Furness Vale signalling

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py_megapixel

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There's a signal box immediately north of Furness Vale station, on the other side of the level crossing.

Does anyone happen to know what this box controls? Is it solely for the crossing, or is it responsible for other things as well?
 
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Gloster

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I think that the line beyond Hazel Grove is still Absolute Block, so it is a normal block post. Unless it has some responsibilities towards the (I think) manned crossing at Norbury Hollow, which is not likely, that is it. N.B. Most of my information is ten years old and I don’t have time to download the Sectional Appendix.
 

AMD

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Yes, the line from Hazel Grove East to Buxton is still AB, with Furness Vale controlling the section from Hazel Grove East to Furness Vale station.
 

Gloster

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Yes, the line from Hazel Grove East to Buxton is still AB, with Furness Vale controlling the section from Hazel Grove East to Furness Vale station.
In the opposite direction the block section is to Chapel-en-le-Frith, although that can be switched out and the section then extends to Buxton.
 

py_megapixel

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Sorry, can someone explain what absolute block signalling is (and how it differs from other systems in use)?
I have only an extremely rudimentary understanding of such things and I'm not familiar with all of the terminology.
 

Gloster

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There is a page on Wikipedia under the title Absolute block signalling (sorry, can’t do a link) that will explain the system. You could read that, probably a couple of times for it to be fully clear, and then ask if there is anything that still isn’t clear. Just to make one thing clear: Absolute Block is the system from which all the other ones have developed as technology gives more options.
 

py_megapixel

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Thanks for the guidance; I was hesitant to look at that as the Wiki doesn't have the best reputation for accuracy on railway matters, but I'll read that page later.
 

John Webb

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You could also try https://signalbox.org/block-system/ for a reliable description written by a former signalman.

Edit: (1) Have looked at the Wiki page - no obvious errors!
(2) Also have a look at http://www.sigbox.co.uk and select our demonstration video on our lever frame which includes the use of the block instruments to communicate between signal boxes.
 
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Watershed

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Thanks for the guidance; I was hesitant to look at that as the Wiki doesn't have the best reputation for accuracy on railway matters, but I'll read that page later.
It's an "analogue" form of signalling whereby signal boxes use telegraphic bell codes to communicate the status of the line ahead (whether it's safe for a train to proceed in essence).

In its simplest form, only one train (per line) can be between each adjacent signal box. There are also more advanced forms which include features such as Intermediate Block Sections to increase capacity.

Line capacity is constrained by the time that it takes trains to pass from one Absolute Block section to the next, plus the time it takes for the signal boxes to communicate and clear the signals again after the passage of each train. This is why it's generally only used on less busy routes, though there are some surprising exceptions.
 
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