Marchwood semaphores

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Oracle

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Trust my luck! Got down to Marchwood and caught 66123 in the station loop, and 66064 crossed light engine on the other track. However heavens opened up and then after all the action the rain stopped and the sun came out. However, notice the idiocy of the car driver who deliberately dodged the closing gate.

http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood1.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood2.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood3.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood4.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood5.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood6.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood7.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood9.jpg
http://www.nostalgiaroad.co.uk/marchwood8.jpg


Note in the last one the semaphores in the distance. Not very clear though! I do hope that the tea was brewing nicely as it was blinking cold and miserable.
 
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Bill EWS

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Hi AutomotiveHistorian,
Sorry I can't help with the signalling beyond Marchwood towards Fawley as we never got past there. If WE had dared to go beyond Marchwood the Eastleigh men would have strung us up on the Big 'Up' semifore gantry at Marchwood!!!. Yes, there are three semifore gantries and posts at Marchwood. You have the 'down' Home signal gantry coming from Totton and protects the level crossing at Marchwood, followed by the split signal gantry beyond the station that takes you onto the MOD branch. or onto Fawley. You require a single line token for Fawley.

From Fawley you have the 'split' control 'Up' signal which takes you onto either running line at Marchwood Station, which are two-way running.

Well, since starting this I have had an email from my old work mate Brain Daniels and he sent me three pictures taken at Marchwood earlier today, so it looks like he was the driver on the Class 66 shown in your pictures. You must have both been taking pictures at the same time. here is one of the photos Brian sent me. I don't think he will mind me using it here, but you may reacall him taking it.




Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

Oracle

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Is that your mate in the cab? Or was he having a decent brew?

Thanks for the info! I have been trying to get RAIL's Ed Nigel Harris to feature the branches. It's just a short distance away from me in the car and is quite amazing. A real gem. Pity SWT refused to run passenger trains again.

Incidentally Bill...as a matter of interest have you done the 'wrong line' move through Totton across the causeway? I must get down there to take some photos.
 

Bill EWS

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Hi automotivehistorian,
I expect that's Brian as he meantioned another loco on the opposite track so this is obviously the Marchwood train. The signalman usually makes a brew and I never had a bad one. Mostly pretty good chaps here.

I have been retired now for about 18 months so don't know what little changes may have taken place since then. However, I have gone wrong road from Totton to Redbridge a number of times and I have been taking notice of the discussions going on in this Forum in regard to what moves can be made there. You can go wrong road from Totton sidings up to the ''fixed' red signal outside the station. From there you can go three ways by the Calling-on, Shunt Ahead, or Warning signal! This type of signal contains all three movements under M.A.S. whereas, in the semaphore days you had a slightly different arm for the three moves, so we just accept that we are being called forward as far as the line is clear and go quietly towards the next signal or points. One move is into Redbridge Sidings, the second move is up the up/down goods line to Maritime, where you can go back onto the mainlines, but you can continue on the goods all the way to Southampton Station, which I have done many times.

With the Marchwood train you tend to go wrong road to Redbridge when the down main is clear but a fast is due on the up main. You then usually go up to the fixed red signal,on the causway, where you then get a shunt ahead signal to take you wrong road through Redbridge station and then cross over to the Up main just beyond the platforms. However, if there is a train near Redbridge that is going towards Romsey then you can only go right road over the causway from Totton as that is the correct protection signal for that movement.

I think someone (on this forum) said that you can get a 'yellow at that signal (by the causway) but as there is only a single aspect, which is always red, I am not sure how that would be, unless the signal has a filter colour change inside, but I feel certain this isn't so, but could be wrong. Just because I never saw it ocurr, doesn't mean that it may only be used under special arrangments that I have never been involved with.

You should perservere trying to get Rail Magazine to do a piece on the branches. As you say, they are very interesting and still have a lot of chraracter and the odd 'classic' equipment or two, in places. I always enjoyed going to Marchwood and only wish that I had managed to get through to fawley. Back in the 60's and into the 70's, we worked 'Long Tom' the petrol train from Fawley to Bromford Bridge (Birmingham). We either worked it too and from Didcot and Bromford Bridge, or from Didcot to Eastleigh, but never got through to Fawley.

