Remaining single lines with traditional token working.

Tomnick

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Both Optimists are/were 7 coach sets.
Ta. Were there special instructions issued? It sounds dodgy otherwise - with the exception of a two-car length against the buffer stops, platform 1 is part of the token section if I’m not mistaken?
 
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Skipness

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Ta. Were there special instructions issued? It sounds dodgy otherwise - with the exception of a two-car length against the buffer stops, platform 1 is part of the token section if I’m not mistaken?
At approach to platform 1."End of token section Permissive working. Proceed as far as platform is clear"
 

Tomnick

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At approach to platform 1."End of token section Permissive working. Proceed as far as platform is clear"
Thanks, that makes sense - but still seems contrary to the Sectional Appendix?

12.8 Stabling of a train at the Station. A maximum train formation of one 2 car class 15X or one 3 car class 14X unit may be stabled at the buffer stop end of the Platform 1.

12.9 All drivers entering Whitby Station must be prepared to stop short of a stabled train
 

Gloster

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Ta. Were there special instructions issued? It sounds dodgy otherwise - with the exception of a two-car length against the buffer stops, platform 1 is part of the token section if I’m not mistaken?

Odd though it appears, this does seem to be the situation at Whitby. Normally possession of a token in these circumstances would indicate to the driver that the line is clear to the buffer stops, but Whitby appears to be different. There may be more information in the video mentioned in #113.
 

30907

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Thanks, that makes sense - but still seems contrary to the Sectional Appendix?
The arrangement seems very like entering an occupied line within station limits - apart from the absence of a signal.
It presumably covers the former Sunday timetable when there were consecutive arrivals from Middlesborough.
 

Jack Hay

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I’d treat it with caution as it doesn’t seem at all right to me. “Station limits” for a ground frame? If I’m not mistaken, the token section is actually Liskeard (excluding the platform) to Coombe No.2 ground frame.
It is unusual but I think the description must be right. This ground frame is a form of signalbox and I don't know of a rule that prevents it having station limits. If it is as you say - that the track through the platform to no.2 ground frame is part of the Liskeard to Coombe section - then a returning train from Looe would need that section's token to operate no.1 ground frame to exit the Looe line. But that is not the case; it is the Looe branch staff that operates no.1 ground frame, not the Liskeard to Coombe token. So the track around the ground frame, across the level crossing and through the platform, is not part of any single line section but is station limits! Today's signalling, or lack of it, is part of what makes the Liskeard to Looe so fascinating.
 

Tomnick

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It is unusual but I think the description must be right. This ground frame is a form of signalbox and I don't know of a rule that prevents it having station limits. If it is as you say - that the track through the platform to no.2 ground frame is part of the Liskeard to Coombe section - then a returning train from Looe would need that section's token to operate no.1 ground frame to exit the Looe line. But that is not the case; it is the Looe branch staff that operates no.1 ground frame, not the Liskeard to Coombe token. So the track around the ground frame, across the level crossing and through the platform, is not part of any single line section but is station limits! Today's signalling, or lack of it, is part of what makes the Liskeard to Looe so fascinating.
My understanding is that No.1 ground frame requires both the Liskeard - Coombe token and the Looe branch staff: the Sectional Appendix supports this. There’s also a TPWS TSS protecting the junction on the way back from Looe, suppressed by the withdrawal of a token, so the instrument there must be in regular use as opposed to over-carrying the token to Looe and back each time.
 

Gloster

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My recollection of the branch date back to not long after the signal box at Coombe Junction was abolished. The NSKT section ran from Liskeard to No.2 GF, which controlled the traps protecting Moorswater. To operate No.1 GF required both the the token and the OTW staff to be inserted in the GF. Once the train was clear on to the branch the points would be returned to normal, i.e. for running from Liskeard to No.2 GF, and both token and staff removed. The OTW staff would be retained by the driver and the token returned to the instrument.

Station limits is normally the area within controlled stop signals controlled by one box. There are no signals at Coombe.
 

Tomnick

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Odd though it appears, this does seem to be the situation at Whitby. Normally possession of a token in these circumstances would indicate to the driver that the line is clear to the buffer stops, but Whitby appears to be different. There may be more information in the video mentioned in #113.

The arrangement seems very like entering an occupied line within station limits - apart from the absence of a signal.
It presumably covers the former Sunday timetable when there were consecutive arrivals from Middlesborough.
Indeed, it’s unusual - even more so when it was just a basic single line terminus - but there’s been provision to ‘shut inside’ a single unit against the stops for years. It still doesn’t seem right doing it with a full length train when the SA instruction implies that possession of a token provides an assurance that the line’s clear to a two-car length off the stops!
 

