Signals on the ex-Cambrian lines

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last updated 1 October 2016

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Barmouth | Cemmes Road | Dovey Junction | Harlech | Machynlleth | Newtown | Penrhyndeudraeth | Porthmadog


When I was growing up we used to go to North Wales for our family holidays most years. There were some fascinating signals, but the photography I did was quite sporadic back then. I have, however, been able to pull together this eclectic collection of the photos that I did take before it was all too late.


Newtown

Added 1/10/16 June 1972

The view from the station towards Caersws. At this stage there was still a bay platform line and several sidings. View towards Caersws
View towards Welshpool The view back in the opposite direction, through the station towards Welshpool.

September 1973

This nice ex-GWR bay starting signal controlled departures from the down bay platform. Down bay starter

July 1984

Signalbox and down starter By 1984, the down sidings had gone. On the right is the down starter, as we approach the signalbox and station.
The signalbox, with the down platform beyond. Signalbox
Signalbox  

Cemmes Road

June 1982

Before the Radio Electronic Token Block was introduced, there was also a crossing loop at Cemmes Road, between Talerddig and Machynlleth. Here we are crossing an up train. Trains crossing
Signalbox The signalman hands our driver the token to Machynlleth.

Machynlleth

September 1981

The calling-on signal is lowered to allow my train into the up platform, to couple onto the train from Aberystwyth. Train called on into platform

Dovey Junction

September 1981

Up advanced starter and down outerhome The up advanced starter (facing) and down outerhome (above). Signals with arms for opposite directions on the same post were not uncommon on the Cambrian.

June/July 1982

Dovey Junction station. To the left is the Aberystwyth line, while the Cambrian Coast Line diverges to the right. Dovey Junction
Junction signal The impressive four-arm junction signal, cleared for my train to enter the coast line platform.
The coast line starter had a lovely concrete post and old GWR "wasp waist" pattern arm... Down coast line starter
Down coast line advanced starter ...and so did the advanced starter!
The up platform starters, cleared for a coast line train towards Machynlleth. Up platform starters

Barmouth

September 1971

Up home (platform starter) Barmouth South's up home - the platform starter - was mounted to the footbridge adjacent to the level crossing. Unusually, it was an ex-GWR "wasp waist" pattern signal...
...but with a metal arm, as this rear view clearly shows. Up home (rear view)

June 1972

Down bay starter Another bay starter, this one for Barmouth North's down bay.
Since our previous visit, however, South's up home on the footbridge had been replaced with this squat little upper-quadrant. South up home
View towards LLwyngwril The view south towards Llwyngwril. The up bay on the left, which would previously have been used for Bala-line trains, was still in use at this time.
The view through the station to Barmouth North at the other end. Barmouth North

June 1982

The down distant, towards the far end of the famous Barmouth Bridge. Down distant

Harlech

June/July 1982

Up starter and advanced starter The up starter. The level crossing in the distance was worked by a crossing keeper, hence the level-crossing distant below the starter. The signal protecting the crossing, though, was also slotted as the advanced starter for the signalbox...

...so the slotting on the post that controlled the distant had to have four counterbalance levers instead of the usual three, because the advanced starter lever in the signalbox also had to be backslotted.

The counterbalance lever nearest the post was connected to the starter arm via the down-rod running upwards from it. The next one was connected to the distant arm, and therefore had its weight on the left-hand side of the bearing pin. The two levers furthest from the post were operated by the advanced starter lever in the signalbox and the distant lever worked by the crossing keeper. The metal cross-piece that spans the levers to the left of the bearings was also welded to the distant's counterbalance lever, preventing it moving unless all of the other three levers had been operated by their respective signal levers. But when they were, the weight on the distant arm's lever would then drop and thereby clear the distant.
The down-rod to the left of the signal post, and connected to the third lever from the post, was connected to a "slot on/off" indication sensor.

Slotting for up crossing distant
View towards Barmouth The south end of the station.
A down train approaching. Down train arriving
View towards Porthmadog The opposite end of the station, looking towards Penrhyndeudraeth.
The signalbox. Signalbox

Penrhyndeudraeth

Added ?/9/16 June 1982

Down homes A rear view of the down inner homes, looking back towards Harlech. The station here only had one platform, so the loop was only signalled for goods trains.
The same signal viewed from its front. Down homes
Station and sidings The station, with the famous gunpowder sidings on the right.
The down distant. Down distant

September 1971

Down home and up starter The down home and up advanced starter - another pair of signals combined on a single post.

Porthmadog

July 1982

Porthmadog station and signalbox. Station and signalbox

There are more vintage Cambrian photos at www.2d53.co.uk.


Barmouth | Cemmes Road | Dovey Junction | Harlech | Machynlleth | Newtown | Penrhyndeudraeth | Porthmadog


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