Having worked over these lines since the steam days I have lots of memories of how they were and working over most of the lines in and around Southamptom and remember the building of and opening of the electrification and M.A.S. through Basingstoke to Southampton. We had regular work to Southampton Central (Parcel trains) and goods into Northam yard, or into the old docks.

The Fawley-Bromford train was worked with 2 x 56's (Class 33's). Here is a photo I took of the locos while waiting for the train to be unloaded at Bromford Bridge Sidings, about 1965/6.



Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

Tomnick

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Bill EWS said:
I think someone (on this forum) said that you can get a 'yellow at that signal (by the causway) but as there is only a single aspect, which is always red, I am not sure how that would be, unless the signal has a filter colour change inside, but I feel certain this isn't so, but could be wrong. Just because I never saw it ocurr, doesn't mean that it may only be used under special arrangments that I have never been involved with.
Bill,

Yet another very informative post - thanks! Just to confirm, we came to the same conclusion as you - the signal you mention is definitely a single aspect, fixed red one! Of course, there are searchlight signals out there (and the modern versions look very similar to a single aspect signal!) - not sure how frequently you'd have come across them though.
 

Bill EWS

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Thanks Tomnick,
I couldn't remember the name 'Searchlight' while writing that reply. Before the rebuilding of Paddington signalling in the mid 60's there were numeous Searchlight signals in and around there and other parts of London where we worked. If there are any left they would be but very few. Of course, the latest form of this type of signal is the fibreglass system, where a single aspect can show other colours too, such as the recently new signalling between Banbury and Leamington Spa. While only having 'three' aspects a combination of Double-yellow, single yellow, red or green can be displayed.

However, the thing to remember in regard to the fixed red at Redbridge is that the down main isn't fitted for two-way working between there and Millbrook, therefore anything other than a fixed red and a subsidary signal would not be acceptable. As mentioned, when there was a need to keep a freight train moving it would be directed onto the Up/Down Goods line at Redbridge and could travel all the way up to the western end of Southampton station if required. Therefore I doubt very much if the redbridge fixed signal would show any other main aspect.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

Oracle

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Having been born in 1955, and living in Fektham since a week or so after birth to 1965, I grew up around Feltham marshalling yard and shed. So we used to see a lot of steam-hauled freights going via the Windsor lines. However it was all gone by the time that I was at Grammar School and able to get out and about on the railways as an enthusiast. However I have a penchant for thr BRCW Type 3 'Cromptons', now Class 33, and I was very interested in the photo thanks! Strangely I don't remember them where I lived but do distinctly what I believe was a Standard 5 at Feltham Coal Yard. When Feltham had semaphores operated by the Bedfont Lane 'box there was a single bracket starter because of the Hounslow Road road bridge, as the Coal Yard points were just beyond the bridge. There is of course still a signalling dept the opposite side of Hounslow Road to the atation. Has been there many years!

Cheers!
 

Tomnick

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Bill EWS said:
However, the thing to remember in regard to the fixed red at Redbridge is that the down main isn't fitted for two-way working between there and Millbrook, therefore anything other than a fixed red and a subsidary signal would not be acceptable. As mentioned, when there was a need to keep a freight train moving it would be directed onto the Up/Down Goods line at Redbridge and could travel all the way up to the western end of Southampton station if required. Therefore I doubt very much if the redbridge fixed signal would show any other main aspect.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
Hi Bill,

The one possibility that I considered, was that the main signal would be able to show a proceed aspect, routing through the GPL at the east end of Redbridge down platform, across the trailing crossover, and to the next running signal on the up main. It seemed unlikely though, and indeed that's not the case.

As for searchlights, we've got a few LED signals springing up around our part of the world. They have - in common with the 'old' searchlights - two 'lenses', with at least the bottom one capable of showing red/yellow/green, and the top one able to display an additional yellow to give the full four-aspect sequence. I think they're all long gone on the part of the GW that you mention - though I think recent resignalling has brought a number of LED 'searchlights' to the same area.

Tom
 
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