Jack Hay

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My recollection of the branch date back to not long after the signal box at Coombe Junction was abolished. The NSKT section ran from Liskeard to No.2 GF, which controlled the traps protecting Moorswater. To operate No.1 GF required both the the token and the OTW staff to be inserted in the GF. Once the train was clear on to the branch the points would be returned to normal, i.e. for running from Liskeard to No.2 GF, and both token and staff removed. The OTW staff would be retained by the driver and the token returned to the instrument.

Station limits is normally the area within controlled stop signals controlled by one box. There are no signals at Coombe.
My understanding is that No.1 ground frame requires both the Liskeard - Coombe token and the Looe branch staff: the Sectional Appendix supports this. There’s also a TPWS TSS protecting the junction on the way back from Looe, suppressed by the withdrawal of a token, so the instrument there must be in regular use as opposed to over-carrying the token to Looe and back each time.
Your comments are consistent with each other (and Tomnick says with the Sectional Appendix, which is definitive) so I reckon you're right and the Wikipedia article is self-consistent but wrong. Thanks both! (Would one of you care to update the Wikipedia article?)
 

John Webb

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I often used to watch the token exchange at Damems on the Worth Valley. The Keighley-bound train was always held at the start of the loop if the other had not arrived and was only called forward when the other train had stopped opposite the box. I suppose this is to allow easier transfer of the tokens. I think I'm correct in saying that the token always had to pass via the signaller and never direct from one driver to the other.
The Loop south of Damems on the K&WVR is on a gradient of 1:60/1:64. It has been a general requirement (not just on the K&WVR) since a serious accident at a passing loop at, I think, Horspath on the Oxford-Thame line, that the uphill train shall be in the loop before the downhill train is allowed to approach the loop. (The accident at Horspath occurred when the uphill train was being held outside the loop with its brakes full on and the downhill train failed to stop in the loop and crashed into the uphill train with significant damage to the trains - which were both freights.)
Hence the Oxenhope-bound (uphill) trains are allowed straight into the loop and surrender the token to the signaller who can then reset the Damems-Keighley section to accept the Keighley-bound (downhill) train; the token is then handed to that train as it enters the loop and also surrenders the token for the section it's leaving. This latter is then used to reset the section and then handed to the Oxenhope-bound train.
 

Zooty

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The most unusual I have been on was Heysham branch, where (1990s but is it still so?) - there was an actual wooden staff for the line - only used by the ship connection and nuclear flasks. Primitive but never been a signal failure, woodworm may be more of an issue!
That staff was used by any train using the Down & Up Heysham line including the 3 or 4 Morecambe services per day that use the DUH. Trains couldn't proceed past Bare Lane without the staff. The staff also carried the keys for the ground frame at Morecambe - only needed by the Heysham trains of course.

It's changed since the closure of Bare Lane box. No staff required as far as Morecambe and access to the Heysham branch is remotely granted from Preston.
 
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Odd though it appears, this does seem to be the situation at Whitby. Normally possession of a token in these circumstances would indicate to the driver that the line is clear to the buffer stops, but Whitby appears to be different. There may be more information in the video mentioned in #113.
Odd though it appears, this does seem to be the situation at Whitby. Normally possession of a token in these circumstances would indicate to the driver that the line is clear to the buffer stops, but Whitby appears to be different. There may be more information in the video mentioned in #113.
Drivers are informed by telephone if they will be calling on. It gives some flexibility on the limited layout.
 

Requeststop

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St Erth to St Ives branch is (was when I last visited at least) operated with a token/staff from the box

A couple of sections on the line from Par to Newquay (I have a photo of the one of the tokens after the driver gave me it briefly to take a photo)
Yes St Erth St Ives still uses a token. If you are fortunate enough to travel on the morning run from Penzance to St Ives you will see the hand over at the signalbox in St Erth and during the final run of the day from St Ives back to Penzance.
 

Gloster

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Yes St Erth St Ives still uses a token. If you are fortunate enough to travel on the morning run from Penzance to St Ives you will see the hand over at the signalbox in St Erth and during the final run of the day from St Ives back to Penzance.

Which suggests that it is a One Train Working (OTW) staff, kept with the unit throughout the day (although possibly returned to the signal box if the unit is left stabled and unattended for any length of time) and returned to the box when the unit leaves the OTW section. The bay platform may be part of the OTW section, but that would make access to the siding (if it is still there) difficult, so retention of the staff by the traincrew might well be just convenience.
 

