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Generic Signalling

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Posted (edited)

Signalling discussions often get bogged down in talk of blocks, bell codes, homes and distants as if actually operating ten miles of busy mainline.

So, keeping it relevant, what is the minimum signalling required for a layout to be prototypical?

Is it as simple as

1. stop signal to indicate diverging routes ahead (signal can easily be assumed to be further out and so off-layout)

2. stop signal as starter for a movement from a terminus/onto a converging route/onto a single line

3. stop ground signal on final exit from sidings/goods loop

4. stop ground signal each direction on a trailing crossover

5. no signals on simple continuing lines (not modelled for long enough for blocks, homes, distants, etc to become relevant)

(everything else can be reduced to the seven elements in bold - a facing crossover is a diverging route, a diamond crossing is a diverging and a converging route, more complex goods yards are two or more sidings/goods loop, level crossings are continuing lines)

So a through station with routes diverging then converging again and a single fan of sidings could require just starters and one ground signal operated from a signal cabin nearby. Or a through station with continuing lines, a single fan of sidings and a trailing crossover could require just three ground signals operated by a nearby ground frame.

Simplest of all, a through station with continuing lines requires no signals at all, though if you model a signal cabin or level crossing there does need to be a stop signal each direction somewhere nearby as a nod to the homes and distants nonsense.

Edited by NIR
add converging and crossover and continuing and single and level crossing

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It would depend on the track plan, NIR, and the use. If it was a busy passenger station, that’s one thing, but a goods yard could be a ground frame only with no signals.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

It would depend on the track plan, NIR, and the use. If it was a busy passenger station, that’s one thing, but a goods yard could be a ground frame only with no signals.

I'm just seeing if it reduces to some rules of thumb for trackplan and use, coming up with some generic situations like 'diverging route', 'terminus', 'sidings/loop' instead of talking technical terms like 'home' and 'distant' which seem fairly irrelevant. In your examples a busy passenger station is 1 and 2 in my terms, needing lots of splitters and starters, and a goods yard is 3, potentially needing just one ground signal on the final exit.

Edited by NIR

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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 5:54 PM, NIR said:

Simplest of all, a through station with continuing lines requires no signals at all, though if you model a signal cabin or level crossing there does need to be a stop signal each direction somewhere nearby as a nod to the homes and distants nonsense.

So in a nutshell, in a model you need to signal the routes not signal the flows.

Signalling of flows (the blocks, homes and distants stuff) can be mimicked by keeping a proper separation between trains on the layout - by not having them run on each others tails and by not having them run right up to a conflicting route simultaneously.

Edited by NIR
add level crossing

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Just a thought with continuous lines  a major feature of a few years ago was the level crossing manually controlled with gate protecting signals.  On a simple layout just a level crossing, keepers small house and small holding alongside, a small 2 lever ground frame for the two signals , the closing of gates and clearing of signals to herald the passing of the train  would allow a trainspotting layout.    

With the proliferation of electronics a motorised set of gates and signals such a layout is achievable. but it is the signals that are important to the action.

Yes NIR you signal routes nor flow - but as importantly it is the signals that stop movement- protecting the active route that are required.  Correctly placed shunting signals at yard exit points  and crossovers maketh the layout for me.  Plus now the supply of parts to more effective model rodding will lift a layout more than DCC and lights and sound!

Robert  

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Robert Shrives said:

Just a thought with continuous lines  a major feature of a few years ago was the level crossing manually controlled with gate protecting signals.  On a simple layout just a level crossing, keepers small house and small holding alongside, a small 2 lever ground frame for the two signals , the closing of gates and clearing of signals to herald the passing of the train  would allow a trainspotting layout.    

Yes, if you want to model the usual run of homes and distants you can just drop them in somewhere far enough from everything else, maybe at a remote refuge siding too with some permanent way wagons.

 

Edited by NIR

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