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In-cab signalling, 1972

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slipdigby

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Evening all,

Watching an absolute treat of a 1972 UIC/BTF film called "Cybernetica" which ostensibly looks at how computing is (or was) changing rail travel for the better. There's lots of futuristic bits and bobs (which are still pretty impressive now), but what most caught my eye was the apparent in-cab signalling apparatus being tested in a First Gen EMU of some kind, somewhere on a four track mainline. The paired wires approach looks a little like the German LZB system. Could anyone shed any light on what it was, where it was tested, and what prevented a home grown ATP/ATC system from being developed?

(The relevant bit is from 4:41 in: https://youtu.be/snyFXNiAneE?t=4m41s)

Cheers!
 
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snowball

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Tested on the Styal line, wasn't it?

Was the Styal line also (in the late 50s) the first to be electrified at 25kV?
 
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Ash Bridge

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I'm 99.9% certain that at 5.12 mins. onwards, the train is departing Wilmslow station onto the viaduct in the direction of the Styal Line, the southern region emu style driving car is I would imagine Test Coach Hermes, which I think still survives (somewhere) to this day.
 

Domh245

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What led to BR dropping the development of SRAWS in favour of fitting AWS? Cost, or just that AWS had been fitted almost everywhere else?
 

HSTEd

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LZB type systems are certainly going to be expensive as you need continuous cabling along every track, as opposed to transponders at signals and speed restrictions.


Wasn't there also a cab signalling trial on the SWML?
 

driver_m

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It'll be the Wilmslow-Crewe line. A colleague of mine was talking about it from way back. Said they used a 304. It was apparently great as long as it was dry. Useless in rain. Just looked at the time mentioned at 5.12. It's heading towards styal at that point.
 
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Ash Bridge

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LZB type systems are certainly going to be expensive as you need continuous cabling along every track, as opposed to transponders at signals and speed restrictions.


Wasn't there also a cab signalling trial on the SWML?

I think you're correct, i seem to recall that being covered by BBC's Tomorrow's World program back in the day.
 

HSTEd

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Apparently it was a system that displayed the approaching signal's aspect (and the previous signals) in the cab. The driver would have to acknowledge a non-green signal by pressing a button that corresponded with that aspect.

Which could easily develop into a full blown cab signal system where the actual signal posts would just be replaced with marker boards.
 

D1009

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It'll be the Wilmslow-Crewe line. A colleague of mine was talking about it from way back. Said they used a 304. It was apparently great as long as it was dry. Useless in rain. Just looked at the time mentioned at 5.12. It's heading towards styal at that point.
Well if it wasn't 100% reliable and was more expensive, that's probably why it was not pursued.
 

Domh245

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Well if it wasn't 100% reliable and was more expensive, that's probably why it was not pursued.

Railsign's page on AWS includes a bit about SRAWS, including this

Development of SRAWS ended in 1975 when the British Railways Board dictated that the Southern Region should equip its lines with standard BR AWS.

It makes me wonder if the BR board had got tired of the delay and chosen to standardise on the inferior system, now that it had been installed across a lot of the country (I would have guessed)
 

edwin_m

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SRAWS was an attempt to get round the problem of continual running on double yellows and getting a horn every time, then failing to do anything different when you get a horn on a single yellow. If the button pressed by the driver didn't match the aspect the brakes would go on.

It occurs that if they could do SRAWS, they could also have done TPWS 20+ years earlier, which would have saved more lives for the same amount of money.
 

HSTEd

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Anyone know how SRAWS actually worked technically?

As it is almost enough to be a cab signalling system by itself.
 

driver9000

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The tests involved test car Hermes. The Sectional Appendix of the day carried a set of instructions relating to its operation. There are a set of wires in the four foot between Heald Green and Gatley which I believe are relics from the trials.
 
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