Sheffield PSB closing

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WestRiding

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Sheffield PSB will be closing this weekend after 43 years service, 1973-2016. She does not want to go quietly though after todays major signaling failure in the station area. RIP Sheffield.
 
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HMS Ark Royal

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And it'll have to be stopped before it can enter the station - Sheffield PSB isn't known as 'The Crucible' just because of its location....you have to have a red before a colour. :P

Its sad that all the boxes are seemingly closing
 

HMS Ark Royal

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I wonder if there'll be similar sentiments in 40 or 50 years when the shiny new regional signalling centres are decommissioned?

Dunno - but, if all goes to plan, Morpeth box is due to shut in 2056 which is about the time the first RSCs should be closed!

To get back on topic, I noticed no ECS movements from the station to the depot looking at RTT - does that mean whatever units are in the platforms end up there over the course of the works?
 

satisnek

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I wonder if there'll be similar sentiments in 40 or 50 years when the shiny new regional signalling centres are decommissioned?

I'm sure the same was said about the new panel boxes when the mechanical boxes were replaced in the 1960s/1970s, so the answer is most likely yes.

I agree that it's sad to see these big PSBs closing - here is where you can use the words 'British Rail' and 'investment' legitimately in the same sentence. But hey, this is progress.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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I'm sure the same was said about the new panel boxes when the mechanical boxes were replaced in the 1960s/1970s, so the answer is most likely yes.

I agree that it's sad to see these big PSBs closing - here is where you can use the words 'British Rail' and 'investment' legitimately in the same sentence. But hey, this is progress.

Sheffield's is a waste when one thinks about how it was only refurbished a few years ago
 

WestRiding

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Same signals, same single lines, same length loops, same short platforms, same single lead junctions, same level crossings. Absolutely no change to the way trains will perform in the area.
 

Senex

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Same signals, same single lines, same length loops, same short platforms, same single lead junctions, same level crossings. Absolutely no change to the way trains will perform in the area.
So the XC crawl in both directions between Sheffield and Doncaster will of course go on for ever ...
 

John Webb

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Same signals, same single lines, same length loops, same short platforms, same single lead junctions, same level crossings. Absolutely no change to the way trains will perform in the area.
I understand from another source that this is purely a recontrol to York ROC. Changes will be made to Sheffield in connection with electrification, so that's some way off. The PSB building will be retained for the time being as it houses a large quantity of relays, which are still needed.
 

The Planner

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Lots of boxes are still on the list to be closed will just be re-controls, not re-signalling.
 

John Webb

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I'm curious - what does the work actually involve?
It involves disconnecting the controls from the panel in the PSB and reconnecting them to the remote control from York ROC. This is clearly a complex job involving (probably) hundreds of connections. Because of the safety critical nature of the work this is done with considerable care, and once reconnected, all possible routes etc have to be checked that they work when called for from the ROC; also all the feedback from track circuits, point motor positions and signal aspects also need checking out.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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It involves disconnecting the controls from the panel in the PSB and reconnecting them to the remote control from York ROC. This is clearly a complex job involving (probably) hundreds of connections. Because of the safety critical nature of the work this is done with considerable care, and once reconnected, all possible routes etc have to be checked that they work when called for from the ROC; also all the feedback from track circuits, point motor positions and signal aspects also need checking out.

Thank you... When you say they remove the controls from the panel, do you mean they take the wires and things from behind the panel displays and move them somewhere, or do they simply re-route them?
 

Railsigns

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As well as the signalling work, signal post telephones and other lineside phones/GSM-R have to be redirected to the new control point.

Signals may be re-plated to show the prefix code of the signalling centre that's taking over control, although this is not always done for a re-control in which case the old code of the closed signal box is kept.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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As well as the signalling work, signal post telephones and other lineside phones/GSM-R have to be redirected to the new control point.

Signals may be re-plated to show the prefix code of the signalling centre that's taking over control, although this is not always done for a re-control in which case the old code of the closed signal box is kept.

Sounds all interesting... Is there any online info I can read about it - I've found this all fascinating
 

edwin_m

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I was design engineer for the system that was used for some of the early re-controls in the 1990s. These are comments based on the situation at the time but may be out of date if standards and practices ahve changed since then.

Re-control of remote interlockings is relatiely simple because all the controls (from the signalling centre) and indications (to the signalling centre) to the relays are already wired in to a Time Division Multiplex system (TDM) which transmits everything along a single wire (plus backup) to and from the panel. So the way it was done then, and I imagine still is now, is to keep this "field end" wiring and the TDM itself if suitable, but connect it instead to a new system in the new control centre. This converts the controls and indications between the TDM protocol and the control centre's internal data network and thus the signaller's workstations, Automatic Route Setting and the various information systems. It may also perform a few extra functions, such as a solid-state equivalent of signaller's reminder collars, ARS sub-areas and enhanced protection against short wrong-side track circuit failures. Because there are only a few connections to re-wire, this can be installed and tested during relatively short possessions with panel operation restored afterwards, until it is finally ready to be commissioned.

Where the interlocking is in the same building as the panel (as at Sheffield) things may be more tricky, and I wasn't involved in any projects of this type. If some form of multiplex system already exists between the panel and the interlocking then that wiring could potentially be re-used, otherwise it will be a matter of tapping into every wire and carrying out associated safety testing.
 
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Class 170101

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Is the ARS actually expected to work on Tuesday?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And it'll have to be stopped before it can enter the station - Sheffield PSB isn't known as 'The Crucible' just because of its location....you have to have a red before a colour. :P

And was this weekend the best one to pick given a certain sport is taking place there?
 

Signal Head

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Where the interlocking is in the same building as the panel (as at Sheffield) things may be more tricky, and I wasn't involved in any projects of this type. If some form of multiplex system already exists between the panel and the interlocking then that wiring could potentially be re-used, otherwise it will be a matter of tapping into every wire and carrying out associated safety testing.

Sheffield interlocking didn't originally have a TDM to the panel, but I understand one was installed in recent years, almost certainly as part of the planned recontrol, for the reasons you describe.

Elsewhere, other, more recent installations (eg Crewe, 1985) were built with a TDM from new, despite the interlocking being in the same building, again to allow for eventual recontrol, although there were no definite plans for that at the time. There has also been a programme of TDM renewals in remote interlockings, as the old systems aren't easily interfaced to the new ROC systems.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Out of curiosity, what would I see if I went into the control room now everything is operated by York?
 

Sunset route

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Sheffield interlocking didn't originally have a TDM to the panel, but I understand one was installed in recent years, almost certainly as part of the planned recontrol, for the reasons you describe.

Elsewhere, other, more recent installations (eg Crewe, 1985) were built with a TDM from new, despite the interlocking being in the same building, again to allow for eventual recontrol, although there were no definite plans for that at the time. There has also been a programme of TDM renewals in remote interlockings, as the old systems aren't easily interfaced to the new ROC systems.

TBASCs Norwood Junction, Selhurst, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley and Staots Nest TDMs have just been renewed probably for that very same reason, although the reason given was to inhibit the multitude of swinging overlap problems at those interlockings. The net result is you can't set routes as quick as you used to be able to and having to reset routes as the interlocking doesn't pick all the button pushes, so it's much much slower setting routes these days.
 
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