Taunton

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As we're at last usage of various single line equipment, when was the last automatic tablet exchange at speed? Diesels allocated to Inverness all had a cutout in the cabside to hold the equipment, though I can't really recall any photo of it in place. The diesel multiple units employed on Inverness-Aberdeen in the 1960s-70s also had it, actually at the guards' position, and there were special buzzer signals with the driver for various confirmations, pasted up inside the guards' door.
 

matchmaker

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As we're at last usage of various single line equipment, when was the last automatic tablet exchange at speed? Diesels allocated to Inverness all had a cutout in the cabside to hold the equipment, though I can't really recall any photo of it in place. The diesel multiple units employed on Inverness-Aberdeen in the 1960s-70s also had it, actually at the guards' position, and there were special buzzer signals with the driver for various confirmations, pasted up inside the guards' door.
Probably late 1979/early 1980 when the Class 120 dmus were withdrawn from service between Inverness and Aberdeen. Perth to Inverness single line sections were converted to tokenless block in 1968/69 and any locos fitted with Manson's apparatus had it removed around that time. Although the lines to Wick and Kyle also had apparatus fitted at several locations, I don't know how much it was used in practice.


1606059123056.jpeg
 

MadMac

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Before my time, but I thought the tablet went from Aberdeen-Inverness in the early 70s. On a semi-related note, the sections south of Girvan are believed to be the last use of tablet on NR.
 

Millisle

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By the early '70s on Inverness-Aberdeen only Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Millburn were using key token and none obviously at speed. Aberdeen-Keith had been converted from absolute block to tokenless block on singling along with conversion of Keith-Elgin from key token to tokenless, to my recollection.
 

Taunton

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It would be useful to define the differences between Token, Tablet and Staff. For me, Tokens were the aluminium ones used on the WR, Tablets, operationally the same, were the brass disks employed on the Southern, and elsewhere, particularly in Scotland where I thought they were universal to be compatible with Manson's patent exchange apparatus in use on multiple railways there, and Staffs are where there is just one "dumb" item for the section, that doesn't go into a machine, often made of wood.

I think there's still sometimes perception that there was only one token for a section, and saying there were 20 for each gives some puzzled looks!
 

Gloster

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It would be useful to define the differences between Token, Tablet and Staff. For me, Tokens were the aluminium ones used on the WR, Tablets, operationally the same, were the brass disks employed on the Southern, and elsewhere, particularly in Scotland where I thought they were universal to be compatible with Manson's patent exchange apparatus in use on multiple railways there, and Staffs are where there is just one "dumb" item for the section, that doesn't go into a machine, often made of wood.

I think there's still sometimes perception that there was only one token for a section, and saying there were 20 for each gives some puzzled looks!

Very roughly, a token will look something like a large and rudimentary key. A tablet is a rather thick piece of flat metal, usually round, although it can be other shapes. A staff can be various things: electric staffs are long (up to around 2’6”) and rather heavy pieces of metal; miniature staffs are the same, but around 10” long. All will have the name of their section engraved on them and be configured so that they can only be put in the appropriate set of instruments.

A staff used for One Train Working may just be a lump of wood (reputedly, old bits of furniture have been used) with the name of the section on it, usually engraved on a brass plate that is screwed to the wood. However, some places with OTW use leftovers of the former signalling as the staff.

N.B. I am not fully up to date with the rules, but I think that they use token indiscriminately as the description for an electric token, tablet or staff, and staff for OTW, whatever is actually used.
 

matchmaker

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Very roughly, a token will look something like a large and rudimentary key. A tablet is a rather thick piece of flat metal, usually round, although it can be other shapes. A staff can be various things: electric staffs are long (up to around 2’6”) and rather heavy pieces of metal; miniature staffs are the same, but around 10” long. All will have the name of their section engraved on them and be configured so that they can only be put in the appropriate set of instruments.

A staff used for One Train Working may just be a lump of wood (reputedly, old bits of furniture have been used) with the name of the section on it, usually engraved on a brass plate that is screwed to the wood. However, some places with OTW use leftovers of the former signalling as the staff.

N.B. I am not fully up to date with the rules, but I think that they use token indiscriminately as the description for an electric token, tablet or staff, and staff for OTW, whatever is actually used.
Tablets can also be made of fibre. There were two types of tablet instrument latterly used - Tyers no 6 and Tyers no 7. A no 6 looks a bit like a coffin with a headstone and were normally painted green. A no 7 didn't have the headstone and was normally painted red.

No 6.jpg No 6


No 7.jpg No 7

By the early '70s on Inverness-Aberdeen only Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Millburn were using key token and none obviously at speed. Aberdeen-Keith had been converted from absolute block to tokenless block on singling along with conversion of Keith-Elgin from key token to tokenless, to my recollection.
I've seen token exchange apparatus used in anger at Elgin West - early 1970s.
 
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