Middleton Railway Index

Colour Light Signalling

The letter codes make reference to the control box - CH Compost Heap, HO Houchel (neighbours name) RS Romford South Box. RS signals are manually controlled by a 12 lever frame in the signal box.


After early trials with treadle switches the decision was made to revert back to using track circuiting as trialled in the tunnel. Originally I used connector blocks to connect all the components together but this was a bit messy.

Left - One of the original control box under the bridge. These components were removed and replaced with our new modular system.



Above - Our new boards which we are using on all our automatic signals. The relay at the bottom right is to control the points and crossing set up.

Left - The same box with the new relay boards in place. By using individual boards for each section, if one fails it can be easily replaced.

Track sectioning. Previously we used paxolin board to hold the rails but we have found it was quite hard to keep the rails inline. As an alternative we have used delrin blocks which has a groove machined in the top edge which holds the rails in line.

Below right - Having cleaned up and greased a fishplates to allow a bit more thermal movement, we found that the grease stopped the flow of electricity between the two rails. To extend the circuit we have to loop around the join, just as they do on the real thing.

Initial Problems

While using 12v for the track circuits we have come across a few problems.

  • 1st few trains tend not to give good contact - presumably this is down to rust.

  • Wet steel rail track can hold the circuit open. For some reason the steel seems to let the electricity carry better betweent the rails. Presumably the current runs down the track screws and through the sleeper. It doesn't let enough through to trip a circuit but it does let enough through to hold a relay open once a train has set it. We have cured this by adding a load between the switched live rail and neutral.


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