 1 Changes
■ Oxford Panel Signalbox area of control will be resignalled and remodelled with
control of the area transferred to a new Oxford IECC Workstation located in
Thames Valley Signalling Centre (TVSC), Didcot
■ The signal prefix ‘OX’ will be withdrawn and replaced with ‘OD’ for the new Oxford
Workstation area
■ Train detection will be provided by AzLM axle counters
■ There will be a number of connections newly referred to as junctions
■ Up Passenger Loop between Wolvercot North and Oxford North Junction will
be renamed the Up Oxford Relief, with a 90mph connection and maximum line
speed
■ Down Passenger Loop extended beyond Oxford North Junction to Wolvercot
North Junction and will be renamed the Down Oxford Relief. Line speed and
turnout increased to a maximum 90mph permissible line speed
■ A new connection with the Up Oxford Relief will be provided north of Oxford
Station that will allow trains to arrive and depart Bay Platforms 1 & 2 whilst
parallel moves are also taking place to and from platform 3 via newly aligned
connections north of Oxford station referred to as Oxford Station North Junction
■ The Down Carriage Sidings at Oxford will be renamed the Down Oxford Sidings.
The sidings will be remodelled and a new Down Turnback Line will be introduced
able to accommodate a train equal to 260 metres in length.
■ The single line arrangement between Oxford North Junction and Woodstock
Road Junction will be replaced by extending the Up Bletchley and Down Bletchley
lines into two individual bi-directional lines
■ Bi-directional working will be introduced on the newly named Up and Down
Oxford Lines between Wolvercot North Junction and Appleford and between
Appleford and Didcot Station on the Up Oxford
■ A new platform starter signal will be introduced at the Didcot end of Oxford
Platform 4
■ Tackley Ground Frame will be recovered and control of the two sets of crossover
points will be controlled directly from the new Oxford workstation
■ The Morris Cowley Branch will be re-signalled and worked in accordance with
TCB Single Line Regulations with the token machines being recovered
■ The Up Carriage Sidings at Oxford will be renamed Up Oxford Sidings. The hand
points will be converted to power operation and controlled by the Signaller at
Oxford Workstation
■ New ground position light signals will be provided at the exit of each Up Oxford
Siding
■ Following resurfacing at the north end of Oxford Platform 3, the platform will be
re-opened to its full length of 274 metres
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 11:01:08 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged

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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 11:37:17 pm »

A massive increase in flexibility signalling wise, and when (if) Phase 2 is completed there will be further improvements including a new Platform 5 and bi-directional signalling as far as Tackley.  Long overdue at Oxford which has one of the most restrictive layouts you can imagine for a station of its size and importance.  The new connection to allow parallel moves to/from Platforms 1/2 and Platform 3 will save thousands of delay minutes annually alone.  The removal of tokens on the Morris Cowley branch will make it much easier to introduce passenger trains to the Business Park and Science Centre in the future.

There are downsides though as communication between station/sidings staff and Signallers at Oxford will become much harder as there will be no direct radio link, though the recent reinstatement of Area Operations Managers (AOM's) will help in that regard.
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 08:02:36 am »

 The handout from NR has  on page 3 a "Map of works north of Oxford station". This mentions the Sheep wash underbridge.  Does anyone here know what works are being done to that?

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 09:13:36 am »

A massive increase in flexibility signalling wise, and when (if) Phase 2 is completed there will be further improvements including a new Platform 5 and bi-directional signalling as far as Tackley.
Phase 2 has been designed into the new system so only requires addition trackside of the physical extra signals and points.  Not sure if it will actually happen though......
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 09:46:59 am »

Also worth noting that all of the new signals (except those between Wolvercote Junction and Ahnyo Junction) are 4-aspect instead of the previous 3-aspect.  This allows closer spacing of the signals, hence shorter signal section lengths and much reduced headway and therefore, increased line capacity.

The upgrade to the signals between Wolvercote Junction (excl) and Ahyno Junction, and the implementation of full bi-directional signalling, have been designed in and included, for Phase 2.
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bobm
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2018, 11:26:18 am »

From the train describers at Oxford (courtesy of OpenTrainTimes)

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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 09:40:20 pm »

Won't shed too much of a tear. 'Twas pretty dire 1978-81 and only a cosmetic overhaul since then [that subway!] - prior to Chiltern's arrival.
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GBM
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 10:44:37 pm »

Just to let everybody know that another ex-WR panel signalbox closes early Saturday morning 07 July 2018. 


