Answered what, where, when query No 167 (last updated 22 September 2013)
No.167- Negative 27762: A Scottish Signal Query
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The originally posted questions have now been answered.
This photograph, by W.A. Camwell, was identified whilst reviewing pictures of the Society’s Rail Tours for Ian Clark who is collating such information, see p.277 SLS ‘Journal’, November/ December 2011. The picture was initially not considered as a potential candidate for inclusion in the What, Where, When series, after most of the required information had been determined and is given below. However there are still a few questions that require answers and it is hoped members may be able to help.
The photograph is looking in a north-easterly direction towards Achnasheen and shows Glencarron Platform, an un-manned halt located on the Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh line between Achnasheen and Achnashellach. The halt was built to serve the nearby Glen Carron Lodge and was opened by the Skye and Dingwall Railway on 1 August 1887. Later renamed Glencarron by the British transport Commission on 10 September 1962 and closed by British Railways Board on 7 December 1964.
The platform is about two bogie carriage lengths long with a waiting shelter at one end. The lattice post signal was used by passengers if they wished to stop the train. Under enlargement the instruction notice, at the forth rung of the ladder, can be seen and reads:
TO STOP trAIN PUSH LEVER FROM YOU UNTIL IT ENGAGES IN NOTCH AND XXXXX XXXXX
(i) Can the full wording of the instruction notice be completed? - The photograph below, by A.G.S. Davies, shows the full text of the operating instructions:
TO STOP trAIN – PUSH LEVER – FROM YOU – UNTIL IT – ENGAGES IN – NOTCH AND – LEAVE IT THERE.
(ii) What was the procedure for re-setting the signal once a passenger had indicated that they wished to board a train? Probably the responsibility of the train guard.
(iii) Are there other examples of this signal practice? Yes, another example of a signal not operated by a signalman has been identified at Broomhall station on the line between Aviemore and Forres on the former Highland Railway. It would appear that the signals were operated by the station staff by turning a handle fixed to the signal post. They were left in the off position and were only placed in the ‘on’ position if they required the pick-up goods train to stop and pick up wagons.
(iv) Were the ‘Caledonian’ coaches placed at the front of the train at Kyle of Lochalsh for the return journey to Inverness? No, there was no shunting at Kyle of Lochalsh, there was a 35 minutes booked stop (6.30pm – 7.05pm) during which time the locomotive was turned and took water. See also vii.
(v) The report of the tour, SLS Journal, 1962, pp. 265-281 inclusive states that the composition of the train changed at Inverness. What were the coaches used for this leg of the tour. See vii.
(vi) Did the train stop at the halt in both directions? Only on the down run, the stop was scheduled 4.55pm - 5.03pm. If any reader has detailed timings for any parts of this tour would they please provide information to Ian Clark, 13 Beachfield Drive, Hartlepool, TS25 5AS or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(vii) What was the identity of the other three coaches? The first stage of the tour was behind GNSR 4-4-0 No. 49 Gordon Highlander as pilot to HR 4-6-0 No. 103 from Perth to Inverness. The train then departed Inverness at 2.30pm. The stock was Caledonian Railway 1st/3rd brake 7369 and CR 3rd 3339 at the ‘Kyle’ end of the formation followed by LMS 3rd open M27365, Buffet/Restaurant SC1733 and brake 3rd M34083 with ‘Devon Belle’ observation car SC280M to Inverness only.
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Readers who can provide details of the picture(s) including location and date should write to K. Greenwood, Bradstones, Charlton Road, Holcombe, Somerset. BA3 5ER. (Email contact not available) To contact the Society
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