Worcester Tunnel Junction

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last updated 19 April 2008

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Worcester index | Diagram | Henwick & Foregate St | Shrub Hill | Tunnel Jct | Norton Jct


15/9/05

Tunnel Junction's junction signal The junction signal for trains arriving from Droitwich. The signal for the main line to Shrub Hill has been pulled off for an approaching train. The right-hand arm leads to the up Droitwich line to Foregate St and Henwick; the lower arms are outer fixed distants for Shrub Hill and Henwick respectively. The arm on the left leads to a goods loop; this originally had a mechanical route indicator in the days when Worcester yard ran through from here to Wylds Lane. The junction points, and a couple of ground discs, can be seen at the far end of the tunnel.
The starter towards Shrub Hill, with the latter's inner distant underneath. Starter to Shrub Hill
Tunnel Junction's home for SH wrong-line moves Tunnel Junction's up main to down main home, for wrong-line moves from Shrub Hill. This signal was only installed when Shrub Hill Junction box was abolished. Prior to then, trains from Malvern/Hereford reversing from the up platform at Shrub Hill to go to Birmingham were crossed to the down line at Shrub Hill Junction. Since its abolition, they now run down the up line to Tunnel Junction and are, finally, crossed over here.
Tunnel Junction signalbox, with the DMU depot and down main homes. Tunnel Jct signalbox

5/3/06

Layout at Tunnel Junction With the leaves off the trees, the layout of the junction can just about still be seen from Tunnel Hill. The Droitwich lines to Foregate St branch off to the right, up and down goods lines diverge to the left, and the Central Trains DMU depot is in the vee of the main junction. The signals controlling the approach to the junction from (L-R) the down goods line, the up main (bi-directional), the down main, the DMU depot and the down Droitwich line can all be seen, and in the background is the up starter towards Shrub Hill with the latter's lower-arm fixed distant.
A closer view of the lines towards Shrub Hill. A disc can also be seen between the main running lines; this would be used for down shunting moves from the up main. Lines towards Shrub Hill
The approach to Shrub Hill A view further round the curve from the above shot, as the lines approach Shrub Hill. The goods signal on the far left is controlled from the "Tail Lamp" Ground Frame in the goods yard, and is normally off as these are no-block lines.
Tunnel Junction's down starter is by the tunnel mouth, with a shunt-ahead arm underneath the main signal. Down starter
Up Droitwich starter, off, with SH line The up Droitwich starter towards Henwick, with the latter's inner distant beneath, pulled off for an approaching train. The double-to-single junction can be seen as the line curves round towards Foregate St. Note the TPWS loops in the track alongside the signal. The line in the background is the Henwick to Shrub Hill line. This is the site of the former Rainbow Hill Junction, whose box stood in the vee of the junction. This signal was originally Rainbow Hill Jct's home; the distant was only added when it became a Tunnel Junction signal.
The same signal ... but if you look closely at the top right you can see the rear of the two signals at the eastern end of Foregate Street. Again, by good fortune I have captured them both off... TJ8 with rear view of Foregate St signals
Adelante leaving Foregate Street ... and, shortly afterwards, an Adelante leaves Foregate Street heading for the Costwold Line...
... soon followed by a sprinter that had reversed there and is now returning towards Tunnel Junction.
I didn't know it when I took these photos, but a signalling change was implemented the previous weekend to allow trains from Shrub Hill to Foregate Street to reverse directly from the platform at the latter. Previously they had had to run to Henwick for reversal. No change to the signals at the eastern end of Foregate Street is apparent from these pictures, though I didn't visit that station on this occasion so I can't say whether the ownership of the bracket signal on the Shrub Hill line has changed.
Sprinter leaving Foregate St
Droitwich line to Tunnel Junction The Droitwich line as it curves round to Tunnel Junction, with the lines from Shrub Hill in the background. In the foreground, the rear of a fibre-optic banner repeater for the up Droitwich starter (TJ18) can be seen.
A train to Birmingham approaches from Shrub Hill. This will have departed from the down platform as it is running on the down line. Train approaches from Shrub Hill

25-29/5/07

Shrub Hill from the south A closer view of the DMU depot and down main homes.
A close-up of the junction signal. Note the underslung counterbalance lever for the goods arm on the left. This is because that signal used to have a junction indicator when the goods yard was much bigger than now and could be entered directly from here, so a larger casting was needed to hold the require counterbalance and slotting levers (see Shrub Hill page for explanation). Close-up of junction signal
Down through siding home The down through siding home.

24/3/08

A view through the tunnels showing the discs around the junction. The one on the left has been cleared because it is a 'running shunt' signal and the signaller has pulled off for a train into Shrub Hill.
The signal in the background is the one for exiting from the DMU depot into Shrub Hill.
Discs at junction

13/4/08

Wide view of layout The box and nearby signals viewed from Shrub Hill station footbridge. The signals, left to right, are the up main to down home, the down goods line home, the down DMU depot home, the down main home, the down Droitwich line ("loop") innerhome, and the down starter.
I was lucky to be able to take this shot when the northern end of the old goods yard had been completely rased prior to redevelopment.
A closer view of the down starter, taken from the same location. Down starter
Up distant A long-range view of the up distant.
The down Droitwich line innerhome, and signal box. Down Droitwich innerhome and signalbox

A great description of the Worcester signalling is now available in former signalman Matthew Morgan's great book The Worcester Patch.

More information about the 1973 rationalisation can be found on the Railways in Worcestershire site run by the Malvern Industrial & Archaeology Circle.


Worcester index | Diagram | Henwick & Foregate St | Shrub Hill | Tunnel Jct | Norton Jct


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