Thank you so much for such detailed information.  Muchly appreciated (even tho' it's a long way from my area)...
It's good to see detailed information passed for all to see.
Thank you again
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2018, 09:43:46 am »

Won't shed too much of a tear. 'Twas pretty dire 1978-81 and only a cosmetic overhaul since then [that subway!] - prior to Chiltern's arrival.

The subway was subject to flooding, the pumps were a mare to keep going always getting silted up caked in line scale and a general pain in a*** to get up the stairs



I do believe the Oxford Panel was only intended as stop gap much like the old Didcot Panel
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4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2018, 01:05:52 pm »

Adapted from a post in RailForums.co.uk...

From G. T. Moody's book Southern Electric (Ian Allan 1957), page 61:

Quote
In January 1935, the Southern Railway announced that £500,000 would be spent on improving and re-signalling the lines into Waterloo. The layout of the four lines from Hampton Court Junction was up, up, down, down as far as Waterloo "C" box, whence three up and two down lines continued to the terminus (this excludes the Windsor lines). Although it was the practice to divert an incoming train at "C" box to a route into the terminus which would cause the least interference with other up and down lines, the layout had become liable to cause delay, and with the steadily increasing traffic reorganisation had become necessary.
and
Quote
It was decided to construct a flyover at Durnsford Road, Wimbledon, the only suitable site, to carry the up local over the up and down through lines. Thence to Waterloo the four lines would be re-arranged to form up and down through and up and down local lines, with an additional up main through relief from Vauxhall to the terminus. Colour light signalling would be installed, with a power-operated cabin at Waterloo.
The flyover was constructed of steel girders, cased in concrete, and mounted on concrete columns. It was 2,174ft long, rising at 1 in 60 at the Wimbledon end, crossing the through lines on the skew and then falling at i in 45. Work on it commenced in September 1935.
The change to colour light signalling at Waterloo was made on Sunday, October 18th (1936). The new signalbox, on the up side, built mainly of concrete, contained 309 electrically-interlocked levers in three frames for main local, main through and Windsor lines respectively.

and most amazingly to modern observers...

Quote
The changeover was made smoothly; the 12.35am to Hampton Court was signalled out by semaphores and the 1.30am to Salisbury by colour lights.

If the times have been correctly interpreted (I assume - as the the original poster seems to have done - that 12.35 am is 35mins past midnight), one hour was needed in 1936 to change over the signalling...
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 01:11:20 pm by 4064ReadingAbbey » Logged
paul7755
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2018, 01:42:08 pm »

Selective quoting?  AIUI from that section of Moody’s book the semaphore signalling was adapted over the course of almost a calendar year as the track layout was changed gradually, while the colour light system was installed and tested in parallel  (and presumably covered up), hence that short period of final changeover probably isn’t so surprising.

Also, given the number of platforms, Hampton Court and Salisbury trains would normally leave via different main lines, it doesn’t necessarily imply the whole station was done at once, or only stopped for that hour.  Just that the last remaining semaphore route was still available until 0035, and the first colour light controlled route became available at 0130.

Paul
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 01:52:34 pm by paul7755 » Logged
4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2018, 08:16:06 pm »

Sorry, I don't know whether it has been selectively quoted or not.

Nevertheless, there is a startling difference between the length of time it took to do things then and now. The SR's Board made the decision in January 1935 the resignalling took place 21 months later.
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2018, 09:27:36 pm »

Here is the full text:

Quote
In January, 1935, the Southern Railway announced that £500,000 would be spent on improving and re-signalling the lines into Waterloo. The layout of the four lines from Hampton Court Junction was up, up, down, down, as far as Waterloo "C" box, whence three up and two down lines continued to the terminus (this excludes the Windsor lines). Although it was the practice to divert an incoming train at "C" box to a route into the terminus which would cause the least interference with other up and down lines, the layout had become liable to cause delay, and with steadily increasing traffic reorganisation had become necessary. Signals and points were worked manually, with Sykes lock-and-block control, except that at West London Junction and Clapham Junction signals and points were operated on the low-pressure pneumatic system, with track circuiting. The celebrated "A" box, which spanned the lines outside Waterloo, contained 266 levers and dated from 1892.

It was decided to construct a flyover viaduct at Durnsford Road, Wimbledon, the only suitable site, to carry the up local over the up and down through lines. Thence to Waterloo the four lines would be re-arranged to form up and down through and up and down local lines, with an additional up main through relief from Vauxhall to the terminus. Colour-light signalling would be installed, with a power-operated cabin at Waterloo.

