Signals at Birmingham New Street

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last updated 3 February 2009

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August 1970

When Birmingham New Street was resignalled in the 1960s as part of the original WCML electrification, an unusual style of colour-light signals was used on the station platforms. Here is one of these signals, at the country end, cleared for a train to depart onto the Gloucester line. Because it was not possible for trains to leave the platforms on either side of the same island simultaneously, the route indicator was shared between the two platform faces, and the arrow indicated which face the signal was cleared for. The illuminated 'R' at the bottom was a right-away indicator operated by the dispatcher on the platform. Platform starter cleared to Gloucester line
Signal cleared for opposite platform face The same signal showing caution for a train to depart from the opposite platform face.
The same signal cleared for a shunting movement. Shunting aspect
Signal before end of platform In one or two places it was necessary to have signals positioned before the very end of the platform, for example where lines converged before the platform end. These were basically simplified versions of the same style but without the route indicators.
In some cases, only one route is possible from a particular pair of platforms, so no route indicator was provided. Non-routing signal

August 1971

Banner repeating signals There was also one 'banner repeater' type.

August 1972

The signal cleared for a loco onto the Stour Valley line. Signal cleared to Stour valley
Signal before end of platform A better shot of the signal part-way along the platform.
The banner-repeating signal again. Banner repeating signal

September 1973

Modified signal By 1973, the signals had been modified to look like this, presumably after some instances of drivers misreading signals for the opposite platforms. The shared route indicators and right-away indications have been removed, with separate stencil indicators provided for each individual signal and the right-away indications using the former arrow indication's slot. Shrouds have been fitted to the main aspects to minimise the chance of misreading.
A signal at the London end of the station, cleared for a train onto the Derby line. Signal cleared to Derby line

July 1975

XDS indication This signal is displaying a shunting indication to indicate the loco is signalled to cross (from the Derby lines) to the Down Stour.

January 1978

A mid-platform signal, now converted from the searchlight type to have separate aspect lenses. I believe all the other signals were later converted to have separate, conventional aspects. Non-searchlight mid-platform signal

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