The flyover was constructed of steel girders, cased in concrete, and mounted on concrete columns. It was 2,174 ft. long, rising at 1 in 60 from the Wimbledon end, crossing the through lines on the skew and then falling at 1 in 45. Work on it commenced in September, 1935.

There was no platform at Vauxhall on the down main through and as this line would become the up main local reconstruction was necessary. The existing down main local platform was therefore closed on November 3, 1935, and demolished. The down main local was then slewed over and a new island platform built on the space thus made available; the latter was brought into use on March 9, 1936.

Meanwhile re-signalling had been going ahead, and a girder of 132 ft. span to carry the up inner home signals was erected outside Waterloo on the night of October 20, 1935. The new colour-light signals were three-aspect as far as Loco Junction (Nine Elms), where freight workings commenced, and then four-aspect to Hampton Court Junction on the main line, and to Clapham Junction on the Windsor lines. Many of them were mounted on lattice brackets.

Several innovations were introduced on this re-signalling scheme. All colour-light signals had small side aspects, for the benefit of drivers whose trains had drawn up close to the signals, and were promptly dubbed" pig's ears" by the drivers. At junctions the practice of providing a colour-light signal for each route was abandoned in favour of position-light junction indicators. Ground signals consisted of a white disc with red bar, floodlit at night.

Permanent way alterations between Vauxhall and Waterloo were carried out in stages at week-ends, but platforms 1 to 3 at the terminus were closed for relaying the approaches from May 8, 1936, and from 6 p.m. on the 15th platforms 4 to 6 were taken out of use for the same purpose. The new track layout was assembled and tested on spare land at Mitcham before being laid in at Waterloo. On Sunday, May 17, 1936, the lines from Waterloo to Surbiton were closed from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., so that the flyover, re-arranged lines, and most of the new signalling could be brought into service.

The new signalling extended from Waterloo "B" box to Clapham Junction on the Windsor lines and to Malden on the main line. The change-over at Waterloo was wisely deferred until the summer train service was over, although the manual signalling had to be extensively altered.

As the station at Surbiton was being rebuilt, colour-light signals from Malden to Hampton Court Junction were not brought into use until June 28. Two new signalboxes were provided on this section; Surbiton (52 levers) and Hampton Court Junction (45 levers). The new box at Surbiton was the first of the" glasshouse" type, used in many later installations.
On weekdays from July 5, 1936, the suburban services were re-arranged so that trains from Waterloo to Dorking North and Effingham Junction were fast to Wimbledon, then calling at Motspur Park and all stations. From 5.7 to 7.7 p.m. they were fast to Motspur Park. A new service was put on from Waterloo to Motspur Park, calling at all stations and running every 20 minutes from 6.16 a.m. to 10.56 p.m.

The change to colour-light signalling at Waterloo was made on Sunday, October 18. The new signalbox, on the up side, built mainly of concrete, contained 309 electrically-interlocked levers in three frames for main local, main through, and Windsor lines respectively. The four track diagrams were of a new type, the tracks being shown as white lines on a black ground and the presence of a train indicated by two red lights. Route indicators of the theatre type were liberally provided, and on each platform a starting signal repeater showed" ON" or" OFF". Loudspeaker communication was provided to the down sidings. The changeover was made smoothly; the 12.35 a.m. to Hampton Court was signalled out by semaphores and the 1.30 a.m. to Salisbury by colour-lights.
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2018, 09:57:59 pm »

Sorry, I don't know whether it has been selectively quoted or not.

Nevertheless, there is a startling difference between the length of time it took to do things then and now. The SR's Board made the decision in January 1935 the resignalling took place 21 months later.

The rules and laws for construction were very different.   No appeasing Local Councils or residents, H & S Law far far less onerous, the Rules for working on the line compared to now they were virtually non existent, there was no "Product Acceptance" that we have today, testing and commissioning was not as rigorous as it is today, was possible then to hand signal trains even in the peaks.

And the biggest pain in the !!!! to engineers today is the whole tendering and contractual process that is in place now that would have been much simpler and quicker in the 1930's
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 10:43:29 am »

And the biggest pain in the !!!! to engineers today is the whole tendering and contractual process that is in place now that would have been much simpler and quicker in the 1930's

Yes - the public sector seems to spend half their budget on ensuring that they get good value for money...
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